Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Rick Mahorn, Washington Bullets
Rick Mahorn, Washington Bullets. (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images) /
  • Five seasons w/Bullets (1980-85)
  • 373 career games w/Bullets
  • 9.0 points, 8.2 rebounds per game w/Bullets

Rick Mahorn is best known for being arguably the baddest of the Bad Boys with the Detroit Pistons. He formed a formidable frontcourt tandem with Bill Laimbeer to help the Pistons win their first NBA title in 1989. However, it was in the nation’s capital that Mahorn got his NBA start.

Washington used a second-round pick (No. 35 overall) to select the power forward out of Hampton University. Mahorn was a three-time NCAA Division II champion and an All-American starring for the Pirates. Though he starred in college, Mahorn would have to use brute force to have staying power in the NBA.

And he did just that, as he played 18 seasons over 19 years in the NBA on four franchises. His last year came with the 1998-99 Philadelphia 76ers at age-40. Incredible. So we all know that Mahorn was the backbone of the last line of defense for the Bad Boys and that he played in the league into his late 30s. But what kind of draft steal was he?

Well, Mahorn played his first five seasons with the Bullets, making 307 starts in 373 games. Mahorn averaged 9.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in 29.9 minutes per contest. Washington made the Eastern Conference Playoffs in three of Mahorn’s five seasons with the team, resulting in his first 11 of a staggering 106 career postseason games for him.

Two of Mahorn’s best NBA seasons came in Washington during his second and third seasons in the league. He averaged over 10.0 points per game in both seasons, nearly averaging a double-double in 1982-83 with 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per night.

After the 1984-85 NBA season, Mahorn would be dealt to Detroit in exchange for former Atlanta Hawks All-Star power forward Dan Roundfield. Roundfield played his last two NBA seasons in Washington, while Mahorn led the Pistons to a championship before his run in Motown ended. However, the Bullets were able to mine a strong rebounder and defender from a HBCU and got great production out of Mahorn for five full seasons.