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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13. Juwan Howard

Howard had a 19-year NBA career that saw him play for eight different teams, including two separate stints with the Mavericks. He was the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the then-Washington Bullets. The 6’9 forward immediately cracked the rotation and was an All-Star in his second season. Howard spent six and a half seasons in the nation’s capital before being traded to Dallas in Feb. 2001.

The addition of Howard helped the Mavericks snap a decade-long playoff drought, and he played the team's third-most minutes in the postseason as they upset the Utah Jazz in round one before falling to the Spurs in the conference semifinals.

Juwan Howard did not last long in Dallas. He was traded to the Nuggets 364 days after they acquired him. The Mavericks jumped at the chance to add Raef LaFrentz, Nick Van Exel, Avery Johnson, and Tariq Abdul-Wahad in the seven-player trade.

Howard had back-to-back outstanding years immediately after leaving Texas, and he would play 11 more seasons in the league, including winning two championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013. The Dallas Mavericks traded him too soon and missed out on the final years of his prime, but the team continued building around Dirk Nowitzki and all worked out when they won the championship in 2011.