30 Greatest Dallas Mavericks players in franchise history

Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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11. Sam Perkins

The Cavaliers traded their 1984 first-round pick to the Mavericks in 1980 as part of what spurred the Stepien Rule. Thanks to it, Dallas ended up picking Sam Perkins fourth overall just one month after reaching the second round of the playoffs.

The 6’9 forward was a key part of the team’s early run. Dallas reached the postseason in each of his first four years as Perkins hit the ground running. He was a starter down the stretch of his rookie campaign, and he stayed in that role for six seasons. Perkins helped the Mavs reach the conference finals in 1988 before leaving for the rival Lakers in free agency in 1990.

Perkins averaged 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 0.9 blocks in 33.2 minutes per game during his time in Dallas. His name is littered all over their record book as he ranks tenth in field goals made, third in rebounds, tenth in steals, sixth in blocks, and nine in scoring.

Sam Perkins played 11 more years in the NBA split between the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, and Indiana Pacers. He is often forgotten among the all-time great Dallas Mavericks, but they would not have made their early run without the 6’9 forward.