16 Players the Dallas Mavericks gave up on way too soon

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Steve Nash

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban continues to regret letting Nash walk in free agency in 2004. Dallas acquired the future Hall of Famer in a 1998 draft night trade. It was the same night they landed Dirk Nowitzki, and the duo quickly became friends.

They pushed the Mavs out of a decade-long playoff drought and into contention. In their six years together, Dallas made the playoffs four times, including a trip to the conference finals in 2003. Nash and Nowitzki were both multiple-time All-Stars by 2004, but a first-round postseason exit at the hands of the Kings had the front office re-thinking the partnership.

Nash was approaching his 30th birthday, and the Dallas Mavericks decided against giving him a massive contract. The 6’3 guard responded by winning back-to-back MVP honors with the Suns. Nash made six more All-Star appearances and joined one of Dallas’ biggest rivals over the next half-decade.

It was a massive blunder by Cuban and the Mavericks' decision-makers. They thought Steve Nash was over the hill, but his best basketball was ahead. Keeping him and Dirk together will forever be one of the biggest what-ifs in franchise history.

The Dallas Mavericks are no strangers to making front-office mistakes. They overcame plenty to win the 2011 championship. Can they follow a similar path with Luka Doncic? Stay tuned to find out.

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