The Dallas Mavericks have always been an interesting team in free agency. Who can forget DeAndre Jordan backing out of his verbal agreement in 2015 just to join the team three years later? It is no secret that Mark Cuban is not afraid to pay players, but the franchise has had trouble landing some big names.
Dirk Nowitzki was the face of the franchise for 20 years. Dallas is hoping that they have their next longtime superstar in Luka Doncic. They also added Kristaps Porzingis in a trade with the New York Knicks.
When it comes time for free agency, the Mavericks could look to add a third star to their team. They just better hope that it turns out better than these five signings did.
5. Evan Eschmeyer
A bad free agent signing is usually when a player signs a massive deal and turns out to be a complete flop. In Eschmeyer’s case, he was a complete flop already and the Mavericks still decided to pay him.
This is one of the biggest head-scratching moves in Dallas’ history. Eschmeyer signed a six-year deal worth $20 million in 2001. This is after he averaged 3.4 points for the New Jersey Nets in 74 games. Eschmeyer went on to under achieve as a Maverick averaging 1.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in two seasons.
Eschmeyer was 6-foot-11. Maybe that is what drew Cuban to him. There is not much else in way of upside. Eschmeyer was out the door in 2003.
4. Erick Dampier
Dampier had two seasons when he averaged double-digit points and only one when he grabbed 10 or more boards per game. Fortunately for him, he did both in 2003-2004 for the Golden State Warriors. Dampier averaged 12.3 points and 12 rebounds.
In a sign-and-trade deal, Dampier got a seven-year, $73 million deal from the Mavericks. This was a head-in-hands move for Dallas once the pen hit the paper. Long story short, Dampier lasted six years in Dallas and averaged 6.5 point and 7.6 rebounds.
3. Doug Christie
Doug Christie had the shortest tenure on this list. The Mavs signed the veteran point guard to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million in 2005. The length was not the issue and the money was low, but Christie was not a positive addition.
Christie lasted just seven games, doing virtually nothing, before he was released by the team. Christie left the team with an apparent ankle injury and that allegedly led to his release. There is no doubt that he had personal issues going on within his marriage as well, but that is neither here nor there.
2. Raef LaFrentz
LaFrentz was not terrible for the Denver Nuggets in 2001-2002. He averaged 14.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 51 games, all starts. Denver sent the big man to Dallas and he was not a complete disappointment for 27 games there, either. LaFrentz waited to get his contract.
Lafrentz signed a seven-year, $70 million deal before the 2002-2003 season. He played 69 games making 43 starts. Lafrentz averaged 9.3 points and just 4.8 rebounds.
1. Tariq Abdul-Wahad
This signing still doesn’t make sense all these years later. Wahad played 64 games for Denver and averaged 5.9 points per game. He was sent to the Mavericks during the 2001-2002 season and played just four games. He did not put the ball in the basket — Wahad played a total of 24 minutes in six games without making a shot.
Dallas saw that and decided to give him a six-year, $40 million deal anyway. That was immediately a mistake. Wahad lasted just 14 games in 2002-2003 averaging 4.1 points. He never played in the NBA again. Wahad arrived in Dallas as a player with no work ethic who looked like he was not interested in basketball.
Despite Wahad’s poor mindset, the Mavericks are still to blame. There is a reason that a player lasts only 236 games in the league but plays for four teams.