Mavs GM Harrison On Irving Trade, Kidd, More

Mavericks president of basketball operations and general manager Nico Harrison sat down for an interview with Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News prior to Wednesday’s loss in Philadelphia.

We have provided a few highlights below, but it’s worth checking out in full for any Mavs fans.

On why the team has struggled after trading for Kyrie Irving last month:

“When we made the trade, we expected those two guys — Kyrie and Luka (Doncic) — to jell by now, so that’s definitely below expectations. I’m not even saying they haven’t jelled, but the team — they haven’t had enough minutes together to jell. Kyrie was out, Luka was out, one played, the other played, so we’re behind where we wanted to be.

“But those two work. Like, two guys at that level work. Then it’s how these guys around them — how do they fit in and play off them? That’s the tougher thing. You’ve got all this analytical data to say these lineups work, but guess what? Since the trade, we haven’t had consistent players out there, so it’s tough to say, like, absolute which lineups work because it’s very little minutes that they’ve all played together because it’s been change after change after change.”

On whether there’s enough time to evaluate the team as it sits outside of the play-in tournament with only five games remaining:

“Everybody knows we’re fighting to get into this playoffs. I just think every game we’ve got to continue to make strides. Even if players aren’t healthy, we don’t have any choice. We have to go. That’s why I say we have high-character guys. Nobody’s feeling sorry for themselves. They’re positive guys, and they’re hard-working guys. They’re high-character guys, so we’ll figure it out. Hopefully we figure it out sooner or later. The clock’s on us.”

On how players have responded to head coach Jason Kidd since the trade:

“I think Jason’s done a great job, starting with the top, making sure Luka and Kyrie are communicating and on the same page, which he’s done well. I think it’s tough for a coach every day. A lot of times you guys think we’re being cute when you’re like ‘Hey, are they playing today?’ And we’re like ‘Yeah, we don’t know yet.’ You’re like ‘Yeah, they know,’ but we’re looking at each other like, ‘Hey, what do you think?’

“If you’re Jason, how do you game plan when you don’t know who’s available? I think he’s been put in a tough position. I think what Jason’s done really well is he’s really dug into being positive with all the uncertainty. It’s easy to start pointing fingers. He’s really dug into being positive, and I think that’s super helpful. I think the guys can feel the positive energy and again, I think he’s been in a tough position.

“Honestly, we weren’t playing good before the trade, so the trade was never going to be a magic pill all of a sudden, but we did expect those guys to play more games together to figure each other out. Again, I’m not really worried about those two figuring each other out. It’s the players around them.”

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