22 Stars the Dallas Mavericks missed drafting by a single pick

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Draymond Green
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Draymond Green / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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21. Daniel Gafford

The Dallas Mavericks made a huge trade on the day of the 2024 NBA trade deadline when they sent Richaun Holmes and draft capital to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Daniel Gafford.

The Mavs needed another solid big man outside of Dereck Lively II, and Gafford became the starting big in Dallas after just a couple of games. In 29 regular season games for the Mavs, Gafford averaged 11.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 78 percent from the field.

Gafford has been outstanding for Dallas, but what if I told you the Mavs were close to getting him even sooner?

Although Dallas ended up trading the No. 37 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft in a deal for Isaiah Roby and draft capital, they could have refrained from making this trade and selected Gafford. Gafford was drafted with the No. 38 overall pick, and pairing him next to Luka Doncic this early in his career would have worked wonders for both sides.

Gafford has been a lethal partner for Doncic in the pick and roll, and his fit on and off the court has been great. The vibes of the team completely changed once Gafford arrived, and his non-stop energy, defense, and dunks have made him a beloved member of the Mavs starting lineup.