The NBA is ushering in an era where more European stars are starting to make their mark. There are more European NBA players now than ever before. One of the leading teams when it comes to producing impactful European NBA players are the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks have had over 20 European players on their roster during the team’s history.
Mavericks fans have taken a liking to it’s stars from overseas, so much so that fans stayed up during the 2020 Summer Olympics to watch their young superstar, Luka Doncic lead the Slovenian national team. Other Mavericks fans will argue that the best European basketball player was the one that stayed with the team through good times and the bad times, Dirk Nowitzki.
These are the top 5 best European NBA players the Mavericks had throughout franchise history.
5. Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf was born in Leverkusen, Germany. He was selected eighth overall by the Dallas Mavericks, in the 1985 NBA Draft. Schrempf was 6’ 10” but his position was mainly small forward with the Mavericks. Schrempf spent three and a half seasons on the Mavericks.
During his time on the Mavericks Schrempf started in 22 out of his 246 games with them. He averaged 8.3 points per game (PPG), 3.6 rebounds per game (RPG), and 1.9 assists per game (APG). Schrempf had an offensive rating (ORtg) of 109 and a defensive rating (DRtg) of 110 while on the Mavs. His win share while part of the Mavericks was 10.2.
Even though Schrempf didn’t accomplish much while on the Mavericks, he did become a three-time All-Star, he made All-NBA Third Team once, and won sixth man of the year in back-to-back years. He also became the first of two German-born NBA players to make the NBA Finals. Schrempf left an impact on future European and German NBA players, including Dirk Nowtzki.
4. Shawn Bradley
Shawn Bradley was born in Landstuhl, Germany. Bradley found his way to Dallas as part of a big nine player trade between the Mavericks and the Nets in the middle of the 1996-1997 season. He was a 7’ 6” center, that was his main position his whole career. Bradley spent his final eight and a half seasons as part of the Mavericks.
During his tenure with Mavericks Bradley started in 274 out of his 582 games with them. He averaged 7.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, and 2.1 blocks per game (BPG). Bradley had his best ORtg and DRtg as part of the Mavs, with a 107 and 99 respectively. While a part of the Mavericks, Bradley’s win share total was 33.5.
Bradley was a good big man starter and off the bench guy for the Mavericks. Even though he didn’t win any awards as part of the Mavericks, he was great when it came to getting blocks, so much so that he was a one-time blocks leader and he also made it onto the NBA All-Rookie Team in his rookie year. Bradley is remembered as being a player that knew how to play the roles he was given and always found a way to help his team.
3. Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis was born in Liepaja, Latvia. Porzingis arrived in Dallas as part of a trade between the Mavericks and the Knicks in early 2019. He’s a 7’ 3” power forward and center, he’s split time between both while he’s been in Dallas. Porzingis has been part of the Mavericks for two and a half years but he has only been able to play with them two years, since he was injured when he first got traded to the team.
Porzigis has started in all 115 games that he has played for the Mavericks. He’s averaged 20.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.7 BPG during his time with the Mavericks. His ORtg with the Mavs is 114, while his DRtg is 108. His win share on the team so far has been 11.1.
When Porzingis is on the floor it’s almost impossible to stop him on either end. His biggest weakness is staying on the court, Porzingis has shown that he is injury prone. Based on his accomplishments so far while he was in New York, becoming a one-time All-Star and being on the NBA All-Rookie First Team in his rookie year, his future looks bright if he can stay healthy.
2. Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Doncic was originally drafted by the Hawks third overall in the 2018 draft, but on draft night, the Mavericks traded their fifth pick, Trae Young, and a 2019 protected first round pick, that turned into Cam Reddish, for Doncic.
Doncic has started in all 216 games that he has played in. He’s averaged 25.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 7.8 APG, and 1.0 steal per game (SPG). Doncic’s ORtg is 112, while his DRtg is 110. He has a win share of 22.7 for his career.
In Doncic’s time in the league so far, he’s been near to impossible to stop, becoming the Mavericks All-Time triple-doubles leader with 38. Each year he’s improved on any trouble’s he’s had. Mark Cuban and the Mavericks see the potential that Luka has and made sure to lock him up for as long as possible by handing him a five year extension. In his short time in the NBA Doncic has won Rookie of the Year, made NBA All-Rookie First Team, a two-time All-Star, and he’s made two ALL-NBA First Teams. Not to mention the accolades he accomplished while playing overseas in the EuroLeague, including becoming the youngest EuroLeague MVP. Doncic still has a long career ahead of him, but he has shown that he will be one of the top guys in the league for years to come.
1. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki was born in Wurzburg, Germany. Nowitzki was drafted ninth overall in the 1998 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks but was traded to the Mavericks in a draft night trade, sixth overall pick, Robert Traylor, was sent to Milwaukee, while Nowitzki and 19th overall pick, Pat Garrity, was sent to Dallas. Nowitzki stayed with the Mavericks his whole career, 21 seasons.
Nowitzki started in 1460 out of his 1522 games played. During his career Nowitzki averaged 20.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 2.4 APG. Nowitzki had a career ORtg of 116 and DRtg of 104. His win share for his career was 206.3.
Nowitzki was the epitome of the Dallas Mavericks. He was the most loyal player, staying with the Mavericks for 21 seasons, he’s the longest tenured NBA player to play on the same team his whole career. Nowitzki was one of the first original stretch fours, as he frequently would shoot from beyond the arc and had a career 38% from the three-point line. During Nowitzki’s career he was a 14 time All-Star, 12 time All-NBA Team, one-time NBA MVP in 2007, one-time NBA champion with the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, and a one-time NBA Finals MVP in 2011. Nowitzki is seen as one of, if not the best European NBA player of all time and the best Mavericks player of all time.
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