The Dallas Mavericks fell for the second straight year in the NBA playoffs to the LA Clippers, and things have gone off the rails ever since.
Since Luka Doncic hinted that he was looking forward to signing a max extension in the immediate aftermath of their playoff exit, the Mavs have entered a troubling place. Reports came out regarding a virtual front office coup (Athletic paywall), with analytics executive Haralabous Voulgaris functioning as a shadow general manager undermining Donnie Nelson, the real general manager.
The Dallas Mavericks capped off a troubling week with a front office overhaul.
There was obviously trouble percolating in Mavs HQ, but with the promising Doncic, it seemed like surely whatever was going wrong behind the scenes could be worked out. Surely, fixing things wouldn’t require cleaning out the actual general manager and head coach, right? Because that seems crazy.
Well, it turns out that crazy things happen in the NBA, and the Dallas Mavericks entered the land of insanity. Last week, Nelson and the Mavs parted ways, and then shortly thereafter head coach Rick Carlisle departed as well, ultimately to be swiftly hired by the Indiana Pacers as their new head coach. (No word on the shadow GM yet.)
That left one of the most promising superstars in the NBA with a rudderless team; no top basketball executive or head coach. All of this going into an offseason where something is going to have to be done about Kristaps Porzingis (if possible), and the roster around Doncic is going to have to be shored up. After all, if there’s one thing the NBA has taught us, it’s that no one man can do it all and win a championship, so there may be no more important offseason in recent Dallas Mavericks history than this one.
Heck of a time to have a complete front-office turnover.
Almost immediately after Carlisle hit the road, Jason Kidd’s name hit the top of the list for potential hires. Obviously, the list of negatives that come with Kidd is extensive, from a college mutiny that got his coach fired, to DWI, to the holy grail of dreadful behavior: spousal abuse. He has also never shown any indication of being a capable NBA head coach in his previous stops with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.
He is categorically a bad guy and not a good coach. However, he used to play for the Mavs, and players around the NBA respect him, so that’s good enough for owner Mark Cuban.
Kidd was hired as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, a disappointing result considering the troubling history of sexual harassment and related misconduct in the team’s front office. It seems as though turning a continued blind eye to this history and to perpetrators of abuse is the official policy of the Dallas Mavericks after this hiring.
Along with Kidd, the Mavs hired Nico Harrison as their new general manager. Harrison is a former Nike executive who has a long history with many NBA players, and there’s hope in the organization that the regard those players hold for him will go a long way in free agency.
So now the Mavs will rebuild their front office and coaching staff on the fly while preparing for the NBA draft and a vitally important free agency period. With a first-time general manager and a head coach who has been fairly poor at all of his stops so far, it’s going to be a tall task indeed.