The Dallas Mavericks were an annual contender with Dirk Nowitzki, but the front office did not always put the best-supporting cast around him. There were failed free-agent signings, regrettable trades, and even missed draft choices. Dirk led the franchise to their lone championship in 2011 to cement his legendary status, but it was not without turbulence.
The Mavs have the second-most wins since 2000. Nowitzki deserves a ton of credit, but he could not do it alone. They failed several times to land a marquee free agent, but Dallas always found a way to build a winner around their GOAT.
Knowing when to move on is crucial for front offices. Give up too early and miss out on a prime season or two. Wait too long and be stuck with a player who is not producing and weighs down the cap sheet. The Mavericks have not always had the best judgment in this area.
Players Dallas Mavericks held onto for too long
11. Dwight Powell
Mavs Twitter is not a fan of Powell being the team’s starting center. The 6’10 big man is intelligent and excels as a pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic, but he struggles to protect the rim and rebound the ball. Powell should not be the starting center, but is a valuable rotation player, despite his frustrating moments.
The Mavericks acquired him with Rajon Rondo in the infamous 2015 trade. Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, and two draft picks went to Boston, and Rondo’s time in Dallas was forgettable at best. Powell has been on the team ever since. He went from second-round pick to rotation player to starter over the last eight-plus years.
Dwight Powell just signed a new three-year deal, so he is staying in Dallas for a bit longer. The Mavericks have already held onto him for too long, especially when he was making $11 million per season and averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Powell has not been the same player since a torn Achilles in 2020, and the Mavs should have dropped him from their starting lineup years ago.