Mike Forde

Mavericks Notes: Carlisle, Doncic, Nelson, Forde, Finley, Green

There are quite a few head coaching jobs Rick Carlisle could pursue after parting ways with the Mavericks on Thursday. He may even wind up with a team that still has a head coach. There have been rumblings that if the Bucks fire Mike Budenholzer, Carlisle could be his replacement, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The rumors about Carlisle taking over an Eastern Conference playoff contender and becoming Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s coach have been circulating for weeks, Stein adds.

We have more info on the Mavs:

  • Prior to the news of Carlisle’s departure, Luka Doncic addressed the organization’s decision this week to remove Donnie Nelson as president of basketball operations and expressed his disappointment, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News relays. “It was kind of tough to me,” Doncic said during a press conference in Slovenia. “I really like Donnie. [I’ve known] him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough to me, seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.” Doncic is practicing with his national team for the Olympic qualifying tournament later this month.
  • Despite Nelson’s dismissal, Doncic still intends to sign a super-max extension before next season, Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic hear. Doncic strongly hinted after the season he would sign his rookie scale extension, which would be worth a projected $201.5MM over five years after making the All-NBA team two straight years.
  • The Mavericks have hired Mike Forde’s Sportsology, a consulting firm frequently used by NBA teams, to assist in the search for a new head of basketball operations., Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Nine NBA teams have either hired or promoted from within a new chief basketball executive in the past two seasons and three of those searches— Pelicans, Wizards, and Kings —were led by Forde, Yaron Weitzman of The Ringer noted earlier this year.
  • Former Mavericks All-Star Michael Finley, currently the team’s VP of basketball operations, has emerged as a candidate to replace Nelson, Stein tweets.
  • The team’s decision to take Josh Green over Saddiq Bey in last year’s draft frustrated a number of key executives and scouts., Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman tweets. Green was selected at No. 18 and the Pistons snapped up Bey, who was named to the All-Rookie First Team, with the next pick. The Mavs’ analytics team wanted Green and won the debate.

And-Ones: S. Leonard, Forde, Draft, Olympics

Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 as a coach, passed away this week at age 88, the Pacers confirmed in a series of statements.

The longtime Indiana native played college ball for Hoosiers, then eventually returned to Indiana to coach the Pacers from 1968-80. He won an NCAA title as a player in 1953 and led the Pacers to three ABA championships as a coach in 1970, 1972, and 1973.

“Pacers fans will remember Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard as the spirit of our franchise,” Pacers owner Herb Simon said in a statement. “With a charisma, intensity, and wit to match his nickname, Slick made us champions. He was our biggest fan and our most loving critic, and he personified Pacers basketball for generations of Hoosier families.”

Our condolences go out to Leonard’s friends and family.

Here are a few more items from around the basketball world:

  • In an entertaining piece for The Ringer, Yaron Weitzman takes a closer look at former EPL executive Mike Forde, who has developed a reputation as a trusted consultant for NBA teams looking to identify candidates for front office vacancies.
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) has confirmed with the NBA that the four teams involved in the play-in tournament who don’t earn playoff spots will be in the draft lottery, ranked in inverse order of regular season record. In other words, a No. 7 seed that loses two play-in games and doesn’t make the postseason could theoretically have a shot at the No. 1 overall pick.
  • After a postponement in 2020, all indications are that the Tokyo Olympics remain on track to take place in the summer of 2021. Dan Robson of The Athletic examines the “uniquely challenging” event, where Team USA’s men’s basketball team will be looking to win gold for a fourth straight time.