View Full Version : In 2004, Shaq and Tracy McGrady Were This Close to Joining Dirk Nowitzki's Mavericks

10-04-2016, 05:49 PM

Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, and Dirk Nowitzki were almost LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh before LeBron, Wade, and Bosh were.

Back in 2004, six years before the Miami Heat assembled arguably the most lethal top three players on the same team in NBA history, the Dallas Mavericks almost put together a squad that might have blown the Heatles out of the water.

During that summer, McGrady demanded a trade from the Orlando Magic. He wanted to play with neighbor Shaquille O'Neal, who still had a house in Orlando after he'd already ditched the Magic as a free agent eight years earlier. Now Shaq was also demanding a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks to you-know-who.

Their plan: Join forces in Dallas with Nowitzki.

"We talk all the time about it," McGrady said that summer, according to USA Today. "Me and the Big Fella are trying to get to Dallas together now."

But it didn't happen: Shaq was traded to the Heat for Lamar Odom and some spare parts; and McGrady was sent to the Houston Rockets, where he'd form a tandem with another dominant big man.

That doesn't mean it's not fun to imagine how fun a T-Mac–Shaq pick-and-roll with Dirk spotting up on the wing would be, or how terrifying it would be for the unlucky saps who'd have to at least look like they believe they can defend it.

Still, this revelation is a little puzzling when it comes to McGrady, who lambasted Kevin Durant for teaming up with the Golden State Warriors this offseason.

"I was disappointed in the move to Golden State," McGrady said. "I wasn’t disappointed that he left, I mean he’s a free agent, he’s able to go wherever he wants. But I just think having a team now coming off a championship run and you have the champs down 3-1, and they come back and defeat you. I just think as a competitor, you would come back and try to dethrone them with the same team."

"You’re playing with a top-five point guard in Russell Westbrook. I mean to me, I think OKC is a championship-caliber team. They displayed that; they just had a major collapse in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. But I was highly disappointed that he chose Golden State to go and play for the other team. I wanted him to stay in OKC."

How great would the Mavericks have been? How many championships would they have won together?

TMac - Dirk - Shaq :speechless:

Lakers + Giants
10-04-2016, 06:00 PM
The best trio in nba history...

10-04-2016, 06:05 PM
Short window span for dominance if you ask me. Looks good on paper but they're too offense oriented. Shaq was no longer a good defender and heading way past his prime, T-Mac was always injured, and Dirk was just an average defender. Realistically, you're looking at a window of three years. Maybe 2-3 rings extra for each player, honestly.

10-04-2016, 06:08 PM
In basketball years, 3-5 year window is a fairly decent amount of time to dominate.

I just can't help but compare Dirk-Terry-J Howard with Dirk-Tmac-Shaq lol.

10-04-2016, 06:12 PM
I get they wanted to go to Dallas to play with Dirk, but how would that have happened? What assets did Dallas have to trade for one let alone both?

10-04-2016, 07:48 PM
Would have been nice but not sure they really had the assets to acquire both player via trade. If one was a UFA it might of worked but neither were.

10-04-2016, 07:53 PM
Yeah.. No way would the Lakers have traded Shaq to any team in the West at that point..

10-04-2016, 08:36 PM
Would've loved Shaq in Dallas to pair with Dirk but I remember when Kobe wanted out of LA and Cuban said at one point they thought they had traded for him but at the very last minute the lakers convinced Kobe to stay. Dirk and Kobe would've been badass to watch

10-05-2016, 08:25 AM
So this is where it all started for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, the annual off season "Oh this team would have been sooooo good if only they were able to have finished signing X, Y, or Z"
Since 2004 this has been going on. I really hope someday there is a book written about the Dallas Mavericks off season disfunctions. The first chater would have to be entitled -Toni Braxton-

10-05-2016, 09:39 AM
3 year window max and they wouldve probably sealed the deal on one of those first two seasons. Like somebody said earlier, the defense would not have been amazing. Teams like the Spurs or Pistons of that era would have made things very difficult on them.

10-05-2016, 10:08 AM
It would have been impossible without Dirk being a target. Lakers wanted Dirk, Cuban wouldn't budge IIRC and Tmac could have maybe been had for just Finley or someone but the Magic weren't going to do it without getting at least a decent player in return + taking Juwan off their books. Tmac wound up choosing Houston, wish he would have gone to San Antonio, Phoenix or Indiana instead.