“THE WHEELING AND DEALING DAYS: THE FIVE-STEP DEVELOPMENT OF A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM”
By: Landry Locker
Remember when Cuban 1st bought the team and the Mavs were the most active team in the world on draft and trade deadline days?
In the spirit of what appears to be a quiet time for the Mavs lets go back and briefly remember when the Mavs used to wheel and deal…
STEP 1: PRE CUBAN WHEELING AND DEALING
It all started during the Christmas break of 1996…
Chris Arnold appeared on the TV screen to announce Jason Kidd, Tony Dumas and Loren Meyer have been traded for Michael Finley, Sam Cassell and A.C. Green.
The entire city of Dallas looks on shocked and confused…
Sure, Finley ended up being a good player, but from that point on the Mavs seemed like a team that just made trades for the sake of making trades.
Who could forget the 65-player deal between the Mavs and Nets in which the Mavs landed the likes of Shawn Bradley, Ed O’Bannon, Khalid Reeves and company?
It wasn’t until 1998 that the Mavs made a trade that really mattered and turned around the fate of the franchise.
The Mavs upset and shocked their fan base when they traded their 6th pick Robert Traylor to Milwaukee in exchange for a man by the name of Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity (19th pick). They later traded Garrity to Phoenix for Steve Nash.
Then a metro sexual billionaire and the only man that wears shirt smaller than Matt Mosley brought excitement to the franchise and the Mavericks began wheeling and dealing with a purpose.
***The Dirk trade combined with Cuban’s purchase is when the Mavs stopped trading just to trade and began trading with a purpose***
STEP 2: CUBAN BUYS THE TEAM AND THINGS GET FUN, DEALS GET MADE WITH A PURPOSE
The year 2000: Who could forget the Courtney Alexander, Etan Thomas, Eddie Najera, Donnell Harvey draft bonanza?!
February 2001: The Juwan Howard trade, which resulted in the Mavs upsetting Utah in the 1st round of the playoffs after falling down 2-0 in a Best of 5.
One year later in February of 2002 the Howard trade was flipped…
February 2002: The Mavs trade Howard in what was originally known as the Raef Lafrentz trade, but would later be known as the Nick Van Exel trade.
That trade resulted in the Mavs taking the San Antonio Spurs six games in the western conference Finals behind Van Exel’s swagger and the continued development of Nash, Finley and Dirk.
STEP 3: THE MAVS GET CUTE AND TAKE A STEP BACK
2003: Van Exel gets traded for Antawn Jamison and Raef Lafrentz gets traded for Antoine Walker.
The Mavs get bounced in the playoffs and a league-wide soft reputation begins to develop about the Dallas Mavericks.
STEP 4: THE WHEELING AND DEALING CONTINUES AND THE TEAM GETS A TASTE OF CHAMPIONSHIP FAILURE
With Dirk as the centerpiece the Mavs continue to mold a champion.
Summer of 2004: The Mavs make the tough decision to let Steve Nash walk. The Mavs then send Antoine Walker to the Hawks in exchange for Jason Terry.
The Mavericks continued their wheeling and dealing in 2004 by trading Antawn Jamison to the Washington Wizards in exchange for the No. 5 pick (Devin Harris) and Jerry Stackhouse.
Then the Mavs traded for Erick Dampier and the great Dan Dickau in exchange for Evan Eschmeyer, Steve Logan, Najera, Christian Laetner and 2 1st round picks.
The Mavs were humiliated by Nash in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but the next season they made the finals, but blew a 2-0 lead to Miami.
STEP 5: AFTER FLOPPING IN THE 2006 FINALS AND THE 1ST ROUND THE NEXT SEASON THE DEALING CONTINUED AND WHEN EVERYTHING SEEMED HELPLESS A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM WAS FINALLY MOLDED
Three of the four seasons after choking in Finals the Mavs were eliminated in the 1st round. Everything seemed helpless, but during the course of that time the Mavs developed a championship team.
February 2008: Devin Harris was packaged for Jason Kidd.
July 2009: Jerry Stackhouse was sent away in a four-team deal that brought Shawn Marion to Dallas.
February 2010: Josh Howard is dealt to Washington in exchange for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Deshawn Stevenson.
July 2010: Erick Dampier’s expiring contract was traded for Tyson Chandler.