Coming off a 50-win season in 2015, Mavericks president Donnie Nelson said Rick Carlisle could coach Dallas as long as he wants. A short time later, the Mavericks gave Carlisle a five-year, $35 million contract extension that ran through 2021-22.
In the four seasons since, Dallas has gone 42-40, 33-49, 24-58 and 27-40.
But that downturn won’t undermine Carlisle’s job security.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Carlisle is a good coach with a thorough understanding of what’s happening on the court. He also guided Dallas to the 2011 NBA title, further entrenching himself there.
Hired about a week after the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, Carlisle is the NBA’s third-longest-tenured active coach. Spoelstra and Carlisle trail the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, of course. With these repeated extensions, Carlisle has a chance to outlast both.
The Mavericks are entering their next era with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. They give Carlisle more talent than he has had in years, and about $30 million in cap space offers Dallas an opportunity to add even more. It’ll be on Carlisle to ensure everything runs as smoothly as hoped.