5 players Mavericks could have drafted over last 10 years
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo- 2013 draft
Not taking Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2013 draft might be the Dallas Mavericks biggest miss of all-time. It is not just because they did not select him, though. GM Donnie Nelson was adamant about drafting Giannis, but owner Mark Cuban had his sights set on luring a big-name free agent to Dallas. Fans can read more about the entire saga here.
The team ultimately made a flurry of moves on this draft night. They first traded back from 13 to 16. Then, back to 18 where they drafted Shane Larkin. The moves gave them a bit of extra cap space.
The Mavericks missed the playoffs leading into this draft for the first time since 2001. They struck out on the marquee names in free agency but did make the postseason for three straight years after this draft.
One of the great what-if’s will always be selecting Giannis in this draft. The Greek Freak is the reigning MVP and the Bucks have the best record in the NBA. Obviously, he would have been a game-changing talent, but Antetokounmpo was a few years away from being a superstar. The Mavericks wanted immediate help to surround Dirk.
Everything worked out in the end. The Dallas Mavericks are building around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis now. They have their sights set on another championship in a few years. It should be an exciting ride to get there, so stay tuned.