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5 players the Dallas Mavericks should have never given up on

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Player Dallas Mavericks should have never given up on: 3. Harrison Barnes

The Mavs signed Barnes in 2016 to a four-year deal worth $94.4 million. He won a championship with the Warriors in 2015 and immediately became the leading scorer in Dallas. Barnes was overtasked in that role, but the Mavericks drafted Luka Doncic in 2018. The teenager was immediately the team’s best player, and Barnes was fitting well next to Luka before he was dealt to Sacramento.

The Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis to be their second star. Acquiring the Unicorn cost the Mavs two starters and their sixth man plus two first-round picks. Dallas knew they would have to give KP a max contract in the offseason, so they offloaded Barnes’ contract to Sacramento for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph. Z-Bo never played for the Mavs, and Jackson failed to make an impact.

Barnes is the perfect fit next to Doncic. He is a versatile 6’8 forward that is a plus shooter and scorer. HB was a role player in Golden State when he won a championship, and he continues to be one in Sacramento. There are zero reasons why he would not have fit next to Luka and KP in Dallas.

Trading Harrison Barnes for zero return made little sense at the time, and it makes less now. The Dallas Mavericks need talent around Luka Doncic, and they certainly gave up on Barnes too soon.