There’s something unique about the Dallas Mavericks’ approach to the draft. No, this isn’t another post lamenting how they’ve handled it in years past. Rather, it’s a look at the team’s opportunistic mentality when it comes to the players that other organizations overlooked.
The Mavericks may be one of the most adept franchises at finding and signing undrafted players that go on to have productive careers. They aren’t the only team that does this, but their sting of successes warrants mention.
For over 20 years, and likely before that, Dallas’ dearth of undrafted talent is remarkable. It’s not even limited to the players they signed after the draft. There are a couple that fell in their lap after struggling to make it elsewhere. Below is a list of nine of the most memorable of such players. And, since we’re all stuck at home isolating for the betterment of society, I’ve gone ahead and made a meme out of them.
That’s right, pick your three. (Please feel free to share)
Some of these players are familiar. Some may not be. As such, here are their career statistics, which can’t necessarily quantify their impact on the floor, with the Mavericks:
J.J. Barea (2006-2011, 2014-20): 634 games, 8.6 points, 2 rebounds, 3.8 assists; Playoffs: 49 games, 8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1 NBA Championship
Raja Bell (2002-2003): 75 games, 3.1 points, 1.9 rebounds; Playoffs: 17 games, 5.7 points, 3 rebounds, 1.6 assists.
Ryan Broekhoff (2018-2020): 59 games, 4 points, 1.8 rebounds
Marquis Daniels (2003-2006): 61 games, 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists; Playoffs: 36 games, 6.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Yogi Ferrell (2016-2018): 50 games, 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3 assists
Dorian Finney-Smith (2016-2020): 135 games, 6.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Maxi Kleber (2017-2020): 209 games, 7.1 points, 4.4 rebounds
Josh Reaves (2019-2020): 2 games, no stats ☹*
Erick Strickland (1996-2000) 196 games, 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists
*Reaves is included in this list for several reasons. Reaves Hive is real and I do not want to anger that hornet’s nest—I’m one of them. He also performed well enough at Summer League in 2019 (read my exclusive interview with him from Las Vegas here) that the Mavs brought him to training camp and signed him to a two-way contract. With the G League’s Texas Legends, he averaged 13.7 points, 5 rebounds, 2.9 assists in 37 games. He’s an NBA talent and his opportunity is waiting.