Thursday, April 18

10 Best Players In Dallas Mavericks History


  • The Dallas Mavericks have a rich history of talented players, with the Mark Cuban era often seen as the golden days of the franchise.
  • Jay Vincent, Sam Perkins, Roy Tarpley, Jim Jackson, Jamal Mashburn, Josh Howard, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Michael Finley, Derek Harper, Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Luka Doncić, and Dirk Nowitzki are all noteworthy players in Mavericks history.
  • Luka Doncić and Dirk Nowitzki are two of the most important players in Mavericks history, with Doncić already making a significant impact and Nowitzki being considered the greatest player in franchise history.

The Dallas Mavericks are an underrated franchise history of talented performers wearing that uniform. Many fans view the Mark Cuban era as the golden days of the past two plus decades. Dallas became a fascinating team with innovative players and coaching under his ownership, but they’ve been hosting noteworthy players long before.

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Quite a few names stand out when looking at the all-time great stars in Mavericks history. The names range from iconic Hall of Fame talents that have their NBA legacy set in stone, to those that were local fan favorites with minimal national attention. Each story of different when it comes to the greater history in Dallas basketball. The names in question deserve to be considered the greatest Mavericks of all-time.


Talking about the Dallas Mavericks surely leads us to think of two great moments of the franchise, the era of Dirk Nowitzki, who lead the team to their only Championship win in 2011, and the current era with Kyrie Irving and especially Luka Doncić, a team with potential to win it all. But beyond these three amazing players, the Mavericks have had several talented players over the years, men who left body and soul on the court and made their mark on the franchise. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 15 best players in Dallas Mavericks history.

15 Jay Vincent

Jay Vincent was a forward born on June 10, 1959, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was the 24th overall in the 1981 draft, and played 9 seasons in the NBA, five of them with the Dallas Mavericks. Vincent averaged 16.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, and a 16.9 Player Efficiency Rating in his 382 appearances with the team. He was included in the All-Rookie team in 1981-82 and contributed to the presence of the team in three playoffs.

14 Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins, a 6-9, 235-pound left-handed forward and center, is another of the players who deserves to be on this list. He was the fourth overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft, and he played six of his 17 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, in which he averaged 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. Perkins recorded a 16.0 Player Efficiency Rating, and 41.8 Win Shares (10th in franchise history).

13 Roy Tarpley

Roy Tarpley
credit: MPS-USA TODAY Sports

12.6 points and 10 rebounds per game are quite interesting numbers for a basketball player, but if we also add 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks, it gets so much the better. Those were Roy Tarpley’s averages in 280 games in a Dallas Mavericks uniform. And if it wasn’t for injuries and for his substance abuse, Roy Tarpley would surely have had a brilliant career. Unfortunately, he missed, at the very least, five seasons due to substance abuse, and that ended up ruining his NBA career.

12 Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson
credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

James Arthur Jackson, born on October 14, 1970, was a versatile player used as shooting guard and sometimes small forward. He played five of his 14 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, team that selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 1992 draft. Between 1992 and 1997 we saw him with this uniform with which he had averages of 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists, with a 15.7 Player Efficiency Rating.

11 Jamal Mashburn

Jamal Mashburn
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Mashburn was the fourth overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He played just four seasons with the Dallas Maverick, but that was enough to consider him as one of the best players in franchise history. In 214 games with the Mavericks, he recorded 19.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game, with a 14.8 Player Efficiency Rating. Mashburn had one of his best performances on November 12, 1994, when he scored 50 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Chicago Bulls.

10 Josh Howard

Josh Howard

© Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks tenure of Josh Howard is quite underrated looking back at his time with the franchise. Howard spent seven seasons in Dallas with an impressive average of 15.3 points and 6 rebounds per game as a small forward.

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There was just one All-Star appearance for Howard, but he was among the better stories of someone stepping up behind Dirk Nowitzki. Howard was considered the second all-around player on the team when the Mavericks fell two games short of winning the 2006 NBA Championship.

9 Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Steve Nash had the best years of his career with the Phoenix Suns, but he started to break out with the Dallas Mavericks. The NBA viewed Dallas as one of the most exciting teams in the league when Nash was the point guard in the early 2000s.

Averages of 14.6 points and 7.3 assists saw Nash improving each year with a total of two All-Star appearances and one all-NBA selection as a Mavericks player. Phoenix offering Nash a bigger contract caused him to leave and have an MVP improvement.

8 Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kidd had the start of his NBA career and the peak accomplishment during two stints with the Dallas Mavericks. It was actually Dallas that drafted Kidd before he moved to the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets where he became a bigger star.

The Mavericks acquired Kidd again from New Jersey where he helped Dallas win an NBA Championship as the starting point guard. Kidd made two All-Star appearances for Dallas with averages of 10.5 points, 8.4 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.

7 Jason Terry

Jason Terry

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Another important piece to the Dallas Mavericks winning their first and only NBA Championship was Jason Terry. The Mavericks acquired Terry to be a sixth man off the bench, and he became one of the best of that role in NBA history, even winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2009.

Terry stepped up for impressive playoff performances, including averaging more than LeBron James in the 2011 NBA Finals. The 16.1 points per game average for Terry’s entire career in Dallas showed how consistent he was at providing a second scoring option behind Dirk Nowitzki.

6 Michael Finley

Michael Finley

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Finley doesn’t get enough love for his Dallas Mavericks tenure since he left before they won the NBA Championship. The presence of Finley saw nine seasons in Dallas averaging 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

There was a total of two All-Star selections for Finley when NBA pundits viewed him, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash as a potential big three. Finley was the most experienced to help that core become a playoff contender until leaving in 2005 for the rival San Antonio Spurs.

5 Derek Harper

Derek Harper

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Harper is a rare story of someone never making an All-Star team to get their jersey retired by a franchise. The Dallas Mavericks witnessed Harper becoming one of the most important players in franchise history.

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Twelve seasons in Dallas led to Harper putting up 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Harper was even more important on the defensive side with two All-Defensive team selections. A move to New York saw Harper winning over the Knicks fans, but he was more important to Mavericks.

4 Mark Aguirre

Mark Aguirre

© Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

The high scoring of Mark Aguirre made him an outstanding part of the Dallas Mavericks for eight seasons. Aguirre had an average of 24.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game during his collective stint with the Mavericks franchise.

Dallas saw Aguirre make three All-Star appearances in his time there before moving to the Detroit Pistons. Aguirre won two NBA Championships with Detroit, but he is more remembered for the Mavericks tenure given his bigger role on the team.

3 Rolando Blackman

Rolando Blackman


Another player to get their jersey retired by the Dallas Mavericks was Rolando Blackman. The eleven seasons in Dallas made Blackman their best player for quite some time. Blackman averaged 19.2 points per game in his lengthy career.

The Mavericks were proud of his four All-Star appearances representing the team since it was a darker time for the franchise with few accolades. Blackman was their best player during the tough times before future eras started to contend for a title.

2 Luka Doncić

Luka Doncic
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The career of Luka Doncić has not even reached his prime yet, but he’s already among the most important Dallas Mavericks ever. Dallas made a great move trading in the draft to acquire Doncić as their building block of the future.

Doncić has put up incredible numbers throughout his young career making the All-Star team every season but his rookie year. Four all-NBA selections in his first five seasons show how stellar Luka already is, and he’s making the Mavericks more relevant than ever before.

1 Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
credit to Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There is no debate that Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest player in Dallas Mavericks history unless Luka Doncić does enough to pass him over the next decade. Nowitzki is among the rare superstars to win an MVP Award and an NBA Championship.

Dallas witnessed Dirk spending his entire career there with a career average of 20.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Nowitzki was always among the best at his position with 14 All-Star appearances and 12 all-NBA selections. The most important thing about Dirk is that he made the Mavericks franchise a much more successful organization due to his time there.

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