Mistakes are all over the world and even more when we talk about sports. There have been lots of good decisions over the years but also several that make you frown every time you talk about them. The NBA is not exempt of this and with more than 70 years ago, they surely have a couple of stories to tell.
The Dallas Mavericks have always found ways to be a competitive force in the fierce Western Conference, although they’ve always felt short when it matters the most, except during that amazing Championship run against the Miami Heat.
As we’ve stated before, the draft is a night where you made either the best or the worst decision of your life as an owner or as a general manager. Here we are going to list five of the most impressive Draft mistakes in Dallas Mavericks history.
5. Randy White (8th pick) – 1989 NBA Draft
If you see the outcome of this draft more than 20 years after it was held, you can say that there was no talent there except for two or three guys overall. Obviously, Randy White wasn’t one of them, going 8th overall by the Dallas Mavericks when they could’ve drafted Tim Hardaway or Shawn Kemp.
Albeit none of these guys ever won a Championship, they were arguably the best players in their Draft class. Kemp was stopped by somebody called Michael Jordan in the finals, while Hardaway spent his entire career trying to have a successful run in playoffs, but it never happened. It’s crazy to see that Hardaway was selected as the #14 pick by Golden State Warriors while Kemp was picked by the Seattle Supersonics three spots behind “Crossover”.
4. Bill Wennington and Uwe Blab (16th and 17 picks) – 1985 NBA Draft
The Dallas Mavericks actually had 3 1st round picks during the 1985 NBA Draft, going with Detlef Schempf at 8th and then drafting Bill Wennington and Uwe Blab at 17th and 18th, a couple of big men that weren’t nearly as good to stay put at the league and get consistent NBA time.
Thing is, in order to get Schempf, they actually passed on an NBA glory like Karl Malone, while Bennington and Blab went exactly one pick ahead of Joe Dumars, one of the best defensive combo guards in the history of the game, a 2-time NBA Champion and 5-time All-Defensive squad member and a Hall of Famer.
3. Kelly Olynyk (13th pick) – 2013 NBA Draft
I’m pretty sure this is something that every team that passed on this player keeps regretting even today. The 2013 NBA Draft wasn’t full of talent either, but we could see a couple of faces that now are set to rule the league, being Giannis Antetokounmpo one of those, while the Mavs wind up drafting Kelly Olynyk 12th overall.
The Greek Freak was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as the 15th pick in the Draft, with everybody sleeping on him. Giannis entered the league like a total strange that has earned his spot in the elite through every season he’s played in the Association, and he might as well could be the Dallas’ cornerstone for the future alongside Dennis Smith Jr and Harrison Barnes.
2. Sam Perkins (4th pick) – 1984 NBA Draft
Barkley never was able to win a Championship since even when he was playing alongside two of the great in Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon he was capable of doing it. Chuck found a way to destroy every good relationship it could have existed between him and Pip. However, nobody could even put his competitiveness and talent in doubt.
Chuck could’ve been a major force in Dallas and mentor a young Dirk Nowitzki in his first two years with the Mavericks, but they decided to go with Sam Perkins as the 4th overall pick, a guy that merely averaged 11.9 and 6 boards through his career.
1. Samaki Walker (9th pick) – 1996 NBA Draft
Coming out of Louisville, Samaki Walker seemed to be a very solid big man and the Mavericks trusted their 9th overall pick as their main guy down low for the future but he wasn’t even part of the team 3 seasons later, posting career averages of 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds on 46% from the floor.
Of course, everybody can strike out on a guy, but the fact that they could’ve had Kobe Bryant in their ranks makes this the biggest mistake in their history, and could you just imagine how dominant the team would’ve been with Kobe and Dirk? They would’ve changed basketball history for sure.