Nico Harrison

Mavs Notes: Carlisle, Doncic, Dinwiddie, Harrison

Former Mavericks coach and current Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said in a radio interview with 105.3 The FAN that Luka Doncic is destined for multiple Most Valuable Player awards (hat tip to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).

“I don’t have any question in my mind that there will be multiple MVPs in his future,” Carlisle said. “There will be championships in his future. He has a real, great, natural sense for the moment.”

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Doncic and the Mavericks have advanced their timetables, Tim Cato of The Athletic writes. Doncic has solidified his place as one of the league’s premier players with his playoff dominance and the Mavericks have become a true title contender in the process.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie benefited financially from the team advancing to the Western Conference Finals. He collected a $571,427 bonus, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.
  • Mavs president of basketball operations and general manager Nico Harrison said it’s not time to get complacent after knocking out the top-seeded Suns from the playoffs, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. “I can sit back and think about it in August. Heck, I want to keep playing,” Harrison said. “This is time to get greedy. It’s not time to be complacent and kind of look back at your accomplishments. This is the time to be focused. When you make it to this point, it’s time to take it to another level.”

Mavs Notes: Dinwiddie, Chriss, Porzingis

Spencer Dinwiddie got a fresh start after being traded to the Mavericks and he’s appreciative of the opportunity, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon writes. Dinwiddie was part of the blockbuster deal with Washington that sent Kristaps Porzingis back to the Eastern Conference.

“People said I was a bad guy, people said I was washed, all that stuff after 30 games coming off an ACL, which sucks,” Dinwiddie said. “But (GM) Nico (Harrison) didn’t have to have that faith. He didn’t have to pull that trigger, especially with a player the caliber of Porzingis, an All-Star-caliber player.”

Dinwiddie made the game-winning 3-pointer against Brooklyn on Wednesday off a feed from Luka Doncic. Dinwiddie credited the team’s franchise player for making that decision.

“You can make people feel wanted, you can make them feel not wanted. You can trust them, not trust them. … He’s the superstar,” Dinwiddie said. “He could have done whatever he wanted.”

We have more on the Mavericks:

  • Dinwiddie is in the first year of a three-year, $54MM contract but he hasn’t completely settled in following his midseason trade, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News notes. Dinwiddie has been staying in a variety of hotels and hasn’t looked for a home or signed a lease in Dallas. He wants to wait until the offseason to rent or buy a home to ensure he’s in the team’s plans beyond this season.
  • Backup big man Marquese Chriss has returned to practice and coach Jason Kidd is hopeful he will be available for one of the team’s games this weekend, MacMahon tweets. Chriss hasn’t played since February 10 due to knee soreness.
  • By dealing Porzingis, the Mavericks have plenty of flexibility to make a “home-run trade” for another star player over the next two years, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. The team will also have the ability to deal multiple first-round picks now that the obligations from the Porziņgis deal have either been fulfilled or will be in the near future, Hollinger adds.
  • In case you missed it, former exec Donnie Nelson has filed a lawsuit against the franchise.

Southwest Notes: Johnson, Wood, Porter Jr., Augustin, Harrison

Keldon Johnson is open to signing a rookie scale extension with the Spurs, he told The Athletic’s Shams Charania in an interview (video link). Johnson can sign an extension next offseason. “I love being in San Antonio, I love the Spurs, I would definitely love to be there (long-term),” he said. “We’ll cross that road when we get there.” Johnson is averaging 14.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 2.1 APG this season.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • If the Rockets get a solid offer that includes a prospect or two, they should consider trading Christian Wood, Rahat Huq of the Houston Chronicle opines. The club has to look at the big picture and the next two drafts are crucial to the franchise, due to the picks owed in the ill-fated Russell Westbrook trade, Huq notes. A report earlier this week declared the Wood would generate significant trade interest before the deadline.
  • Wood is currently dealing with an ankle sprain but it’s not considered serious, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. He’s considered probable to play against Orlando on Friday. However, guard Kevin Porter Jr. could miss a little time after aggravating a thigh contusion, MacMahon adds in another tweet. He’s listed as questionable to play on Friday, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen (Twitter link). D.J. Augustin is not on the injury report, an indication he’s cleared the league’s health and safety protocols.
  • New Mavericks GM Nico Harrison says he’s not concerned about rival executives trying to take advantage of his inexperience and fleece him in a trade, as he told Dwain Price of the team’s website. “I would imagine that if people can take advantage of me, they will, for sure. But I always tell people this is not the Nico Harrison Show,” he said. “There’s a team of people that’s surrounding me. There’s (Michael) Finley, obviously (owner) Mark (Cuban). There’s Jason Kidd. There are so many people around the team that are going to influence what we do, so it’s not just Nico making decisions.”

Mavs Notes: Nowitzki, Cuban, Kleber, Doncic, Ntilikina

As first reported last week by Marc Stein (Twitter link) and later confirmed by the team, the Mavericks will retire Dirk Nowitzki‘s No. 41 jersey on January 5, when they host the Warriors in Dallas.

Nowitzki will join Rolando Blackman (No. 22), Brad Davis (No. 15), and Derek Harper (No. 12) as Mavericks players who have had their jersey numbers retired by the franchise. All three players are expected to be in attendance for the ceremony on January 5, along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com.

“Dirk is everything to the Mavs. First, 41.21.1,” team owner Mark Cuban said, referring to Nowitzki becoming the first NBA player to spend 21 seasons with a single team. “And now, lifting his jersey to the rafters. It is a special day for the Mavs and Mavs fans around the world.”

Here’s more out of Dallas:

  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke on Sunday to a handful of reporters, including Mark Medina of NBA.com, about the team’s start to the season, his first impressions of new general manager Nico Harrison, and Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony, among other topics. “He’s a learner,” Cuban said of Harrison. “To me, that’s always the most important part. Can you deal with the people? Can you get the results? And are you a learner? He’s a learner. He’s a sponge and always open to things. So I’m happy with what’s going on.”
  • Maxi Kleber returned to action on Sunday for the Mavs after sitting out nine games with a left oblique strain, but Luka Doncic remained sidelined, missing his third consecutive game due to left knee and ankle sprains. Doncic was a game-time decision on Sunday, which suggests he’s close to getting back on the court. Dallas is 0-3 without him after starting the season with a 9-4 record.
  • Mavs guard Frank Ntilikina left Sunday’s game due to a right calf injury and didn’t return (Twitter link). The severity of the injury isn’t yet known.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Porzingis, Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets

Asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith during an appearance on First Take about rumors that there has been some friction between Mavericks teammates Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, head coach Jason Kidd dismissed the idea that there are any issues between the team’s two leading scorers (video link).

“I think we all heard in the NBA circle that there was tension between the two, but I would have to say that’s fake news,” Kidd told Smith. “… There were some other issues that I thought they did a great job of keeping in-house that had nothing to do with those two.

“I’m excited, I think the relationship between the two of them is at a high level. They’re basketball players who want to compete and who want to win. For a coach, I have to put them in that position to be successful. But I think their relationship is great.”

Smith didn’t press Kidd on what those “other issues” in Dallas were that didn’t involve Doncic or Porzingis, but it’s possible the Mavs’ new head coach is referring to some of the conflicts that were outlined in a report from The Athletic back in June. Presumably, given the way the front office and coaching staff were overhauled this summer, the franchise believes those issues are in the rear-view now.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

Southwest Notes: Zion, Vaccinations, Temple, Harrison, Brooks

Addressing reporters at the Pelicans‘ Media Day on Monday, star forward Zion Williamson expressed a desire to remain with the franchise for the foreseeable future.

I love it here. I love the city of New Orleans,” Williamson said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). “I don’t wanna be anywhere else.”

An offseason report suggested that some of Williamson’s family members want him out of New Orleans, while a more recent story suggested he and Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin aren’t on particularly great terms. However, after dismissing the idea that he wants to leave the Pelicans, Williamson also downplayed the idea that there’s any frostiness between him and Griffin.

It’s all love with me and Griff,” Williamson said. “… We’re both competitors, we both want to win. Do we disagree on some things? Yes. But no one agrees on everything.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Griffin said today that there are one or two players left on the Pelicans‘ roster who remain unvaccinated, while Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said his team is 100% vaccinated (Twitter links via William Guillory of The Athletic and Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News). Meanwhile, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd estimated that his players are about 90% vaccinated, adding that the goal is to get that number to 100% by opening night (Twitter links via Callie Caplan and Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • Veteran Pelicans guard Garrett Temple said he’s interested in getting into coaching or front office work after he retires, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Temple added that his preference would likely be a front office role, since coaching can be “finicky.”
  • Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News shares an in-depth profile of new Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, detailing the long path Harrison took to becoming Dallas’ lead basketball decision-maker.
  • Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks will be a full participant in training camp, head of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said today (Twitter link via Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). Brooks was out for eight weeks this summer after breaking his hand in two spots, tweets Drew Hill of The Daily Memphian.

Southwest Notes: Harrison, Doncic, Pelicans, Green, Kidd

Newly-hired Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison hopes to make Dallas a compelling free-agent destination, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. The goal, Harrison said, is to instill a culture that players want to be a part of.

“My approach is really simple,” he explained. “It’s going to be about servant leadership that kind of empowers the team and the staff to be at their best.”

Harrison understands that leadership must start at the top of an organization. Dallas lost longtime president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle this offseason, replacing them with Harrison and new coach Jason Kidd.

The team finished with a 42-30 record this season and has an All-NBA superstar in Luka Doncic, a 22-year-old wunderkind that could aid in Harrison’s mission to entice players and build a culture.

There’s more from the Southwest Division tonight:

  • Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News examined the Mavericks‘ plan for Doncic next season. “It’s tough to nitpick an All-NBA player,” Harrison said. “The best thing you can do is surround him by a Hall of Fame coach (Kidd) who played his position and let those two vibe off each other. I think that’s going to help him tremendously.” Doncic averaged 27.7 points, eight rebounds and 8.6 assists per game this season.
  • Christian Clark, Rod Walker and Scott Kushner of The Times-Picayune grade the Pelicans‘ hire of Willie Green as head coach. Green, a former NBA player, will finish the season as an assistant coach with the Suns before reporting for New Orleans.
  • Jason Kidd has been in discussions with former Mavericks players Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea about joining his coaching staff, according to Mavs.com. All three players hold several years of playing experience and were on the team’s 2011 championship roster with Kidd.

Stein’s Latest: Paul, Holiday, Leonard, Harrison

The Bucks considered a trade for Chris Paul last offseason before deciding to make a run at Jrue Holiday, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column. Milwaukee wanted to add a veteran guard who could fill a leadership role after a disappointing playoff loss to the Heat, and Paul was an obvious name to consider.

The Bucks opted for a younger alternative in Holiday, who has helped them reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 50 years. Stein believes the addition of Holiday helped convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to commit to the franchise with a five-year, $228MM contract extension.

Holiday finds himself matched up in the Finals against Paul, whom the Thunder promised to trade to a contender last fall as they began rebuilding. Paul wanted to be closer to his son in Los Angeles, so the Bucks would have been at a disadvantage if he’d been their preferred choice.

Stein offers more news from around the league:

  • There were rumors that Paul might be interested in opting out of his $44.2MM salary for next season and leaving Phoenix this summer, but that seems less likely after the Finals run. No matter what he decides on the option, Stein expects Paul to be back with the Suns next season, noting that he fits perfectly alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and coach Monty Williams. Booker said recently that the team’s 8-0 record after the restart motivated management to pursue Paul.
  • Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has a $36MM option decision to make, and the ACL surgery he had this week will likely influence his thinking. League sources expect him to remain in L.A., according to Stein, but several teams will be interested if he hits the open market. Stein states that the Mavericks are willing to sign Leonard even if the ACL prevents him from playing next season.
  • New Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison said he has received offers from other teams in the past, but he chose to remain with Nike until the opportunity with Dallas arose. League sources tell Stein that the Spurs and Lakers are among the franchises that have shown interest in Harrison.

Mavericks Notes: Kokoskov, St. Jean, Front Office, Porzingis

The Mavericks are working on adding former Suns head coach and current Fenerbahce coach Igor Kokoskov to Jason Kidd‘s staff as an assistant, according to multiple reports. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) first reported that Dallas was targeting Kokoskov, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) said there’s “tangible optimism” the Mavs will be able to hire him.

As Stein explains (via Twitter), Kokoskov is technically still under contract with Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, so the Mavs and the Turkish club would have to come to some sort of agreement releasing him from that deal.

In addition to coaching the Suns for one season (2018/19), Kokoskov has worked as an assistant for seven other NBA teams. He and Kidd never overlapped at any of those spots, but Kokoskov does have one noteworthy connection to the current Mavs — he was the head coach of the Slovenian team that won gold in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament, led by Luka Doncic.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • The Mavericks are also expected to hire Greg St. Jean to their coaching staff, Stein reports (via Twitter). As Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group observes (via Twitter), St. Jean has been a player development coach and advance scout for the Lakers for the last two years and is tight with Kidd.
  • At a Mavs’ press conference on Thursday, Nico Harrison was introduced as both the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter). However, team owner Mark Cuban said he’ll still be the one making the final call on basketball decisions, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. I always do because it’s a lot of money,” Cuban said.
  • Cuban declined to say whether Haralabos Voulgaris is still with the Mavs, according to Caplan (Twitter link). A report last month indicated Voulgaris had gained an outsized influence within the team’s front office but wasn’t yet under contract beyond 2020/21.
  • While there has been speculation that the Mavs may explore trading Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, the team gave no indications on Thursday that such a move is in the cards. Kidd raved about Porzingis’ fit in Dallas and said he expects to see “a different KP” going forward, while Cuban said the big man has been “unfairly maligned” (Twitter links via Caplan).

Mavs Hire Jason Kidd As Coach, Nico Harrison As GM

JUNE 28, 3:38pm: The Mavericks have issued a pair of press releases officially announcing Kidd as the team’s new head coach and Harrison as the new general manager.


JUNE 25, 12:29pm: The Mavericks have agreed to terms on contracts with Kidd and Harrison, reports MacMahon (Twitter link). Kidd will be Dallas’ new head coach, while Harrison will be the general manager and run the team’s basketball operations department.

Kidd will sign a four-year deal, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).


JUNE 25, 5:53am: The Mavericks are in the process of finalizing a deal with Lakers assistant Jason Kidd that will make him the new head coach in Dallas, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon.

Sources tell ESPN that Kidd has begun the “early stages” of assembling a coaching staff in preparation for taking the Mavs’ job.

Reports on Thursday indicated that Kidd had emerged as the frontrunner for the Mavs’ coaching vacancy and had begun contract negotiations with the team as it also prepared to fill an opening in its front office.

Longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison, who has strong connections with players throughout the NBA – including Luka Doncic – as a result of his two decades at Nike, is expected to be a hired to a top basketball operations position and the hope is that current VP of basketball operations Michael Finley will remain with the team and work alongside him, per Wojnarowski and MacMahon. The plan is for the duo to take over responsibilities previously held by Donnie Nelson, who left the Mavs earlier this month.

Even before officially joining the franchise, Harrison – who is also close to Kidd – has had in-depth conversations with team owner Mark Cuban about head coaching candidates, according to ESPN. While assistant coach Jamahl Mosley and others were considered, those discussions led to Cuban and Harrison identifying Kidd as their top target. Finley and special advisor Dirk Nowitzki have also lobbied for their former teammate.

Kidd has two stints as a head coach under his belt, having led the Nets for a single season in 2013/14, then the Bucks from 2014-18. He had a combined regular season record of 183-190 (.491) during his four-and-a-half years as a head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, with a playoff mark of 9-15 (.375), including a lone series win in 2014.

As a player, Kidd was a member of the Mavericks from 1994-96 and again from 2008-12, helping lead the organization to a championship in 2011. Rick Carlisle, who coached Kidd during the point guard’s second stint in Dallas, gave him an unsolicited endorsement for the job on Thursday, telling MacMahon that he believed it would be a great situation for both Kidd and Doncic.

Kidd’s exit from the Mavs in free agency in 2012 was a little messy – he changed his mind and went to New York after originally planning to re-sign in Dallas – his relationship with Cuban and the team has since been smoothed over, Woj and MacMahon say.

Assuming there are no last-minute snags in negotiations between Kidd and the Mavericks, Dallas will become the third team to hire a new head coach this offseason, joining the Pacers (Carlisle) and the Celtics (Ime Udoka). Searches are ongoing for the Magic, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, and Wizards. Those teams will have to remove Kidd from their list of candidates if he was under consideration — we know he at least interviewed with Orlando.