All-Time best Mavericks Trades

Taking a look at each trade in a vacuum. Not looking at getting player a, which leads to trading player a for player z in a later deal (though that will turn up in some commentary). I am looking at what traded draft picks end up turning into however. Games played, pts, rebs, and assists looked at. Also gave a little bonus to key players on the championship team (Dirk, Terry, Chandler, Marion). I look at how the new player performed as a Maverick and how the outgoing player performed with his new team for as long as he played for that team. Financial implications are not considered (salaries or money dumps) I rank the best 15 trades (another least will have the 10 worst trades). Nothing from this past off-season was looked at.

(All-Time best Mavericks Free Agent Signings can be found here and All-Time best mavericks draft picks can be found here)


  1. Dirk. This is a no-brainer. June 24, 1998: The Mavericks Trade their 9th pick to the Bucks for their 6th and 19th pick. Um, what? Anyway, essentially Sarah Palin was the GM of the bucks at the time. The Mavs gave up Robert Traylor for Dirk and Pat Garrity. Garrity never palyed for Dallas. He'll end up on another top trade later on. Robert Traylor played 93 games for the Bucks scoring about 4 pts and 3 boards a game. He would later be shipped to Cleveland with J.R. Reid and they'd also give up Vinny Del Negro to the Warriors. In return the Bucks got Jason Caffey and Billy Owens. Meanwhile Dirk is a championship ring wearing Hall of Fame player that's made $160million to date. His jersey should be retired as soon as Dirk retires.
  2. Derek Harper/Roy Tarpley. Could be some controversy with this ranking. October 30,1980. The Mavs trade Richard Washington and Jerome Whitehead to Cleveland for their 1983 1st Rd draft pick, their 1986 1st Rd draft pick and Bill Robinzine. Dallas certainly benefited from Cleveland being a bad team. Washington would go on to play 87 games averaging about 7 and 4.5. Whitehead played 3 games for Cleveland before being waived. WOW. Robinzine played 70 games for Dallas averaging 14 pts and 7 boards. He would be traded a year later. Roy Tarpley (1986 1st Rd pick) could have made the Mavs a Championship team. He played his whole career for Dallas. Six seasons over 9 years. Substance abuse led to him being suspended and ran him out of the league. For his career he contributed 12.6 pts, 10.0 reb and 1.2 blocked shots. He had 17/12 potential. In December 1995 he was suspended and never came back. Derek Harper (1983 1st Rd pick) is a top 5 Mav of all time. No idea why his jersey isn't retired yet. His first tour of duty brougth him to Dallas for nearly 900 games. He averaged about 17 pts, 7 assists and 2 steals during this tenure. One of the better players to never be an all-star. Harper was a guard on 6 playoff teams, leading one of them to the conference finals game 7. Never could get past Showtime. He would later be traded by the Mavs in 1994. Is he still a sports anchor? I used to live in the Dallas market and he was horrible.
  3. Sam Perkins. September 16, 1980. A month and a half before the Derek Harper draft pick trade, Cleveland (I almost feel bad for Cleveland) traded their 1984 1st round draft pick to Dallas for Mike Bratz. Bratz would play 80 games for the Cavs that season before being traded to San Antonio for a draft pick (Les Craft, never played in NBA). It was a good season though, 10 ppg and nearly 6 apg and 1.7 spg. Sam Perkins would play 6 seasons for Dallas before running off to the Lakers. He averaged over 14 PPG and nearly 8 rpg and about 1 bpg as well. 5 of his 6 seasons, the mavs made the playoffs, including that 7 game Western Conference final.
  4. Jason Terry. August 4, 2004. Dallas trades Tony Delk and Antoine Walker to Atlanta for Jason Terry and Alan Henderson. Antoine Walker will appear three times in these two lists. Delk played in Atlanta over two seasons for 57 games. He scored 12 ppg for a horrible Hawks team. They would waive him after 1 game the next season. Walker played 53 games for the Hawks. The team was horrible so he got plenty PT. 20 ppg and over 9 boards and 3.7 apg. They would trade him for old players with big contracts and a draft pick. That draft pick would later be traded to the Suns, before being traded to Boston (Walker's most prominent team). That draft pick would become Rajon Rondo. Alan Henderson played 78 games for Dallas as a solid backup to Dirk. He would later be packaged with Calvin Booth for Keith Van Horn. Jason Terry would become the heart of the Mavs. For eight seasons he would be the team's number 2 (or 3) guy. He gave 16 ppg and 4 apg. He was there for two NBA Finals, winning one of them. His number will be retired some day.
  5. Erick Dampier. August 24, 2004. Another controversial pick, I'm sure. Just a few weeks after the deal that brought Jason Terry on board. Dallas trades Luis Flores, Chrisitan Laettner, Eduardo Najera, Mladen Sekularac, a 2007 1st round pick to Golden State for Dan Dickau, Evan Eschmeyer, Steve Logan and Erick Dampier. The draft pick ended up being Petteri Koponen who never played in the NBA. Neither did Mladen Sekularac. Laettner would be waived and never play for the Warriors, he would retire the next season anyway. Najera was popular with Dallas and had energy and knew how to draw a charge. For the Warriors he would play 42 games averaging 4 pts and 5 boards. They would later trade him and Flores for a couple spares who would be out of the league at the end of the season. Flores played 16 games of junk ball before being traded with Najera to Denver. Flores was also out of the league after the trade. Dickau played 16 minutes for the Mavs before being traded with a draft pick (later to become Marcin Gortat) to the Hornets for Darrell Armstrong. Evan Eschmeyer hadn't played since a couple seasons before and would retire after the trade. Damp played 6 seasons for Dallas. He gave them 7 pts and 8 boards and about 1.5 bpg. Every year they made the playoffs and he was there for the first Finals appearance. A lot of fans hated him and his contract but this trade essentially was Damp for one season each of Najera and Laettner, and he certainly was good for the team. Damp eventually got traded in 2010 (with Najera!) for Tyson Chandler, and another Finals appearance (and finally a win).
  6. Jason Kidd 2.0. February 19, 2008. Mavs trade Maurice Ager, DeSagana Diop, Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, Keith Van Horn, 2008 1Rd pick, 2010 1st Rd pick to the Nets for Malik Allen, Antoine Wright and Jason Kidd. Lot of bodies. When you are on the better end of a deal that sends 7 and returns 3, it's a damn good deal. Ager was a first round draft pick that never came along for Dallas. He was buried on a mediocre Nets roster as well. After 3 seasons and only 38 games for the Nets, he was allowed to leave via free agency. He never played again. Diop played on that losing Finals team wand was a solid defensive guy that had no offensive game. He finished out the year with the Nets, playing 27 games and would sign with Dallas again as a free agent. Trenton Hassell was a nice guy to have come off the bench. He would play two more seasons for New Jersey. 4 ppg, 3 rpb. His contract came up and he never signed anywhere else. Mr. Van Horn hadn't played since 2006. And he never would play again. Mavs were simply moving his money to the Nets to make the deal work. He made $4.3 million that season off the Nets and he never even showed up. Must be nice. The 2008 1st Rd draft pick would be Ryan Anderson. He played 66 games and one season for the Nets. Was a respectable 7.4 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He would later be traded to Orlando. Currently he scores over 16 a game. The 2010 1st Rd pick would be Jordan Crawford. He never played for the Nets. His pick would be traded for Damion James. The centerpiece for the Nets was Devin Harris. A former 5th pick overall that "had potential". Indeed, he manned the point for the Mavs finals team, but they were no longer going to be contenders with him getting over 30 minutes a game. For the Nets he'd have an All-Star year. He did play for them for 4 and a half seasons and gave them about 17 ppg and 6.5 agp (vs about 10 and 4 for Dallas). The Nets would later package him for Deron Williams (sigh). Malik Allen played 25 games for Dallas giving them 3 and 3. He walked as a free agent in the off season. Aggie Antoine Wright was known to be a good defensive player. And he provided good help off the bench. He played the remainder of the season as well as the next season for Dallas. He put up about 6 ppg. He would later be moved in a 4-team deal that would bring Greg Buckner, Shawn Marion and Kim Kardashian's Ex husband to big D. Jason Kidd. Future Hall of Famer. His second go-around with the club. This time it would be 4 1/2 seasons (previously it was 2 1/2). Could he have his number retired in Dallas some day? It's close. He gave the team leadership and shooting. 339 games. 8ppg, 5.2 rpg, 8.2 apg. 1 championship ring. He took his talents to the big Apple in 2012.
  7. Steve Nash. June 24, 1998. Same day as getting Dirk. This would certainly have been higher, if it weren't for one of the parts Dallas sent to Phoenix in the deal. Dallas sent Pat Garrity, Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells and 1999 1st Rd pick to the Suns for Nash. Pat Garrity (sound familiar? See Dirk). He was a Mav for less than a day. First he was sent with Dirk to Dallas, then he gets shipped to the Suns for Nash? Wow. He would play just 39 games for the Suns at 6 ppg. They would ship him with Danny Manning and a draft pick (Amare Stoudemire, they would later get his draft rights back in ANOTHER trade) to the Magic for Anfernee Hardaway (Suns REALLY got screwed in this deal!). Muursepp never played for the Suns. They would later trade him to the Bulls with Bubba Wells for 1999 draft pick Ron Artest and Luc Longley. Bubba wells, see Muurseep. Neither of the two guys would ever play in the NBA again actually. That 1999 draft pick that was part of the package for Nash? Shawn Marion. He would play 8 1/2 seasons for the Suns. 18 ppg and 10 rpg as a Sun. 4 All-Star appearances. He would actually play 3 seasons WITH Nash on the Suns. Marion was eventually traded with Marcus Banks to the Heat for Shaq. Steve Nash. Steve Nash. Steve frickin' Nash. Nash, Dirk, Finley and Cuban. Playoff basketball is finally back in Dallas. The Mavs couldn't get over the hump and it probably turned out to be a blessing that Nash would leave for more money to go...back to the Suns. Six seasons for the good guys. 2 all-star games. 4 playoff appearances. 14.6 ppg, 7.1 apg and some outstanding shooting. He helped make the team the 2nd most popular franchise in the metroplex (until Josh Hamilton came along).
  8. James Donaldson. November 25, 1985. Dallas sends Kurt Nimphius to the Clippers for James Donaldson. Straight up trades are obviously the easiest to assess. Nimphius was a 27 year old center that was putting up 6 and 5 in about 25 minutes for the Mavs. He goes to the Clippers and plays a season a half for them before being traded for a draft pick (Jeff Moe) that never made it to the NBA. Essentially for Donaldson, the Clippers got 105 games of 9 pts and 5 boards. In Donaldson, the Mavs got a 28 year old Center that would stick around for 6 1/2 seasons. About 8.5 ppg, 9 rpg and over a bpg. Pretty darn good deal. They also got 4 playoff appearances including 7 games in the Western Conference finals against Showtime.
  9. Shawn Bradley. February 17, 1997. Hear me through don't interrupt. The Morman Mantis. Everybody's favorite whipping boy. They show tons of highlights of people dunking on him, turning him into a poster, but at least he tried. Wasn't afraid. They don't show highlights of blocking the shots of super stars. No, that wouldn't be cool. He's 10 foot 14 inches. He supposed to do that...whatever. Dallas sends Sam Cassell, Chris Gatling, Jim Jackson, George McCloud and Eric Montross to the Nets for Mr. Bradley, Ed O'Bannon, Robert Pack and Khalid Reeves. Sam Cassell would stick around the Nets until being traded in 1998. He played 102 games giving them about 19 ppg and 7 apg. They would have a monster deal moving him essentailly for Stephon Marbury. Chris Gatling played 78 games in the exact same time frame as Cassell. He gave them 11 ppg and 5pg. Jim Jackson played for like 12 teams in his 14 season career. I think he was underrated, but nobody wanted him. For the Nets he played 31 games. The next season he was traded with Montross, Anthony Parker and Tim Thomas to the 76ers for Miachael Cage, Lucious Harris, Don MacLean and Keith Van Horn. For the Nets, Jackson was good. He gave them 17 ppg, 6 rpg and 4 apg. George McCloud was an excellent free agent pickup for Dallas. His play helped make him valuable as a trade piece. So valuable, he never played for the Nets because the Lakers wanted him. 3 days after the deal, he was sent to L.A. with Anthony Parker for Joe Kleine. Eric Montross played 31 games for the Nets. 5 ppg and 9 rpg was good enough for them to trade him with Jim Jackson in that deal that brought over Keith Van Horn. Ed O'Bannon was a 1st Rd bust. 19 games for the Mavs brought 2.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg. He was traded with Derek Harper to Orlando for Dennis Scott. He never played again. Robert Pack was injured. A lot. First 6 or 7 seasons when he was healthy he was good. He did stick around Dallas for 4 more seasons. When he did play he was good for 8 ppg and 3 apg. The Mavs would later move him in a 4 team deal with Hot Rod Williams and Bruno Sundov for Dana Barros, Bill Curley and Howard Eisley. Finally, Shawn Bradley. He hung on for 8 more seasons after the trade. 7 ppg, 6 rpg, and over 2 bpg. He played in the playoffs 5 straight seasons. People like to dog him. Khalid Reeves was solid. He played all 82 games the following season providing 9 ppg and 3 apg. The Mavs had a bunch of junk on their roster. They were horrible. Only once in the previous 7 seasons did they even get to 30 wins. This, along with the Dirk and Nash moves the next year would help usher in 12 straight playoff appearances.
  10. Rolando Blackman. December 3, 1980. Mavs send Kiki Vandewegh and 1986 1st Rd pick (Maurice Martin) to Denver for 1981 1st Rd Pick (Blackman) and 1985 1st Rd pick (Sam Vincent). Dallas drafted Kiki even though he made it clear he would not play for them. Eventually Dallas traded him and now Blackman is one of 2 players that have their jerseys retired in Dallas. Kiki had a real nice career. He would play 4 seasons in Denver. He Scored over 20 ppg for them (including 29.4 in 1983-84) and was a solid rebounder with over 4 per game. Dude didn't know how to miss free throws. Denver would trade him in 1984 to the Trail Blazers for Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever (underrated player) , Calvin Natt and a couple future draft picks. Maurice Martin played 2 seasons for Denver (and his career). This totaled to 69 games. 3 ppg was his contribution. The Nuggets lost him to the Twolves in the expansion draft but his career was done. Sam Vincent never played for Dallas. Dallas traded him to the Celtics for 1985 1st Rd pick (Terry Porter!). Blackman was a 4 time All-Star with the Mavs. 11 Seasons, 865 games, 20 ppg, over 3 rpg and 3 apg. Excellent shooter. 6 playoff berths. Including that 7 game western conference finals against Showtime.
  11. Shawn Marion. July 9, 2009. 4 team deal. Dallas dumped off Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George and Antoine Wright and in return got Greg Buckner, Nathan Jawai, Mr. Kardashian and Shawn Marion. Stack was good for the Mavs, he was tough. Tough enough to knock Shaq on his butt. This trade sent Stack to Memphis where he did not play a game, they wavied him. Currently he he plays for the Bucks. George went to the Raptors who then traded him a few weeks later to the Warriors. Former Aggie Wright DID play 67 games for Toronto, but was a free agent at the end of the year. As stated earlier, solid defensive player. Ex-Mr Kardashian played 25 games for Dallas. 5 pts and 4 boards per contest. He would later be traded with Shawne Williams for Eduardo Najera. Nathan Jawai never played for the Mavs. He was traded a few months later to the Twolves for a protected pick that Dallas didn't get. Shawn Marion has played the past 4 seasons for Dallas. He helped put the team over the hump and finally win their first Championship. He has given the team good defense, 11 PPG, 7 RPG and a couple assists to go with nearly a steal a game and more than a block every couple games.
  12. Tyson Chandler. July 13, 2010. I'm sure many will scream that this is too low. Dallas sent Matt Carroll, Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera to the Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca. The Dampier trade chip. I never bought into it that much, and I'm sure many (most) here were disappointed when the best they could get in return was Tyson Chandler. Well, it was the best they could get. What did that get them? Revenge against whiny Dawyne Wade. Matt Carroll never played for the Bobcats. They traded him to the Hornets for Hakim Warrick. Najera played two seasons for the Bobcats. He got a little over 2 points a game and about 2 boards a game. They cut him last year and he's not in the league currently. Dampier never played for the Bobcats. He signed a free agent contract with...the Heat where he wasn't much more productive than Juwan Howard. He's not currently in the NBA. Alexis Ajinca played 10 games for Dallas doing a whole lotta very little. They traded him to the Raptors for some guy named Georgios Printezis. Tyson Chandler only played one season for Dallas before he wanted to hang out with the cool kids in New York. But it sure was worth it. Other than Dirk (and maybe Terry) he's the main reason Dallas was able to take out the Heat. He gave the team 74 games, 10 ppg, 9.4 boards and a block a game. His numbers slipped some in the playoffs, but the competition is steeper. Dirk has jewelry because of Mr. Chandler. Definitely the best player to ever play just 1 season for Dallas.
  13. Michael Finley. December 26, 1996. Dallas sends Jason Kidd, Tony Dumas, Loren Meyer to the Suns for Sam Cassell, A.C. Green, a 1998 2nd Rd pick and Michael Finley. Tony Dumas was a scorer. In '95 he averaged over 11ppg in less than 20 mpg. For Phoenix he'd only play 6 games before being traded to the Nuggets in a deal that brought Antonio McDyess to the Suns. Mr. Meyer was a serviceable backup center that would see time in 35 games with the Suns before being cut. Kidd stuck around Phoenix for 4 more seasons before being traded to the Nets for...Stephon Marbury. He did alright I guess. 3 All-Star appearances, some all nba and all defensive teams. Cassell played 16 games for Dallas and gave them 12/3/4. He would be traded to the Nets in that deal that brought Dallas Shawn Bradley. A.C. Green was famous for a couple things. A championship with Showtime (the season where Dallas took them to 7 games in the Western Conference Championship), missing 0 games between 1987-88 and when he was out of the league in 2001, and being a virgin. Solid player for Dallas in 2 plus seasons. He provided about 6 pts and 7.5 boards to the team. He would later be traded for Sean Rooks to the Lakers, where he would win another Championship. That 2nd Rd draft pick ended up being Greg Buckner. Good pick considering it was 53rd overall. A good defensive player he'd give the team about 6/4 over 3 seasons before leaving via free agency. Michael Finley should probably get his Jersey retired soon. 9 seasons with Dallas. 5 playoff appearances. 2 all star games. Until Dirk became the German Moses in 00-01, Finley was the best player on the team by far for three seasons. He averaged about 20/5/4 for the good guys and was solid from the 3 pt line. Dallas let him go thanks to the amnesty in 2005 and he went to the Spurs to get a champioship.
  14. Caron Butler/DeShawn Stevenson. February 13,2010. Dallas sends Drew Gooden, Josh Howard, Quinton Ross and James Singleton to the Wizards for Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler. Drew Gooden has been a good player his entire career. For Dallas he'd played about half a season giving them 9 and 7. He never played for the Wizards, 4 days later he was moved in a deal that sent Jamison to the Cavs, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Al Thornton to the Wizards. Ross wasn't a player of much consequence for the Mavs and even less so for the Wiz. He played 25 games there and would be traded to the Nets for Yi Jianlian. James Singleton was a good bench guy for Dallas for a season and a half. He'd finish the season with the Wizards and add 12 games the next year. He even gave them 8 ppg and 7 boards that year. Hasn't played since April last year. Controversial timeouts notwithstanding, Howard was a good Maverick. He made an all star team. He had been good for 18 and 6 when Dallas traded him. He has never managed to stay healthy since then. He played two seasons for the Wiz for a total of 22 games. That's about 10 ppg and 4 boards. He left as a free agent. Brendan Haywood had been a good Wizard. A weak starting center, but still a good player. He'd stick around Dallas another two seasons giving them about 5 ppg and 6 boards in about 19 minutes. Not a bad piece. Dallas waived him in 2012. Caron Butler was supposed to be the centerpiece of this deal for Dallas, but injuries limited his games the next season. He finished the season in Dallas but only managed 29 games the next year. He was supposed to be Dallas' second best player in the playoffs but didn't play any games. They managed to win the 'ship without him, and people forget to mention that without a player that gave Dallas 18 ppg and 5 boards, Dallas was still able to beat the 3 headed turd in Miami. Butler would leave as a free agent. DeShawn Stevenson was an underrated pickup for Dallas. Like Butler, he played one more season, but he DID manage to play 72 games the next year and played every playoff game for Dallas in the Championship run. He had a great 3 steal game against Miami as well.
  15. Antoine Walker. October 20, 2003. Yes. Really. Admit it, you loved the shimmy shake. Dallas sent Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills, Jiri Welsch and a 2004 1st Rd draft pick to Boston for Tony Delk and Antoine Walker. LaFrentz was a Mav for a season and a half and played in about a 100 games. He provided 10 and 5.5 and nearly 2 bpg. He'd be in Boston another 2 seasons and gave them solid numbers of about 9 and 5.5. Boston would later trade him and Dan Dickau (!) and Randy Foye to the Blazers for Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and some draft pick. Chriss Mills never played a game as a Maverick, and he never played a game as a Celtic. The Mavs had recently picked him up in the Antawn Jamison trade. They of course then moved him in the Anoine Walker deal. The Celtics would move him in a deal that would bring Lindsey Hunter to Boston. Jiri Welsch never played a game for Dallas. He also came over in the Jamison Deal. He would play with Boston through about half of the following season when he'd be traded to Cleveland for a 1st Rd Pick (Rudy Fernandez). He was pretty good for the Celtics giving them about 8.5 pts and 3 boards per contest. That 2004 1st Rd draft pick would end up being Delonte West. The man that made Rome is Burning famous. He'd play 3 seasons in Bean Town. That's over 10 ppg and about 4 apg. David Stern would trade him to Seattle in the Ray Allen deal. Eventually he'd end up in Cleveland where he allegedly hooked up with Lebron's mom. Tony Delk played 33 games for Dallas. 6 PPG and about 2 boards. Jason Terry would later be traded to Dallas for Delk and...Antoine Walker. Walker played all 82 games for Dallas in his single season as a Mav. Those 82 games gave Dallas 14 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.5 APG and .8 BPG as well as .8 SPG. As mentioned earlier, he was traded for Jason Terry and eventually end up winning a championship with the Heat against Dallas. Now Walker is broke and sad. Moral: don't leave Dallas and end up winning a championship on their backs.

Other trades that were good for Dallas:

  • Bill Robinzine for Allan Bristow and Wayne Cooper
  • Dan Langhi for Eduardo Najera
  • Dennis Scott for Cedric Ceballos
  • Byron Mullens for Rodrigue Beaubois
  • Evan Eschmeyer, Avery Johnson, Popey jones, Antoine Rigaudeau and Nick Van Exel for Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch

I'll use an entirely new post to give the 10 WORST trades in Mavs history later on...

Reader Submitted

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