The Dallas Mavericks won their first and only NBA championship back in the 2010-2011 season. The Mavericks, led by Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, beat Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers and LeBron James’ Miami Heat to win the NBA title.
The following year, the Dallas Mavericks were beaten by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. That marked the start of years of struggle and rebuilding for the franchise. The Mavericks have managed just five playoff appearances since their title-winning campaign in 2011.
5 greatest Dallas Mavericks players of the 2010s
The title-winning Dallas Mavericks team had two bonafide stars in Jason Kidd and Drik Nowitzki. After Kidd's departure at the end of the 2011-12 season, the team struggled to find another star to play alongside the aging Nowitzki.
They managed a coup by acquiring Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA draft, who took over the mantle from Nowitzki as the face of the franchise. The German star retired from the NBA at the end of the 2018-19 NBA campaign after spending all 21 seasons with the Mavericks.
Over the past two campaigns, Doncic has been playing at an MVP level and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the league. The Slovenian is the first MVP-caliber player that the Dallas Mavericks have had since Nowitzki in his prime.
While Doncic and Nowitzki are the obvious standouts, the Mavericks have had players in the past decade who were not as revered as the league's top players, but were important to the franchise.
Below, we look at the 5 greatest Dallas Mavericks players of the last decade or so.
#5 Devin Harris (2004-08, 2013-18, 2018-19)
Devin Harris was traded to the Dallas Mavericks from the Washington Wizards after being selected 5th overall in the 2004 NBA draft. He initially spent four seasons with the Mavericks and was a regular starter in his final two campaigns before leaving for the New Jersey Nets in 2008.
The point-guard registered his only All-Star appearance in 2009 for the Nets, and eventually returned to the Mavericks in 2013. He spent years as an impact player who could help out defensively and was involved in multiple first-round playoff exits that the Dallas Mavericks incurred in the past decade.
Regardless, Harris spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Mavericks and retired around the same time as Nowitzki at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season.
#4 Shawn Marion (2009-2014)
The Dallas Mavericks acquired four-time All-Star Shawn Marion in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors in 2009. The point-guard spent a year as a starter and was then relegated to the bench during the 2010-11 NBA season as the Dallas Mavericks relied on Caron Butler.
In January 2011, Butler suffered a ruptured right patellar tendon, which ended his season. With the forward out, Marion was reinstated as a starter.
Marion was instrumental in the Mavericks' title-winning run in 2011. He averaged 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat and won his first and only NBA title.
Marion played three more seasons with the Mavericks before leaving the team to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014.
#3 Luka Doncic (2018-present)
Luka Doncic is on course to emulate Dirk Nowitzki's career with the Dallas Mavericks, ending up as one of, if not the, greatest players in the franchise's history.
The Slovenian was picked third overall in the 2018 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks and was then traded to the Mavericks for Trae Young and a future first-round pick. Doncic averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and six assists per game in his debut season and was named Rookie of the Year.
Now in his third season for the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic has evolved into a triple-double machine and one of the best playmakers in the league. He earned his first All-Star selection in the 2019-20 season and finished fourth in the MVP voting.
This year, for the second straight season, Doncic is averaging over 28 points, eight rebounds and close to nine assists per game. At just 21, the Slovenian is already a superstar and will be the team's cornerstone for years to come.
#2 J.J. Barea (2006-11, 2014-20)
J.J. Barea spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He went undrafted in the 2006 NBA draft. After impressing in the Rocky Mountain Revue, now known as Salt Lake City Summer League, he signed with the Mavericks and spent the majority of his career as an impact player off the bench.
He is especially remembered by fans for his contributions during the 2011 playoff run. He was instrumental off the bench against Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers during the second round of the playoffs. He left the team at the end of the 2010-11 season and joined the Minnesota Timberwolves on a four-year, $19 million deal.
Barea was traded to the Mavericks at the start of the 2014-15 season and spent the rest of his NBA career with the team. He retired in December 2020, after amassing a total of 653 NBA appearances for the Dallas Mavericks, the fifth-most in franchise history.
#1 Dirk Nowitzki (1998-2019)
Dirk Nowitzki was the Dallas Mavericks’ franchise star since he was traded to the team from the Milwaukee Bucks after the 1998 NBA draft.
The German spent the entirety of his 21-year NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks. He was voted the NBA MVP in 2007 and led the team to its only NBA title in 2011, winning the Finals MVP.
Nowitzki was prolific season after season for the Dallas Mavericks and holds multiple scoring records. He was the first European to win the Finals MVP and is the highest-scoring foreigner in league history.
Nowitzki was a regular starter for the Mavericks right up until his final year. He ended his illustrious career at the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season. The German is not only the greatest player in Dallas Mavericks history but also one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA and is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer.