In the past couple of days, reported frustration between franchise cornerstone Luka Doncic and rising front-office star Haralabos Voulgaris bubbled to the surface. However, both Voulgaris and team owner Mark Cuban shot those rumors down.
Less than 48 hours later comes news that long-time Mavericks GM and president Donnie Nelson is out, the sides saying they agreed to part ways.
The Dallas Mavericks and Donnie Nelson have mutually agreed to part ways. pic.twitter.com/YRg8pF15oG
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 16, 2021
Voulgaris appears to be out as well, reports Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer, but the Mavericks have not announced that.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Cuban has hired a search firm to help find the team’s next GM.
The Mavericks have hired a search firm and have opened the search for a new head of basketball operations, league sources say.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 16, 2021
While new GMs often want their own coach in place, Cuban has shot down the idea of Dallas letting go of long-time coach Rick Carlisle.
Doncic is up for a supermax contract extension this summer and has implied he will sign it. Any new GM would make that offer, but how to build a winner around Doncic will be the real challenge for whoever takes Nelson’s seat. Dallas wants to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. this offseason, and while they freed up money to chase an impact free agent that market dried up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, and others re-signing with their current teams. Then there is the big issue: Kristaps Porzingis is not a No. 2 option on a championship team but has three years, $101.4 million remaining on an anchor of a contract.
Nelson was GM of the Mavericks since 2005 and helped put together the roster around Dirk Nowitzki that won Dallas its only NBA title. He also drafted Doncic.