Phil Jackson Regrets Not Taking Former Mavericks Player
New York Knicks President, Phil Jackson, told reporters that his biggest mistake with the Knicks organization was when he chose not to take former Dallas Mavericks guard, Jae Crowder.
The Dallas Mavericks have been known in the past for their drafting woes. From bad picks to bad trades to passing up very talented players, the Mavs have had some rough times. There are even some cases where Dallas drafted a player and didn’t give him time to develop before trading him. That is what happened in this case.
During an interview with Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak, Phil Jackson spoke about his biggest mistake as the team President for the New York Knicks. Being a member of the Knicks front office certainly has its lowlights, but the Zen Master spoke of one player whom he could have traded for, but didn’t. That player is former Dallas Mavericks 2nd round pick, Jae Crowder.
Here is the quote from Jackson, via todaysfastbreak.com:
"“I don’t consider hiring Fish [Derek Fisher] a mistake because he worked hard and got the guys to stay as positive as possible while the losses piled up. I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this. … One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington,Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking Jae Crowder. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo [Anthony], so I took the pick, which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder.Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process. … We won 15 more games this season than we did last season, something that’s not easy to do in the NBA. I’d be more than happy if we could make the same jump next season.”"
Obviously it is easy to look back and see that Crowder is now one of the bright spots for the Boston Celtics, but should the Mavs ownership be kicking themselves as well?
Crowder is under contract for $7 million a year with Boston right now. He is averaging over 15 points per game and is an excellent defender. He was included in the deal that brought Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell to Dallas.
Of course it was tough to predict how poorly of a fit Rondo would be with the Mavs, but should Dallas have seen signs earlier on that Crowder was going to be a solid player? He was a rotational player for Coach Carlisle before Al-Farouq Aminu came to town.
Imagining Crowder coming off the bench and bolstering the 2nd unit for the Mavs is like a dream, especially considering the depth issues the team is looking at right now. I for one believe that Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban are kicking themselves for letting Crowder go, just like Phil Jackson.
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In the end, what’s done is done and the Mavericks can move on with their new team and roster. Phil Jackson has moved on and made some incredible moves with the Knicks as well and things have settled. But it is still interesting to think what Crowder would be doing and where the Mavs would be had that trade not happened, isn’t it?