Hawks Killed Chance for Celtics’ Paul Pierce to Join Mavs Says Mark Cuban

Paul Pierce 2008 Finals Wheelchair Game

Getty Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics puts a shot up over Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol.

Paul Pierce almost became a member of the Dallas Mavericks during his playing career.

For those keeping score at home: At the NBA’s trading deadline in 2013, the Mavs had a deal in place to bring The Truth to Dallas in a three team trade involving the Celtics and he Atlanta Hawks.

BUT…it ended up not happening because Atlanta pulled out.

“Back in the day we were but Atlanta killed it,” Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban confirmed on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.

“We thought we had it done but Atlanta killed it.”

The package between the Hawks, Celtics and Mavs would have looked like this: Josh Smith would have been shipped to the Celtics, Pierce to Dallas and Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, and Dahntay Jones headed to the Hawks.

The deal was believed to have gone south because the Hawks wanted an additional first-round draft pick from the Celtics.

Cuban confirmed that. “I forgot what year it was,” he told Heavy Live With Scoop B.

“We had a three way deal going on with the Mavs, Celtics and Atlanta and when Atlanta saw that the other team — because you really don’t tell the other team that you might say that you’re moving him on but, when we got to the trade call and they realized what was going on, they killed it.”

Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter at the Fleet Center 15 November 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO/JOHN MOTTERN (Photo by JOHN MOTTERN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images)

DALLAS – MARCH 20: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics looks to pass against Dirk Nowitzki #21 of the Dallas Mavericks on March 20, 2008 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

That offseason, Pierce was actually traded to the Brooklyn Nets. In what is considered one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history, the Celtics sent Pierce and Kevin Garnett in a package to Brooklyn in exchange for a variety of draft picks.

Essentially those picks became Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Imagine a world where the Mavericks had Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki on the same team.

That would have been insane.

Nowitzki was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2007. The German forward is widely regarded as one of the best power forwards of all time and is considered by many to be the greatest European player of all time. Nowitzki retired in 2019 with career averages of 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Nowitzki was a headliner on the Mavs’ 2011 championship team.

A 10-time NBA All-Star, Pierce was the Celtics’ 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft out of Kansas. Although he had stints later in his career as a member of the Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, Pierce will forever be known as a Boston Celtic. Pierce averaged 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game during his career. While joining Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo, Pierce and the Celtics won an NBA championship in 2008 under head coach, Doc Rivers and against a Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol-led Los Angeles Lakers.

“Paul Pierce was the MVP of the Finals,” Pierce’s former Celtics teammate, Antoine Walker told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.

“Paul Pierce was still that guy when those guys came on that team.”

Pierce retired from basketball in 2017 and is now an NBA analyst on ESPN where he hosts NBA Countdown and The Jump.