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“One Of The Worst Trades Ever”: Charles Barkley Decisively Breaks Down Dirk Nowitzki’s Move Away From The Bucks

Abhishek Dhariwal

"One Of The Worst Trades Ever": Charles Barkley Decisively Breaks Down Dirk Nowitzki's Move Away From The Bucks

Having played his entire 21-year-long career with the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki is now considered to be a legend by the franchise’s fanbase. However, it could have all been so different, as the then-young man was initially selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1998 NBA Draft. But, the team moved him onto the Mavs before very long at all, something Charles Barkley couldn’t help but flag is deeply fortunate for the German.

On one of the more recent episodes of the Dan Patrick Show, the Philadelphia 76ers legend did not beat around the bush, calling the move one of the worst trades ever. He said,

“If you look at it from a serious standpoint, that’s probably gonna go down as one of the worst trades ever, you know. That’s gonna go down as one of the worst trades ever…Trading Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki is gonna go down…has gotta be one of the worst trades in the history of civilization.”

The Mavericks traded away their 6th overall pick, Robert Traylor in exchange for Dirk Nowitzki who was the 9th overall pick along with the 19th pick that turned out to be Pat Garrity.

While the other two weren’t atrocious by any means, Dirk’s quality was irreplaceable. After all, 14 All-Star game selections, one regular season MVP award, Finals MVP, and an NBA championship (along with a host of other awards) matter quite a bit. So, it is hard to disagree with Charles Barkley here, despite his seemingly harsh words.

And so, when one looks back at the assets that changed hands on draft night, one can’t help but pin the blame on the Bucks; specifically the Bucks scouting report for missing out on a hidden gem like Dirk.

According to BasketballNetwork, former Bucks scout Larry Harris finally shed some light on what actually took place that draft night behind the curtain.

“The deal was done well before the draft started…People come up to me and say, ‘You had Nowitzki. Why did you trade him? We never had him. Dirk was in Germany, but not a lot was known about the German game at that time.”

Due to the innocent ignorance of the Milwaukee Bucks, they were denied the opportunity to win a championship a generation before they won one in the modern era. But on the bright side, the Dallas Mavericks got just the player they needed through trades in the draft, just as they did in the case of a certain other star.

The Dallas Mavericks repeated history with Luka Doncic

The draft night trade between the Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t the first time an NBA team swung big and missed out on something bigger. Only two years prior to the ‘98 draft, the Hornets traded away the rights of a young Kobe Bryant, who went on to become an icon for the game.

While history should be enough of an indication that draft night trades don’t always work out, the next best thing would’ve been not to bet against the Dallas Mavericks, given their past track record.

However, it was the Atlanta Hawks that parted ways with their 3rd overall pick that turned out to be Luka Doncic in exchange for the Mavericks’ 5th overall pick, Trae Young. However, in this case, the trade was initially touted to be a success for both teams for years after the fact.

But looking at how, out of the two teams, one is currently competing in the Western Conference Finals (Dallas) while the other one (Atlanta) failed to even make the NBA Playoffs. Needless to say, there was only one winner in this deal.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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