With Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki scoring his 30,000th career point Tuesday night, it’s a great time to revisit the 1998 draft when Dallas landed Dirk. The Mavs head coach and general manager Don Nelson had a spectacular night as he acquired Dirk along with point guard Steve Nash in a three-team draft-night trade. Here are the details:
– The Mavs drafted Robert Traylor with the No. 6 pick
– The Bucks took Nowitzki at No. 9 and Pat Garrity at No. 19
– The Mavs traded Traylor to the Bucks for Nowitzki and Garrity
– The Mavs turned around and traded Garrity to Phoenix for Nash, a back-up point guard
According to many accounts, the trade was pre-discussed before the draft with the Mavs and Bucks agreeing to select Traylor and Nowitzki respectively (if available) and swap them soon thereafter.
Of course, after the draft, sportswriters across the country wrote up their draft analyses and gave “draft grades” for each team. One of these scribes was Eddie Sefko, then a staff writer with the Houston Chronicle. Let’s take a look at Mr. Sefko’s review of Dallas’ draft performance:
“Dallas Mavericks: F
The Mavs had an infatuation with Dirk Nowitzki from the start, but they basically gave up the No. 6 pick and an almost-certain lottery pick next season to get Phoenix’s Steve Nash and the German big man. Europeans are such a risky bet, especially in the lottery. So many bust. So few bloom. And Nash is a gamble.”
Yeah, that’s a swing and a miss.
Dirk Nowitzki forever.