DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks NBA Draft history is dotted with an almost endless array of "almosts.'' ... of the Mavs selecting Player B when history later demonstrated that Player A was a legend.
But in the 1984 NBA Draft, the Mavs truly tried to get it right. ... By attempting to trade to acquire the rights to Michael Jordan.
“We had really strong offers for Michael from both Philadelphia and Dallas,'' former Chicago Bulls general manager Rod Thorn said, per ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan. "Plus other lesser offers. Couldn’t do it.”
The Bulls of course ended up with the top player that year - but didn't have the No. 1 overall pick in 1984. That honor belonged to the Houston Rockets, and they selected Hakeem Olajuwon. Nothing wrong with that pick.
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The No. 2 slot was owned by Portland. The Blazers chose Sam Bowie; that did not work out well.
The Bulls picked No. 3. According to Thorn, Chicago knew what it had going there ... and so did the Mavs, who sat in the No. 4 slot but attempted to slide up one notch ... one world-altering notch.
Jordan exploded onto the NBA scene, of course, as he became that season's Rookie of the Year by averaging 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. And then, amazingly, he became even greater than that, year after year, championship after championship, and is presently the centerpiece of the wildly popular "The Last Dance'' documentary.
The Mavs settled for the selection of Sam Perkins, and nothing especially wrong with that ... though one pick behind Dallas came the Sixers, the other team that was trying to swap up to Jordan. And Philly at No. 5 got a fine consolation prize with Charles Barkley.