What Mavs, Sixers were willing to trade to get Michael Jordan in 1984
The airing of “The Last Dance” docuseries has brought several executives out of the woodwork, reliving stories from the Michael Jordan era with the Chicago Bulls. Among them are how the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers were willing to trade for Jordan during the 1984 NBA Draft.
According to The Athletic, Mavs general manager Rick Sund told Bulls GM Rod Thorn he’d be willing to part with All-Star forward Mark Aguirre if the Bulls surrendered the No. 3 overall pick, which was going to be used on Jordan.
Sund figured the Bulls were coming off a 27-win season and Aguirre was a popular figure after starring at DePaul. He was a former No. 1 draft pick in 1981 and was coming off being the league’s second-leading scorer in 1983-84.
Sund wanted to pair Jordan with his college teammate, Sam Perkins. The Mavs had the fourth overall pick and they “dangled” Aguirre, but the Bulls had been waiting a while for a chance to draft a difference-maker and were hell-bent on keeping the pick.
The Sixers, who owned the fifth overall pick, were also in on the Jordan sweepstakes. GM Pat Williams offered the No. 5 pick and a player for the Portland Trail Blazers’ No. 2 pick, which went nowhere. Williams then moved to the Bulls at No. 3, but while he can’t recall what the offer was, it wasn’t enough to convince Thorn to part with the third pick.
It’s wild to imagine Jordan wearing anything other than the blood red of the Chicago Bulls, but these two savvy GMs tried to rewrite history 36 years ago. Luckily for Thorn, history sits on his side.