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Roundtable: Favorite one-year Mavericks, Part 1

Diving into less remembered history

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

All we have these days is time to think. On that note, who is your favorite player who spent just one year in a maverick uniform? Click here and sort by years. The list is wild.

Doyle: I have two favorite players that only spent a season with the Mavericks. They are Corey Brewer and Josh McRoberts. Neither had storied seasons with Dallas. Brewer appeared in only a handful of games but did have a pivotal performance against the Lakers in the playoffs. McRoberts spent much of his time with the Mavs recovering from multiple foot and knee injuries. He endured those throughout his time with the Miami Heat, where he was never able to recapture his point forward glory days with the Bobcats, before coming to Dallas.

While many fans will forget these two, I won’t. Their careers taken as a whole far exceed their diminished roles with the Mavericks. After leaving Dallas, Brewer went on to start for several more seasons on playoff teams prior to finding himself out of the league this season. As for McRoberts, his career came to an end before to the start of the very next season after he failed to make the San Antonio Spurs’ roster out if training camp. He was only 31

Jordan: Having grown up a massive University of Arizona basketball fan, Richard Jefferson’s single season with the Mavericks was a lot of fun.

Late in his career, Jefferson had become something of an NBA journeymen by the 2014-15 season, having played for five teams over six seasons. But in Dallas, he was part of the most exciting, dramatic, infuriating Mavericks season in the post-title era.

I was surprised to see he averaged just six points per game, while also shooting 43-percent from three that year because it felt like he did more — this may be due to my romantic memory or Carlisle’s wizardry with vets.

Even if he wasn’t a great contributor to that 50-win team, this play alone gets my pick. The most ridiculous, disrespectful, jaw dropping offensive foul I’ve seen. Now made a bit funnier since RJ pulverized the soul of then-victim, now-Maverick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Matt: Take a look at the Mavs’ roster today. Luka Doncic is a no-doubt superstar. Kristaps Porzingis is a 7’3” unicorn who hates when people call him a unicorn and was rounding back to to All-Star shape this season after missing 18 months of basketball. But despite being home to two of the best players under 25, the player who perhaps needs the least amount of introduction is the ever-lovable Boban Marjanovic. Who could find a bad thing to say about Dallas’ fun-loving giant? No one, that’s who!

But what if I told you that for as gregarious as the big Euro is for the Mavericks now, just a few years ago we had a player whose ability to be hated by fan bases league-wide creates almost a perfect mirror image of the big man we all adore? Well, there was, and his name was Zaza Pachulia.

In the 2015 free agency scramble that saw DeAndre Jordan torpedo the Maverick’s offseason plans, the front office had to try and make something out of nothing. Jordan’s reversal came so late in free agency, many replacement targets had already been swiped but by other teams. In the end, Dallas was able to pull Zaza away from the Bucks for literally nothing — a 2nd round pick that never conveyed.

In a year where everyone was getting their shots off at the Mavs and their fan-base for being humiliated in free agency once again, Zaza was there to dish that hate right back out at everyone he played. Other fan bases despised him. Which, fair enough. He was, like, a pretty dirty player. But you know what? He was on our team so who’s laughing now? Not only that, but as a player who was shipped off for nothing, Zaza had a career year for the Mavericks and came just 14,000 votes and one “Kawhi Leonard being mis-labeled as a forward” away from making the All-Star game on a surge of votes from ecstatic Georgians and a Vine (RIP) mega-star’s Twitter crusade.

For a moment in Mavs’ history when it felt like what I wanted was a player to go out on the court and give the middle finger to everyone in the arena, Zaza filled that role and more.

Kirk: Lamar Odom? DeAndre Jordan? Wait you said favorite one-year Maverick. The list is something I’ve spent far too much time looking at. Chris Douglas-Roberts came to mind, but that’s because he was the first Maverick in the locker room to be nice to me. Kevin Willis is another fun one because he was 44 at the time he suited up for five games. But neither of these guys really played enough.

After some thinking, it really might be Jose Calderon! My memory says he played more than a year in a Dallas uniform, but while he wasn’t a long time Maverick, he played every game but one in the crazy 2013-14 season, totaling nearly 2,500 minutes. Compared to his more flashy back court counterpart Monta Ellis, Calderon was a quiet model of consistency. He couldn’t guard a chair but neither could a good chunk of that team. He shared the ball well, didn’t turn it over much, and shot an insane 45% from distance on over five attempts a game.

I really have a fondness for that entire team, considering their playoff series against the Spurs. Jose Calderon is an underappreciated part of that team.