16 Players the Mavericks never should have gambled on

The Dallas Mavericks regretted acquiring these talents.

Dallas Mavericks, Rajon Rondo
Dallas Mavericks, Rajon Rondo / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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14. Hot Rod Williams

Williams was a key role player to the Cavaliers for nine seasons. The 1985 second-round pick helped them reach the conference finals in 1992, which only happened twice for the Cavs before LeBron James arrived. Hot Rod was known for his rim protection and toughness. He was the franchise’s all-time leader in blocks before Zydrunas Ilgauskas broke the mark in 2009.

The Cavs traded Williams to the Suns in 1995 for Dan Majerle, Antonio Lang, and a first-round draft pick. His minutes and production dropped off in Phoenix, but the veteran big man stayed in the rotation for three seasons before being released in 1998.

Dallas was in the midst of a long playoff drought and desperately needed talent, so they signed the veteran big man to a three-year $5.8 million contract. Williams played a total of 25 games with the Mavericks where he averaged 1.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.1 minutes. A back injury ended his career, and Dallas finally traded him as part of a four-team deal in 2000.

The Dallas Mavericks gambled on a 35-year-old big man and it blew up in their faces. Luckily, that was the summer that the franchise drafted Dirk Nowitzki and traded for Steve Nash, which jumpstarted their turnaround.