Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle informed the team on Thursday that he won’t be returning next season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The Mavericks have been in the news a lot lately. Dallas President of Basketball Ops Donnie Nelson left the team on Wednesday and there have been reports that Luka Doncic is unhappy with “shadow” GM Bob Voulgaris, a rumor that owner Mark Cuban shot down. Now Carlisle and Nelson are out and the Mavericks are without a coach and GM entering a summer in which Luka Doncic is up for a massive contract extension. Here’s a statement from Carlisle via Woj:
Rick Carlisle statement to ESPN: pic.twitter.com/zdKA8sWa4Y— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 17, 2021
Here’s a statement from Cuban on the Carlisle news:
Mark Cuban to ESPN: “I truly love Rick Carlisle. He was not only a good coach but also a friend and a confidant. Our relationship was so much more than basketball. And I know that won’t ever change."— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 17, 2021
On Wednesday, we saw two other NBA franchises part ways with their head coach. The Mavericks had another successful season by most team standards, making the postseason in their second straight season with Doncic. It resulted in an early exit but expectations around the League and in the public really weren’t high for this Mavs team. Carlisle made the postseason in 9 of 13 seasons in Dallas, winning a championship in 2011.
There are now seven NBA teams looking for a new head coach this offseason: the Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers. Carlisle will be a heavy consideration from those other six teams and we could even see his name thrown around for other high-profile jobs. Carlisle is easily one of the better head coaches in the NBA.
This has got to have Mavericks fans worried about Doncic. If Bob Voulgaris is taking over in Dallas and is the reason Nelson and Carlisle are gone, you’ve got to think this doesn’t really bode well for the Mavs’ prospects of keeping Doncic happy. He is eligible to sign a super max extension once the offseason begins and all expectations are he will do exactly that. The thing is, that isn’t stopping him from requesting a trade out of Dallas unless the team can right he ship pretty quickly.
A good step in the right direction would be promoting Michael Finley to President of Basketball Operations and GM. The Mavericks legend has been with the organization as the VP of Basketball Ops. The Mavericks coaching gig will also be pretty popular if it means getting to work with Doncic. You’d think the superstar will have a bit of say in who Dallas will hire to lead the team.
Carlisle finishes his tenure with the Mavericks 555-478 over 13 seasons with a 33-38 record in the playoffs.