Skip to main content

10 Greatest Dallas Mavericks Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Dallas Mavericks Players Of All Time

Since the Mavericks began operating in 1980, the team has been a consistent contender in the playoffs. In the 80s, the team was a fixture in the playoffs thanks to a pair of All-Stars. The team struggled during the 90s, but once the team landed one all-time great, the team was among the top-tier in the Western Conference, as well as a championship-winning team in 2011.

After a brief rebuilding period, the team landed another international star and appears to have another solid 20-year run in the future. The team has been so fun to watch that the team sold out an NBA record 815 consecutive games from 2001 to 2020. That included 67 playoff games. The Mavericks are on the rise after qualifying for the Western Conference Finals, but when you look back, the team has always been near the top. That’s thanks to a strong history of great players.

These are the top 10 greatest Mavericks of all time.

Honorable Mentions

Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins

Years in Dallas: 6 (1984-1990)

Dallas: 14.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career: 11.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Honors: All-Rookie First Team (1985)

Perkins finds himself in numerous top-10 categories in team history. That includes minutes, field goals, two-point field goals, free throws, and steals. Most notably, Perkins is one of seven players that own at least 1,000 rebounds. Rebounding was his greatest strength, as his 3,767 total rebounds rank third in franchise history, as did his 2,541 defensive rebounds.

Josh Howard

Josh Howard

Years in Dallas: 7 (2003-2010)

Dallas: 15.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career: 14.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Honors: All-Star (2007), All-Rookie Second Team (2004)

During the 2000s, Howard was a consistent complement on the floor. He made his way up the scoring ladder and cracked the top 10. Howard is 10ths in field goals, two-point field goals, two-point field goal attempts, and points. Along with one All-Star appearance in 2007, Howard also made a knack as a defensive mainstay by finishing eighth in defensive win shares in team history.

Howard was the No. 29 overall pick in 2003 by the Mavericks. For six years, Howard became a productive role player. That included three straight years of averaging at least 18.0 points per game and 6.0 rebounds. After the team traded him during the 2009-10 season, he was not the same and ultimately left the league in 2012.

James Donaldson

James Donaldson

Years in Dallas: 7 (1986-1992)

Dallas: 8.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Career: 8.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Honors: All-Star (1988)

One of the best rebounders in team history, Donaldson was just a few points and rebounds away from averaging a double-double with the Mavericks. Donaldson was primarily known for his offensive rebounding. His 1,296 offensive rebounds are about 170 offensive rebounds off of Dirk Nowitzki’s record and that was tallied through 21 years in comparison to the seven seasons from Donaldson.

Altogether, Donaldson ranks second in offensive, defensive, and total rebounds. Donaldson is one of two players with at least 4,500 total rebounds, as well as one of two players with at least 3,000 defensive rebounds. His 9.5 rebounds per game are the third-best average with the team. He also ranks third in team history with 615 total blocks.

10. Brad Davis

Brad Davis

Years in Dallas: 12 (1980-1992)

Dallas: 8.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 5.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career: 8.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Honors: No. 15 retired by Mavericks

Davis never received an All-Star appearance, nor an All-NBA selection either. However, Davis was one of the first old-time greats with the team. Davis began his career with the Mavericks when the team entered the NBA and then enjoyed a long 12-year career with the team. Davis owns 883 games with the Mavericks, which is the second most games in team history. Among his other accolades, Davis ranks top 10 in minutes, field goals, field goal attempts, two-point field goals, and two-point field goal attempts.

Primarily a guard, Davis owns the second-most assists and ranks sixth in steals, and seventh in free throws and points. He also ranks sixth in both offensive win shares and total win shares, as well as 10th in value over a replacement player. Given that he had to start from scratch with this franchise, and ranks in these categories, Davis deserves to be celebrated as one of the best.

9. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic

Years in Dallas: 4 (2018-Present)

Dallas: 26.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 26.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Honors: 3x All-Star (2020-2022), 3x All-NBA First Team (2020-2022), Rookie of the Year (2019), All-Rookie First Team (2019)

Today, Doncic ranks ninth. A few years from now, who knows what his ceiling will look like? After four seasons, Doncic has accomplished things that other players in long careers have never done. That includes three straight All-Star and All-NBA First Team selections. Since winning Rookie of the Year in 2019, Doncic has taken the league by storm. With his international stardom, Doncic could grow as big as LeBron James one day.

Despite playing only four years, Doncic ranks fifth in made three-point field goals, eighth in made free throws and points. He is the team’s starting point guard and owns the 10th most defensive rebounds, where he will eclipse 2,000 total this season. His most outstanding stat is his 46 triple-doubles, which is a Mavericks record. It is 25 more triple-doubles than the previous record held by Jason Kidd. Doncic could push the greatest player of all time on this list to the limit one day.

8. Jason Terry

Jason Terry

Years in Dallas: 8 (2004-2012)

Dallas: 16.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career: 13.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Honors: NBA Champion (2011), Sixth Man of the Year (2009)

One of the best bench players in the league, Terry was a longtime teammate of Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard during the 2000s. Terry even won a Sixth Man of the Year in 2009, where he averaged 19.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Terry was one of the team’s leading scorers during the 2010-11 season, which included winning a title at the end of the season.

Terry played in the 2006 NBA Finals with the Mavericks as well, which saw the team get defeated by the Heat. For his efforts, he is one of the best to play in Dallas. He ranks in the top-10 in games, minutes, field goals, free throws, assists, and steals. His most outstanding achievement was his three-point shooting, where he is one of two players to ever record more than 1,000 made three-point field goals.

7. Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Years in Dallas: 6 (1998-2004)

Dallas: 14.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Career: 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 8.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (2002-2003), 2x All-NBA Third Team (2002-2003)

Had Nash stayed with the Mavericks his entire career, he would have been the greatest point guard ever. Nash’s MVP seasons and league-leading assists titles didn’t come until he left the team to join the Suns. However, Nash was still a two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA Third Team selection towards the final years of his tenure with the team.

Nash ranks fifth with 2,919 career assists with the team. His 7.2 career average with the Mavericks ranks third. He does hold one career record with the Mavericks. That is his 89.8% shooting from the free throw line. In the end, he ranks eighth in PER and owns a seventh place finish in total win shares and eighth place rank in total win shares.

6. Michael Finley

Michael Finley

Years in Dallas: 9 (1996-2005)

Dallas: 19.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 15.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (2000-2001), All-Rookie First Team (1996)

The true fans of basketball remember Michael Finley. This was one of the grittiest players in the league during his heyday. Finley played in every single game of the season five times and led the league in minutes per game three times. That included a streak of averaging over 41.0 minutes per game for four consecutive seasons. He nearly made it five in a row but averaged 39.9 minutes per game in 2002-03. His 39.7 minutes per game remains a Mavericks record.

While Finley was on the court most of the time, he was contributing nearly 20 points per game and just over five rebounds. Finley ranks fifth in made field goals, fourth in minutes played, and third in three-point field goals. Finley is one of five players in team history with over 10,000 career points with the team. His 12,389 career points rank fifth. Offensively, Finley was one of the best, as proven by his 43.8 offensive win shares, which rank third all time.

5. Derek Harper

Derek Harper

Years in Dallas: 12 (1983-1994)

Dallas: 14.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career: 13.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Defensive Second Team (1987, 1990), No. 12 retired by Mavericks

Like Finley, Harper was a durable player for the Mavericks for 12 seasons. Harper was a key piece of their successful teams during the 80s. Today, Harper ranks third in games and minutes played. Offensively, he ranks fourth in made field goals and sixth in made three-point field goals. Harper owns 12,597 career points, which ranks fourth on the all-time list.

Harper remains the best guard in team history from a statistical standpoint. Harper owns the career record for assists and steals. His 5,111 career assists are 600 more than Brad Davis, while his 1,551 steals are 300 more than the runner-up. When it comes to efficiency, Harper ranks fourth in offensive win shares, third in total win shares, and second in defensive win shares and value over a replacement player. Despite never making an All-Star team, he made an All-Defensive Team two times and had his No. 12 retired by the team.

4. Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd

Years in Dallas: 8 (1994-1997, 2008-2012)

Dallas: 10.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 8.4 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 12.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: NBA Champion (2011), 3x All-Star (1996, 2008, 2010), Co-Rookie of the Year (1995)

After the Mavericks drafted Kidd, he grew into a top point guard during the early stages of his career. Kidd averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.9 steals to land Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Kidd eventually was dealt to the Suns after his relationship with the team deteriorated. However, Kidd eventually came back when the Mavericks acquired him back from the Nets.

Reacquiring Kidd was a major move for the team. Kidd was one of the league’s best point guards for 10 years. He was experienced and eventually made a few All-Star appearances in 2008 and 2010. It helped even more when the team won a title in 2011. As far as records go, Kidd once held the record for triple-doubles, but he currently holds the team average for assists (8.4) and steals (1.9).

3. Rolando Blackman

Rolando Blackman

Years in Dallas: 11 (1981-1992)

Dallas: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career: 18.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 4x All-Star (1985-1987, 1990), No. 22 retired by Mavericks

Rolando Blackman is a top-3 offensive player in team history. Midway through the 80s, Blackman recorded an All-Star streak where he was a top scorer in the league. Blackman left the Mavericks as the leader in field goals, games played, two-point field goals and attempts, made free throws, points, offensive win shares, and total win shares. For those categories, he ranks as the team runner-up.

For his efforts, Blackman has his No. 22 retired. Outside of Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant’s league-wide number, the Mavericks have three players with their number retired and Blackman is one of those players. If it wasn’t for one legendary player, we would still be talking about Blackman as the best.

2. Mark Aguirre

Mark Aguirre

Years in Dallas: 8 (1981-1989)

Dallas: 24.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 20.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 3x All-Star (1984, 1987, 1988)

After landing with the Mavericks with the No. 1 overall pick, Aguirre formed a talented core with Blackman, Harper, and Davis. Aguirre played three fewer seasons than Blackman and still finds himself right around his career numbers. Aguirre scored 5,441 field goals, which was about 1,000 less than Blackman, but his number ranks third. That includes ranking third in made field goals and points with 13,930. When looking at Blackman’s career 16,643 career points, Aguirre would have been the all-time leading scorer for the Mavericks if he didn’t join the Pistons.

Getting traded was great for Aguirre because he won a championship with the Pistons. Even with the shorter experience, he went down as one of the best overall players ever. His 24.6 points per game currently ranks second to Doncic’s 26.4 points per game. Aguirre was heavily dependent on during his time, as evidenced by his 31.1% usage rate. Even with being used one-third of the time, he put up some big numbers.

1. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

Years in Dallas: 21 (1998-2019)

Dallas: 20.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Career: 20.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Honors: NBA Champion (2011), Finals MVP (2011), MVP Award (2007), 14x All-Star (2002-2012, 2014, 2015, 2019), 4x All-NBA First Team (2005-2007, 2009), 5x All-NBA Second Team (2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011), 3x All-NBA Third Team (2001, 2004, 2012), 50-40-90 Club (2007), Three-Point Contest Champion (2006), Teammate of the Year (2017), No. 41 retired by Mavericks

The greatest player in team history is Dirk Nowitzki, which shouldn’t surprise anybody. Nowitzki owns 22 career leader records. Among those records, includes games, minutes played, field goals, field goal attempts, two-point field goals and attempts, three-point field goals and attempts, field goals missed, free throws and attempts, offensive, defensive, and total rebounds. That list continues to include blocks, turnovers, personal fouls, points, offensive, defensive, and total win shares, as well as value over a replacement player.

With Nowitzki, the team was a playoff contender every year. With Nowitzki, the Mavericks made the 2006 NBA Finals and then eventually won their first championship in team history in 2011, where Nowitzki was the Finals MVP. During the Finals, he averaged 26.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. He is the only player in team history to win an MVP, Finals MVP, and lead the league in PER. Not only is he the greatest Maverick of all time, but he is in the conversation among the best in the entire NBA.


10 Greatest Cleveland Cavaliers Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Boston Celtics Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Brooklyn Nets Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Chicago Bulls Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Atlanta Hawks Players Of All Time