The Top 5 Worst Draft Picks in the History of Your Dallas Mavericks

Samaki Walker.jpg
Coulda been Kobe
Determining the best Mavs' pick of all-time is simple: Dirk Nowitzki.

You know the story. In 1998 then-general manager Don Nelson took the giant German in a draft-day switcheroo with the Milwaukee Bucks for the late, not-so-great Robert "Tractor" Trayor.

Just a week after their championship parade climaxed in the same building, tonight at American Airlines Center the Mavs will have the 26th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Dallas has to plan for the July 1 lockout, re-sign free agents Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea all the while trying to save some pennies for 2012 free agents such as Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.

But first, they must make a pick that stays off this list of laughable misses. And even though he amassed more NBA Finals' tattoos (1) than playoff minutes (0), no, last year's top pick Dominique Jones doesn't sneak among the worst.

5. Chris Anstey -- Hyped by Nelson as the "best running big man in the NBA", the Australian 7-footer was an absolute joke as the 18th pick in '97 (the Mavs actually acquired him in a draft-day trade with Portland for Kelvin Cato). Too skinny and embarrassingly unskilled, he started just 23 games in three seasons before going back Down Under to, we can assume, run. Mavs' should've taken Stephen Jackson, or even Bobby Jackson.

4. Randy White -- Pegged as the next Karl Malone as a power forward out of Louisiana Tech, the 8th overall pick in '89 fell flat. In five seasons he never averaged more than 9.7 points per game. Mavs could've taken Shawn Kemp, Mookie Blaylock or Vlade Divac.

3. Bill Garnett -- A stiff, white, horrible power forward from Wyoming, the No. 4 overall pick in '82 simply couldn't play at the NBA level despite the amazing "character" so praised by then-GM Norm Sonju. Somehow the Mavs ascended to '80s greatness despite this botched pick that should've been Fat Lever or Ricky Pierce.

2. Leon Smith -- A year after landing Dirk, Nellie went absolutely nuts and drafted an immature, unpolished Chicago high-schooler with mental problems. Drafted 29th overall in '99, Smith never played a game in a Mavericks' uniform and only 15 overall with the Hawks and Sonics. Meanwhile, 28 picks later, the Spurs selected Manu Ginobli.

1. Samaki Walker -- Needing a power presence to supplement The Three Js (Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn), the Mavs took the Louisville power forward with the 9th overall pick in '96. Walker played only three years in Dallas, but produced a 10-year career punctuated by starting 63 games on the Lakers' championship team in '02. Drafted after Walker: Peja Stojakovic (15th), Steve Nash (14th) and a guy named Kobe Bryant (13th).


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23 comments
Sanity
Sanity

Where's Cherokee Parks?

Failure Jesus
Failure Jesus

We thought Richie was lazy when he gave us top ten lists.  Now the lists are down to five.  So sad.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Worst, with the worst of all at the top:

85 - Detlef Schrempf (decent player but they did not pick Karl Malone or Charles Oakley. Why God Why?)

96 - Samaki Walker (sucked as a player, missed out on Kobe, Peja, Nash, Zydrunas ...)

89 - Randy White

82 - Bill Garnett (sucked and missed out on Fat, Sleepy, Ricky Pierce...)

80 - Kiki Vandeweghe (decent player but they shoulda checked to see if he would want to play in Dallas)

Sleepy Sam
Sleepy Sam

Doug Smith at 6? Who cares that a 29th pick didn't pan out?

Gary
Gary

Mavs must not save up anything for potential free agents like those you mentioned, as those players always head to the coast.  And again wish NBA would end silly policy of not announcing these trades until the round is over.    Do it like the NFL, and we know exactly who is drafting whom.

Just Me
Just Me

How can Dirk be the Mavs best draft pick of all time when he wasn't drafted by the Mavs?

Storm_71
Storm_71

Why do you use the word "climax" so much?

Redleather
Redleather

Brittle more shores. No wicked periodical modicum of Dirk. Shoes after. Frumpy a ten no more we indulge down to five for harken. Toe your mentions.

Pavel Podkolzin
Pavel Podkolzin

When does the list of top 5 worst roulette decisions Richie Witt's ever made come out? 

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Meh. Wake me up when your basketball boner goes away and you start writing about other stuff.

Pavel Podkolzin
Pavel Podkolzin

 When does the list of top 5 worst roulette decisions Richie Witt's ever made come out?

Pavel Podkolizin
Pavel Podkolizin

When does the list of Top 5 worst roulette decisions Richie Whitt's ever made?

Richard E. Williams
Richard E. Williams

Exactly.  I was looking for Cherokee Parks on this list, too.  1995, 1st round pick, 12th overall, FLOP!!!!

Sleepy Sam
Sleepy Sam

Mavs got Ro Blackman with the Kiki trade so you can't really call it a bad pick

Chickenpants
Chickenpants

2 minutes with KIki's daddy would have told them he would never play in Dallas.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

The meaningless, half-assed commentary as filler for a personal blog link. Isn't there some way to promote ones self without leaving little turds all over all the other lawns?

Richard E. Williams
Richard E. Williams

Didn't you read the article, "Me?"  Dirk was acquired in a draft-day trade, which means the Mavs didn't draft him exactly...they traded Robert Traylor for him, but it was on draft night, so it was the same effect as drafting him.

Pavel Podkolzin
Pavel Podkolzin

 damn it i tripled post. The internet and english are not russia strong point like military and sexual videos.

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