Mavs Notes: Carlisle, Luka, Porzingis, Offseason

The Mavericks fell to the Clippers in Game 7 on Sunday after holding leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the first-round series. However, despite the disappointing finish to the 2020/21 season, Mavs owner Mark Cuban told Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) that the team isn’t considering replacing head coach Rick Carlisle.

“Let me tell you how I look at coaching,” Cuban said. “You don’t make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.”

Here’s more out of Dallas in the wake of the team’s first-round loss:

  • Although Luka Doncic was good enough to beat the Clippers, the rest of the Mavericks’ roster wasn’t, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Improving Doncic’s supporting cast will be the focus of the team’s offseason. “This is going to be an important offseason on many levels,” Carlisle said on Sunday, per Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “We have a lot of guys who are free agents or who have opt-ins or opt-outs with their deals, so there’s a chance that there will be a lot of change, but we don’t know.”
  • The Mavericks have difficult decisions forthcoming on players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and others, but their decision on Doncic will be an easy one, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) in his offseason preview. Doncic will be eligible for a maximum-salary rookie scale extension that starts at 30% of the salary cap in 2022/23, and Dallas will likely waste no time in signing him to that deal. It projects to be worth about $201.5MM over five years based on 3% cap increases in 2021 and 2022.
  • The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis in the hopes that he’d complement Doncic as the team’s second star. However, it hasn’t worked out that way and it remains to be seen how Porzingis fits into the organization’s long-term plans, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who hears from sources that the big man has often felt “more like an afterthought than a co-star.” Porzingis spent much of the Mavs’ first-round series standing in the corner or on the wing as a floor-spacer and said after the series that it was a “mental battle” to play a role that wasn’t comfortable for him, MacMahon adds.
  • In a column for The Dallas Morning News, Kevin Sherrington wonders if Carlisle needs to make changes to his offensive scheme to better accommodate Porzingis. As Sherrington writes, moving on from Porzingis is also an option the Mavs could explore, but it would be hard to get great value in a trade given the 25-year-old’s injury history and contract (three years, $101.5MM remaining).
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