Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2009 NBA Draft
The 2009 draft was full of both All-Star caliber players and major draft busts. Which side did the Mavericks end up on?
The journey continues as we sift through both the good and the bad of Dallas Mavericks draft history. Recent history has not proven to be the kindest to us but are we remembering every bit of it? Today we stop in the year 2009.
The 2009 NBA Draft was headlined by Oklahoma superstar, Blake Griffin. A gifted athlete who pushed a Sooner team into title contention nearly single-handedly was the surefire number 1 pick going to the Los Angeles Clippers. But many other players drafted have had success in the league.
Notable Players Drafted in 2009
James Harden – Rd. 1 Pk. 3 (OKC)
Tyreke Evans – Rd. 1 Pk. 4 (SAC)
Stephen Curry – Rd. 1 Pk. 7 (GSW)
DeMar DeRozan – Rd. 1 Pk. 9 (TOR)
Jeff Teague – Rd. 1 Pk. 19 (ATL)
Taj Gibson – Rd. 1 Pk. 26 (CHI)
DeMarre Carroll – Rd. 1 Pk. 27 (MEM)
Danny Green – Rd. 2 Pk. 46 (CLE)
Wesley Matthews – Undrafted
State of the Mavs
The Mavericks in 2009 were still on the verge of breaking away. Finishing the year at 50-32 and the 6th seed in the west, Dallas didn’t really look poised to make a break for the title. However, the Mavs were able to make a case once the playoffs started.
The first-round of the playoffs pitted the Mavericks up against the in-state rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. Despite being the underdog in the series, Dallas whooped up on the Spurs in a 5-game demolition derby.
The second round was not so favorable, however, as the Mavs fell to Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets in 5 games as well, despite Dirk Nowitzki averaging 34.4 points and 11.6 rebounds for the series.
When the ’09 draft came around, a familiar site of Dallas searching for that one missing piece took place once again. This time around, Dallas had made a few trades with their picks but with options still available. Mavericks fans sat and waited to hear who Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle decided on to wear the Mavericks uniform.
What the Mavs Did
In my opinion, the 2009 draft is the first draft where the Mavericks really should’ve done better. Coming in with a few different picks from trades around the league, Dallas still had multiple choices to make in a draft featuring decent names deep into the second round.
The first pick (22) was traded to Portland in exchange for their picks at 24 and 56 as well as a future second rounder. Portland chose Victor Claver with their pick while Dallas selected Byron Mullens. Mullens was subsequently shipped to OKC in exchange for the next pick at 25 and a future second rounder as well.
The Mavs ended up getting Rodrigue Beaubois with that 25th pick, a player who was so injury prone he never made a real impact for the team. This pick may not look so bad if the next two selections hadn’t been Taj Gibson and DeMarre Carroll, two solid role players for their respective teams.
The Mavericks also managed to trade their way back into the second round to grab Nick Calathes at number 45. Calathes never put on a Mavericks uniform and only played in the NBA for a short time before heading back overseas. Who was picked at 46? Danny Green.
The Mavs also had another second round pick where they took a European player who never came to the NBA. Wesley Matthews, Aron Baynes and Garrett Temple were still on the board to name a few.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
Clearly the Mavs made some mistakes in this draft. Although it is hard to evaluate what a player is going to do in the league, it is still difficult to believe that we were that close to selecting so many reasonable players but struck out the pick before each time.
Had the Mavericks been able to get a player like a Gibson or Carroll or Green early in their career, it is hard to imagine what the team could have been capable of. Dirk was forced to carry the workload year in and year out as Dallas fought for relevance in the exceptional Western Conference.
With as many trades as the Mavericks made both for this draft and the future drafts, it is sad to see them come away with nothing. Especially with as many good names as there were on the board.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2008 NBA Draft
The Dallas Mavericks definitely did not have much success in the 2009 NBA Draft when it was so reasonably attainable. Stay tuned as we look to cover the 2010-present day drafts here at The Smoking Cuban over the next few days.