11 Mavericks cult heroes everyone else should have loved

The rest of the NBA should have loved these Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea
Dallas Mavericks, J.J. Barea / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Josh Howard

Howard was an unbelievable athlete and would fit perfectly in the modern NBA. The 6’7 wing could guard the other team’s top scorer and was a certified bucket during his prime. The Mavs were shocked that he slipped to them at 29th overall in the loaded 2003 NBA Draft that featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. Dallas had just reached the conference finals and was excited to add a high-ceiling young talent.

Howard immediately cracked the rotation and quickly blossomed into a star. He was a starter by year two and the team’s third scorer in their run to the NBA Finals in 2006. The 6’7 wing made his lone All-Star appearance in 2007 as he averaged 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 35.1 minutes per game.

Things quickly came apart for Howard. During the 2008 playoffs, he admitted to smoking marijuana in the offseason, which was the beginning of the end for the talented 6’7 wing. There was a second regrettable video, and the Mavericks traded Howard to the Wizards as part of a seven-player deal in 2010.

Josh Howard was electric during his days with the Dallas Mavericks, but the injuries and ineffectiveness saw him play just 67 games after leaving his first franchise. The 6’7 wing had immense potential, but he never fully realized it.