The Dallas Mavericks are making lots of changes this offseason, although many of them don’t have to do with their players, but their management. Head Coach Rick Carlisle and General Manager Donnie Nelson have both left the team for separate reasons, although one of them has already found a new job. Carlisle, 61 years old, has agreed to a four-year, $29 million contract with the Indiana Pacers, plus incentives. This will be Carlisle’s third stint with the Pacers, as his first came in 1997, when he was an assistant coach for the team. He stayed in Indiana as the top assistant to Larry Bird from 1997-2000, meaning he was a part of Indiana’s 2000 Finals run, which came to an end against the Shaq and Kobe-led Los Angeles Lakers.
His first head coaching job came with the Detroit Pistons, from 2001 until 2003. During this time, Carlisle was named the 2002 Coach of the Year, and from there, he was named the Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers, from 2003 until 2007. This means that Carlisle had the honor of being the coach during the infamous “Malice at the Palace.” However, in his first season with the Pacers, they went 61-21, showing just how good he and his team were. After Indiana, Carlisle was hired by the Mavericks, where he has remained the coach until this season, when he was fired. He was with the team through thin and thick, such as when they won the 2011 NBA championship.
General Manager Kevin Pritchard of the Indiana Pacers had the following to say about hiring Carlisle:
“He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success. He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana.”
Carlisle then added the following:
“[General manager Kevin Pritchard] and I have talked extensively about the roster. I like their roster. It’s a team of skilled, unselfish guys that play hard. It’s always possible that moves could be made before the season, but I think Kevin and I are both very excited about getting the roster healthy and seeing what this team can be.”
Carlisle’s return will be welcomed by Pacers’ fans, as this season, Nate Bjorkgren, the head coach, led the team to a 34-38 record, and was fired. Despite the fact that this was Bjorkgren’s first season as head coach, the Pacers want to win now, and since Carlisle has a lot of experience and a Coach of the Year Award under his belt, he should help turn the team around from play-in bound to playoff bound.
Back in Dallas, changes are coming, and they are coming fast. The next Dallas Mavericks Head Coach will be Jason Kidd, who is a Hall-of-Fame point guard and 10-time NBA All-Star. Kidd began his playing career with the Mavericks, playing his rookie and sophomore seasons there. After much longer amounts of time spent in Phoenix and New Jersey, Kidd found himself on the Mavericks once again in the twilight of his career, where he won a championship with the 2011 squad. He then left the team after 2012 to sign and finish his career with the New York Knicks, which rubbed the Mavericks the wrong way. However, any hard feelings or broken relationships were patched up, as there isn’t a person in the Dallas organization (that we know of) who still holds a grudge against Kidd.
This is not Kidd’s first gig as a coach. Kidd first became the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets for the 2013-14 season, leading them to a 44-38 record. After that, he coached the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014-18, before Mike Budenholzer took over the team and Giannis Antetokounmpo became an MVP. Kidd then spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, on their 2020 championship squad and team this year. As a Head Coach, Kidd’s overall record is 183-190, slightly under .500%.
Everyone in Dallas liked the idea of Kidd becoming the Head Coach, including Carlisle himself.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players. “I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet that’s coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that’s just an opinion.”Carlisle on Jason Kidd
The other acquisition in Dallas is of Nico Harrison to replace Donnie Nelson as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations. Harrison was previously an executive for Nike, who has had many different connections with NBA players. Dating back to 2002, Harrison was involved with players throughout the league, including Kobe Bryant. He has been very influential throughout Nike, and helped to convince Luka Doncic to switch from Nike to the Nike-owned Jordan Brand in 2019. Although Harrison has never held a job in the NBA, he has been pursued by multiple teams to assume a front-office role for them.
Michael Finley, the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations, is expected to continue working with the Mavericks with Harrison as his boss, and it will be very clear how effective Harrison is as a GM starting with what the Mavericks do during this offseason. Everyone is expecting a Kristaps Porzingis trade, so it will be interesting to see what happens and how things progress.
Speaking of Porzingis, I recently thought of a very interesting trade if the Mavericks do decide they want him out. Let me know that you want to see this trade scenario with a like and/or a follow, and as always, have an awesome day!