Wednesday has represented a day of carnage around the NBA. We can now add longtime Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson to that list.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Mavericks and the front office head have agreed to part ways after a relationship that has existed for the better part of the past quarter-century.
This is absolutely momentous news for the Dallas Mavericks and their future as an organization after the team lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Nelson has been with Dallas since his father, the great Don Nelson, was the head coach and general manager of the organization back in 1998. He initially served as assistant general manager before taking on top front office duties in 2005.
Among his accomplishments, Nelson is considered one of the best international scouts in the NBA. He played big roles in bringing the likes of Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic to Dallas. However, recent player personnel failures have led to questions about Nelson’s future in Big D. That includes the now ill-fated blockbuster trade for Kristaps Porzingis, who could very well follow Nelson out of Dallas here in the not-so-distant future.
Future of the Dallas Mavericks without Donnie Nelson
All of this comes amid reports that the aforementioned Doncic is not happy with the Mavericks’ front office. Primarily, there’s seemingly a rift between the franchise cornerstone and analytical front office figure Haralabos Voulgaris.
“Cuban hired Haralabos Voulgaris in 2018, making him the team’s director of quantitative research and development. Voulgaris, a successful gambler, once told ESPN in 2013 that he believes he could “put together a better team than almost any general manager in the league. If not maybe all,” Sportsnaut noted earlier in June. “He quickly earned Cuban’s trust, becoming more involved with the organization. According to The Athletic, it was Voulgaris who initiated the Seth Curry for Josh Richardson trade that grandly backfired on the Mavericks.”
That’s a major backdrop here. While Doncic will sign a max contract extension with the Mavericks this summer, he can’t be too happy about the direction of the organization. Whether Dallas’ decision to move on from Nelson plays a role here remains to be seen.
What we do know is that Doncic performed at an otherworldly level during the Dallas Mavericks’ seven-game series loss to Los Angeles. He averaged 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists. Despite this, Dallas was not able to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
Whoever takes over for Nelson as general manager in Dallas is going to have a tough road ahead. That will include conning another team into taking on the bloated contract of the injury-plagued Kristaps Porzingis.
Said general manager will also have to find a championship-caliber supporting cast to help Doncic moving forward. If not, one of this generation’s best young players could very well ask to be traded at some point in the future.
Yeah, Wednesday acted as a franchise-altering day for the Dallas Mavericks’ organization. That happens when a general manager who has been the face of the personnel department for the past 23 years won’t report to work the next day. What happens next will define this franchise for years to come. Stay tuned!