Would Michael Jordan have won six titles if he played for the Mavericks?
The Dallas Mavericks would have had to trade up to get him. The number four pick that turned into Sam Perkins would have likely been in the deal. The Mavs also had the 15th selection in 1984 plus a host of future picks from deals with Cleveland Cavaliers.
Let us assume that acquiring Jordan cost them both first rounders in 1984 plus a future first of their own. That leaves them with the Cavs selections 1985 and 1986 which turned into Detlef Schrempf and Roy Tarpley.
The problem with this theory is roster construction. The NBA was viewed at the time as being dominated by big men. The Mavericks’ three best players would have been wings. With Michael Jordan being added to Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman. The Mavs would have been forced to play small ball.
Not many teams were doing that in 1985. It would have been interesting to see if coach Dick Motta and the Mavericks would have made that work. Clearly, it is a common strategy today, but the game is a lot different. It is apparent from watching The Last Dance. Teams were more physical and got away with a lot more back then. Does that put a damper on small ball? Perhaps.
The Mavericks certainly would have had one of the best wing trios in the NBA in Jordan’s first season.
Next: Early years