Introduced in the 1980-81 season, the Dallas Mavericks franchise has had its ups and downs since coming into the league over 30 years ago.
Dallas has won only three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010) during their existence, but during stretches of the 1980s and 2000s there were few teams more consistently in the upper echelon of the league than the Mavericks.
Dallas also cemented several "almost" championship years, with their first NBA title in 2011.
In the 1990s, however, the Mavericks were one of the worst franchises in the NBA and missed the playoffs every year from 1991-2000.
Conversely, they haven't missed the postseason since 2000, although that streak is in serious jeopardy this season.
Dallas has certainly had their fair share of great players during their history.
Over the course of the last 32 seasons, the Mavericks have had dozens of All-Stars and players considered to be among the best at their position in the NBA.
But what if Dallas could create a 12-man dream team based on the contributions they made to the Mavericks franchise?
Some names are obvious, but others require a bit more thought to pick out the best 12 in Dallas Mavericks history.
Here are the three players that just missed the cut on making the 12-man roster, but still make the team as reserves.
Guard: Steve Nash (1998-2004)
Steve Nash will go down as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, and he spent a significant portion of his career in Dallas. Nash ranks fourth all-time in franchise history in assists and sixth in three-point field goals.
Forward: Jamal Mashburn (1993-1997)
Despite only playing a limited time in Dallas, Mashburn's first two seasons in the NBA playing with the Mavericks were two of the best he would ever have. Mashburn averaged 19.2 and 24.1 points per game in those two seasons, earning All-Rookie First-Team honors in 1995.
Center: Shawn Bradley (1997-2005)
Despite often being labeled as a bust, 7'6'' Shawn Bradley is among the most productive centers in Mavs history. Bradley is the franchise leader in blocked shots at 1,250 and is fourth in rebounds.
You really can't go wrong with any of the three point guards on the Mavericks roster for the starting spot, but when you look at the stats, the honor has to go to Derek Harper.
Harper played 12 of his 16 NBA seasons in Dallas, and is the Mavericks all-time assists leader with over 5,000 and is also third in games played.
Harper was the glue of the Mavericks playoff teams in the 1980s, and helped lead them to the conference finals in 1988.
Harper could also score the ball, averaging as much as 19.7 PPG for the Mavericks in the 1990-91 season. Harper is fourth on the Mavericks' all-time scoring list only behind Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre.
Although fans of this generation may think more of Steve Nash or Jason Kidd as the Mavericks greatest point guard, Derek Harper is a worthy starter of the Mavericks dream team.
Until he was surpassed by Dirk Nowitzki, there was no greater player in Dallas Mavericks history than Rolando Blackman.
Blackman spent 11 seasons with the Mavericks and was a four-time All-Star while playing in a Dallas uniform.
Under Blackman, the Mavericks made the playoffs six different times during the 1980s. For his career, Blackman averaged 18 points per game, and is second behind Nowitzki on the Mavericks all-time scoring list with 16,643 points scored.
During his prime, Blackman was among the best players in the NBA at getting to the rim and finishing. As his career went on, he also developed a solid outside game.
Blackman was never able to lead the Mavericks to the NBA finals, but his historical significance with the team is unquestionable.
Another staple of the Mavericks in the 1980s was Mark Aguirre.
The other half of the dynamic Blackman-Aguirre combo, Aguirre is just behind Blackman on the Mavericks all-time rankings in points scored with nearly 14,000.
Aguirre was a three-time All-Star in Dallas, making the team in 1984, 1987 and 1988.
In the 1983-84 season, Aguirre was absolutely dominant, averaging 29.5 PPG—behind only Adrian Dantley for best in the NBA. In fact, Aguirre played five seasons in Dallas in which he averaged over 24 PPG, showing that in his prime, there were few better scorers in the NBA.
Along with being third in points, Aguiree is sixth in rebounds in Mavs history, and ninth in assists.
Aguirre often gets lost in the shuffle of the other great players of the 1980's, but he is without a doubt one of the greatest Mavericks of all time.
As if there was any doubt.
The consensus best player in Dallas Mavericks history Dirk Nowitzki is the easy pick for starting power forward on the Mavericks dream-team.
Nowitzki's stats with the Mavs are unparalleled. Dirk is the 18th-leading scorer in NBA history, and he has done it all in a Mavericks uniform.
Dirk is an 11-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA performer, a former NBA regular season and finals MVP and an NBA champion.
Not surprisingly, Nowitzki dominates the Mavericks all-time ranks. Dirk is No. 1 in games played, points, minutes, field goals, three-point field goals, free throws and rebounds. He is also second in blocks and fifth in assists.
No player in Mavericks history can hold a candle to Dirk Nowitzki's accomplishments in the NBA. When all said and done, not only will he go down as the greatest player in Mavericks history, but one of the greatest of all time.
Sam Perkins spent the first six of his 17 years in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks.
While many may associate him with his time playing for the Lakers and SuperSonics, Perkins remains one of the best big men to ever play for the Mavericks.
From 1985-1989, Perkins averaged between 14.2-15.9 PPG in each season for Dallas, along with securing between 7.5-8.8 RPG.
Perkins made the All-Rookie First-Team in 1985, along with Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.
Perkins cracks the top 10 in games played for Dallas with 471, is eighth all-time in points and third in rebounds.
While he may not have had the same impact as Blackman and Aguirre did on the Mavericks in the '80s, he is still a solid starting center in the Mavericks all-time roster.
Jason Kidd's two stints with the Mavericks push him past some of the other great point guard's in Dallas history into the backup role.
Kidd's statistics as a player speak for themselves. He ranks second all-time in assists behind only John Stockton. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star, third in three pointers made and third all time in triple doubles.
Kidd is third in assists in Mavericks history, fourth in three-pointers, second in steals and was Rookie of the Year in 1995.
It is his second stint as a Maverick that leapfrogs him past Nash and some other point guards that were great for the Mavericks.
Kidd was the anchor of the Mavericks championship team in 2011, and even though his skills had diminished by that point, he still played a huge role in them running through the playoffs and winning the franchise's first NBA title.
Michael Finley often gets forgotten about in Mavericks history, but he was a huge contributor to the 2000s Mavericks teams who challenged year in and year out for the Western Conference crown.
Finley made the All-Star team in 2000 and 2001 with Dallas and is fifth all time on the Mavs' scoring list with 12,389 points scored.
Finley was a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc and hit 870 three-pointers for the Mavericks in his career. Five times during his tenure with the Mavs, Finley went over the 20 PPG mark, including a career-high 22.6 average in 1999-2000.
Finley played the final five seasons of his career for the Mavericks' chief rival, the San Antonio Spurs, which has skewed the memory of Finley for many Mavs fans. However, when looking back on his contributions, it's hard to argue that Finley doesn't belong on the Mavs' dream team.
Throughout the 1980s, Brad Davis was a consistently solid player for the Dallas Mavericks. While others like Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Sam Perkins and Derek Harper stood out more, Davis was always there making solid contributions for the franchise.
Davis played with Dallas all the way from 1980-1992, making him one of the longest tenured players in team history. Davis is second only to Dirk Nowitzki in games played, is second in assists to Harper and is seventh in points scored.
Davis started at point during the mid-'80s before giving way to Harper and playing a backup role. Even coming off the bench however, Davis found ways to make an impact.
While Davis was never the most talented Mavs player, his consistency over 12 seasons and over 4,500 assists make him deserving of a spot on the Mavericks all-time team.
Jason "Jet" Terry was the second-best player on the Mavericks throughout the mid to late 2000s and into the 2010s.
Terry played a huge role in the Mavericks winning the NBA championship in 2011, and his ability to score the basketball—especially in key moments—propelled the Mavericks into a title contender throughout his time with the team.
Terry sits only behind Dirk Nowitzki in three-pointers made with 1,140 for Dallas, and he is sixth in both points scored and games played while being seventh in assists.
Terry won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for the Mavericks in 2009, a season in which he averaged 19.6 PPG.
While Terry was never the best defender, he did play an invaluable role on offense and made up one of the best one-two punches in the NBA with Dirk Nowitzki.
While researching the all-time greats in Mavericks history, it was obvious to see that there were more guards than forwards and centers that have made a big impact in Dallas.
That is why a player like Jay Vincent who played only five seasons with the Mavericks still makes the list of the Mavericks all-time great roster.
Although Vincent only played a limited amount of time with the Mavericks, his play was significant enough to land him on this list.
Vincent makes the top-10 list in scoring for the Mavs at No. 10 with over 6,400 points scored. Vincent averaged over 18 points for the Mavericks in three of his five seasons, including 21.4 in his rookie season of 1981-82, which earned him All-NBA Rookie First-Team accolades.
Vincent never caught on anywhere else in the NBA after leaving Dallas, but he does stand out in Mavericks lore as one of the better scoring forwards the team has ever seen.
Josh Howard played a huge role in the mid-2000s Mavericks teams, including the one in 2006 that won the Western Conference championship.
Although Howard has struggled since leaving Dallas, when he was in his prime, he was one of the NBA's best small forwards.
Howard actually made the All-Star team in 2007, when he averaged 19.9 PPG. In fact, Howard had a three-year stretch from 2006-2009 in which he averaged no less than 18 points per game.
Howard is ninth in Mavericks franchise history in points scored, eighth in three-pointers and 10th in rebounds.
Although the Mavericks didn't capture a championship in Howard's tenure, they did consistently dominate the Western Conference (at least in the regular season)—in large part due to Howard's contributions.
James Donaldson was never spectacular in his NBA career, but he was a consistently good defensive player for the Mavericks in the 1980s and '90s.
Donaldson's best performance was his 10.8 points, 11.9 rebounds season in 1986-87, but throughout his time in Dallas, Donaldson was among the best rebounders in the NBA year in and year out.
He falls just below Dirk Nowitzki on the list of the best rebounders in Mavericks history with 4,589. Donaldson also is third in blocks, behind Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley.
Donaldson was never much of a scorer, but he hardly needed to be with the players he was playing with such as Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre.
Donaldson was invaluable to his team due to his willingness to fight for rebounds and protect the paint with his 7'2'' frame, and his play was a huge reason why Dallas was so successful in the late '80s.