Jason Kidd is the best player the Mavericks have ever drafted

In their 33-year history in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks haven’t had many players who they drafted that went on to have long careers with them.

While forward Dirk Nowitzki has played all 15 of his seasons with the Mavericks and is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 25,051 points, he officially wasn’t drafted by Dallas. The Milwaukee Bucks used the ninth pick of the 1998 draft to select Nowitzki.

However, in a pre-draft trade agreement, the Bucks traded Nowitzki to the Mavs for Robert Traylor, whom the Mavs drafted for the Bucks with the No. 6 overall pick.

With the 2013 NBA Draft slated for Thursday night in Brooklyn, here are the top five draft picks in Mavs history. The players were chosen in order of their impact on the Mavs’ organization.

1. Jason Kidd

No. 2 overall, 1994

• Kidd played for the Mavs from 1994-97 and again from 2008-12. He played 500 of his 1,391 career games with the Mavs, and helped lead them to their only NBA title in 2011.

• A future Hall of Famer, Kidd and Grant Hill were selected co-rookies of the year. Kidd also was selected to the all-rookie first team.

• Regarded as one of the NBA’s all-time best point guards, Kidd was a 10-time All-Star, with one of those coming as a member of the Mavs. In 1996, Kidd became the only player in Mavs history selected by the fans to start in an All-Star Game.

2. Rolando Blackman

No. 9 overall, 1981

• He played for the Mavs from 1981-92 and was an All-Star in 1985, ’86, ’87 and ’90.

• A shooting guard with a deft shooting stroke, Blackman never fouled out of any of the 865 games he played in for the Mavs. He is the Mavs’ No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 16,643 points and the Mavs have retired his No. 22 jersey.

• In the 1983-84 season, Blackman averaged 22.4 ppg and shot 54.6 percent from the field.

3. Mark Aguirre

No. 1 overall, 1981

• Aguirre is the only player in Mavs history who was the NBA’s No. 1 overall pick in any draft. Aguirre played for the Mavs from 1981 until they traded him to the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 15, 1989.

• An All-Star small forward in 1984, ’87 and ’88, Aguirre is third on the Mavs’ all-time scoring list with 13,930 points. From 1982-88, Aguirre went six straight seasons where he averaged at least 22 ppg. He finished in the Top 10 in scoring five times, including second in the 1983-84 season, when his 29.5 ppg still ranks as the highest single-season scoring average in Mavs history.

• As a rookie, Aguirre averaged 18.7 ppg and shot 46.5 percent from the field. In all, he played 566 of his career 923 games with the Mavs.

4. Derek Harper

No. 11 overall, 1983

• A sure-handed point guard, Harper played for the Mavs from 1983-94, and again during the 1996-97 season. He also played 872 of his 1,199 career games with the Mavs.

• A fierce two-way player, Harper used his 6-foot-4 height and cat-quick feet to earn a berth on the NBA’s all-defensive second team in 1987 and ’90.

• After averaging 5.7 ppg as a rookie, Harper increased his scoring average in each of his seven seasons. Harper is regarded as one of the NBA’s best players to never play in an All-Star Game.

5. Josh Howard

No. 29 overall, 2003

• He played for the Mavs from 2003 until they shipped him to Washington on Feb. 13, 2010 in a multi-player package that landed Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood in Dallas. Howard has played 431 of his 507 career games with the Mavs.

• Howard was the last pick of the first round of a deep draft that included LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kirk Hinrich, David West, Boris Diaw and Kendrick Perkins.

• He was selected to the NBA’s all-rookie second team in 2004, and also averaged 18.9 ppg and 6.8 rpg during the 2006-07 campaign when he was selected to the All-Star Game.

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