As we continue our draft series, we look back at the 2002 NBA Draft and what exactly the Mavericks did that year.
With the NBA Draft next month, we have started to look back at the past 18 drafts in Dallas Mavericks franchise history starting with the year after Dirk Nowitzki entered the league. After breaking down the 2001 draft, headlined by Kwame Brown, we now set our sights on the 2002 draft.
Notable Players Drafted in 2002
Amare Stoudemire- Rd.1-Pick 9 (PHX)
Caron Butler– Rd.1-Pick 10 (MIA)
Tayshaun Prince– Rd.1-Pick 23 (DET)
Carlos Boozer– Rd. 2-Pick 34 (CLE)
Luis Scola– Rd. 2-Pick 55 (SAS)
More Articles About Mavericks Draft History:
State of the Mavs
The Mavericks had finished an eventful spring and trade deadline as they made a blockbuster trade at the deadline in hoping to make a strong postseason push.
After trading for Juwan Howard a couple of deadline’s ago, Dallas decided to package him and some other assets together to send to Denver for a package centered around Nick Van Exel. The complete trade looked like this:
This package helped Dallas reach the second round of the playoffs where they lost 1-4 to a Sacramento Kings team led by Chris Webber and Mike Bibby. Dallas entered the summer looking to build on their foundation of Nowitzki, Finley and Nash along with their new role players they received from Denver.
What the Mavs Did
In order for the Mavs to net Van Exel and LaFrentz in the deal with Denver, they had to give up their first round pick in this draft. This makes two years in a row that Dallas had previously traded their first round pick to a different team.
The pick turned out to be the 25th pick in the draft and the Denver Nuggets selected Frank Williams out of University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign. Williams only spent 3 years in the league.
Some notable players drafted after that pick was Boozer, Scola and Matt Barnes.
With the 54th pick in the draft, Dallas selected Mladen Sekularac who happened to never play a single game in the NBA. Dallas walked away from the draft with no rookies looking to make an impact, but a team full of veterans that was ready to compete.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
What the Mavs should have done is exactly what they did.
Dallas had put together a talented, young big three in Nowitzki, Nash, and Finley. It was time for them to take the next step as a franchise and try to become contenders.
They shed the big contract of Juwan Howard and the aging Tim Hardaway to get a 6th man candidate in Nick Van Exel to give them a threat off the bench. LaFrentz gave the Mavs a unique presence at center as the big man could step out and hit an open shot.
Giving up the first round pick in 2002 was well worth the acquisition of these two players as Dallas found themselves fighting in the Western Conference Finals. Although they lost against the Spurs in a six game series, Dallas proved to the NBA what they were capable of.
Even if the Mavs had their pick at 25, who would have been worth it? A Carlos Boozer type to back up Dirk? Maybe a John Salmons who could play alongside Finley on the wing? Whoever they could have netted, Van Exel and LaFrentz would have given them more.