Mark Cuban

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Jones, Roster, Cuban

In the wake of the Mavericks‘ disastrous finish to the 2022/23 season, there was plenty of speculation a year ago about Luka Doncic‘s future in Dallas, with some media members suggesting the team would have to make real strides within the next year or two in order to secure the star guard’s long-term commitment.

Following an NBA Finals run this spring, that no longer seems like a concern, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who says all indications are that Doncic will be willing to sign a super-max extension in July 2025 once he has the necessary seven years of NBA service. The 25-year-old said after Monday’s season-ending loss that he feels “great” about the Mavs’ future.

“We did some great (personnel) moves,” Doncic said. “I would say we’ve been together for five months. I’m proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches, all the people behind (the scenes). Obviously, we didn’t win Finals, but we did have a hell of a season.”

Doncic’s enthusiasm about the franchise’s direction is shared by his backcourt partner Kyrie Irving, who is under contract in Dallas for at least the next two seasons.

“I just feel like the sky’s the limit,” Irving said, per MacMahon. “I have an opportunity to be on a special team that can be one of the teams that dominates in this era. That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out the past few years, of how to be on a great team, be in an organization where I’m trusted, and also we’re able to succeed and fail together, and doing it in a way where we still have each other’s backs, and no one is giving up on the dream or the goal. Our goal is still to win a championship.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Based on their current salary projections, Dallas won’t be able to offer more than the taxpayer mid-level exception (about $5.2MM) to free agent forward Derrick Jones, though the team could potentially open up some or all of the non-taxpayer MLE ($12.9MM) with some tweaks to the roster, MacMahon writes. Mavs general manager Nico Harrison wants to find a way to bring back Jones. “He’s a part of our core going forward, so hopefully we can figure that out,” Harrison told ESPN.
  • Regarding the rest of the roster, Harrison said he likes where it stands but acknowledged that there’s always room for improvements. “I think we have a really good core and really good complementary pieces,” Harrison told MacMahon. “Having said that, I mean, I’ve been here for two years and so I think my reputation is starting to (form). If there’s an opportunity to make it better, I’m going to do that for sure.”
  • Former Mavericks majority owner Mark Cuban no longer has control of the team’s basketball operations, MacMahon confirms. Still, as Howard Beck of The Ringer writes, Cuban – now a minority stakeholder – can take credit for three risky moves that set up the club for this year’s success: hiring Harrison as GM; hiring Jason Kidd as head coach; and trading for Irving. Harrison had worked at Nike rather than for an NBA team, Kidd had been fired from two previous head coaching jobs, and Irving’s value had fallen due to injury issues and off-court controversies. “For sure, they were risks,” Cuban told Beck. “I mean, there were a lot of people who just like rolled their eyes at me. But each of them brought a unique set of skills to the table that I didn’t have, that the organization hadn’t had, and I thought were valuable and important.”
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) previews the offseason in Dallas, writing that the Mavericks have some trade assets available – including its 2025 and 2031 first-round picks and Tim Hardaway‘s expiring contract – and suggesting they could use another play-making guard, perimeter depth, and a floor-spacing big man.

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Exum, Kidd, Cuban

For a third straight NBA Finals game, Luka Doncic is the only player to show up on the injury report for the Mavericks. However, after being listed as questionable heading into Game 2 due to three separate ailments, Doncic is considered probable to play on Wednesday, and his right knee sprain and left ankle soreness are no longer mentioned on the injury report, notes Mike Curtis of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).

Doncic’s thoracic contusion is now the only injury listed. As Tim MacMahon and Malika Andrews of ESPN reported on Tuesday, the All-NBA guard received a pain-killing injection to treat that issue prior to Game 2 and will likely get another injection ahead of Game 3.

Here are a few more Mavs notes as the team looks to begin erasing its 2-0 deficit:

  • Reserve guard Dante Exum has played just 16 minutes in the first two games of the Finals, but he knocked down his only shot of the series (a three-pointer) and has been a +11 in his limited minutes. Head coach Jason Kidd sounds open to using Exum a little more in Game 3, as Eddie Sefko of relays. “I thought that Exum did a great job in Game 2,” Kidd said. “We’ll see if we can get that combination out there a little more as a third ball-handler. He’s one of the few that has made a three in this series. We’re going to need that a little bit more from him.”
  • After referring to Jaylen Brown as the Celtics‘ best player on Saturday, Kidd insisted to Sam Amick of The Athletic that his comments weren’t meant to generate controversy and that he wasn’t trying his hand at gamesmanship. “It wasn’t mind games,” Kidd said. “But for whatever reason, everybody took it that way. … My whole thing was that, watching the Eastern Conference (playoffs), like, he has been (the Celtics’ best player). No one ever said I was wrong. … Like, I was just giving it from a point of view of watching. There wasn’t no mind games. I was just making an observation.” Kidd also pointed out that he and Brown share an alma mater (Cal), hinting that that connection might have factored into his stance, Amick adds.
  • Longtime Mavericks majority owner Mark Cuban, who sold a controlling stake in the franchise earlier this season, spoke to Steve Bulpett of about the state of the NBA and the growing global popularity of the sport, among other topics. Cuban contended that the introduction of NIL deals in college basketball has actually made life easier for NBA teams. “It keeps kids in school longer, and, more importantly, they know how to manage their money,” he said.

Southwest Notes: Cuban, Doncic, Sengun, Pelicans, Spurs

Confirming prior reporting from Forbes, Marc Stein (Substack link) cites sources who say that Mark Cuban‘s sale agreement with Miriam Adelson and Patrick Dumont stipulates that the Mavericks‘ new majority owners have the option to buy an additional 20% of the franchise in four years.

For the time being, Cuban has retained control of 27% of the team and reportedly still maintains a voice in the personnel decisions, though he’s no longer the final decision-maker. However, if Adelson and Dumont exercise that option a few years from now, the extra shares would come out of Cuban’s stake in the team, reducing his holdings to below 10%.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Luka Doncic likely won’t finish higher than second in MVP voting this season, but the fact that he’s legitimately in the conversation is more important to the Mavericks than him actually winning the award, opines Tim Cato of The Athletic. As Cato explains, this version of Doncic raises Dallas’ ceiling and makes the team a bona fide contender.
  • Alperen Sengun (ankle/knee) won’t return for either of the Rockets‘ final two games of the season, Kelly Iko of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter). Sengun is a candidate for this year’s Most Improved Player award, but because he only appeared in 63 games, an independent doctor would need to rule that his injury is likely to sideline him through at least May 31 in order for him to be eligible for award consideration.
  • Although New Orleans has yet to clinch its playoff spot, the team looks better than it has in years and is on track to win the most games it has in a season since being rebranded as the Pelicans in 2013. James Herbert of CBS Sports checks in on the Pelicans to get a sense of why this year’s team is more dangerous than the one we’ve seen in recent seasons, as well as what the next steps are for the franchise.
  • Victor Wembanyama has been everything the Spurs hoped he’d be in his first year in the NBA and figures to only get better going forward, but will San Antonio be able to build a contender around the young star? Isaac Levy-Rubinett of The Ringer explores that question, considering the players the Spurs already have on their roster, their draft assets, and a potential trade target.

Mavs Notes: Nelson Lawsuit, Gafford, Washington, Exum, Luka

The wrongful termination lawsuit that former Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson filed against the franchise in 2022 is scheduled to go to trial this December, according to Xuan Thai of ESPN.

Nelson’s lawsuit alleged that he was fired in retaliation for reporting that his nephew was sexually harassed and assaulted by Mark Cuban‘s chief of staff, Jason Lutin, during a job interview on February 16, 2020. Nelson claims that he didn’t find out about the incident until five months after it occurred, by which point the nephew had reached a settlement agreement with the team.

According to Nelson’s lawsuit, he was in discussions with the Mavericks about a contract extension at the time, but those talks came to an abrupt end after he reported the incident to Cuban. He was fired the following year.

The Mavericks vehemently denied the allegations in a series of statements back in 2022 when Nelson initially filed the suit. According to Thai, in their formal response, the Mavs denied that the veteran executive was wrongfully terminated, stating that his dismissal was the result of multiple other factors, including “poor job performance.”

Here’s more from out of Dallas:

  • The Mavericks are 3-0 and have the NBA’s best defensive rating since trade deadline acquisitions Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington made their debuts. But while Gafford has been playing some of his best basketball since arriving in Dallas, the team is still looking to get Washington going, head coach Jason Kidd said on Tuesday, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (subscription required). “I’ve always talked about getting their feet settled. And I think Gafford, you can see, his feet are settled,” Kidd said. “Now it’s (about) getting P.J.’s feet settled. I think P.J. having family and friends here will help with that. And then being aggressive. We need P.J. to be aggressive and not just wait for (Kyrie Irving) or Luka (Doncic). We need him to play his game too.” Washington has averaged 8.7 points on 40.7% shooting in his first three games as a Mav.
  • Mavericks guard Dante Exum, who has played just twice since January 1 due to injuries and has been sidelined since January 27 as a result of right knee bursitis, appears to be getting close to returning to action. “No setback,” Kidd said of Exum, per Townsend (Twitter link). “He’s been working out. He’ll do practice (on Wednesday), non-contact. I think the plan is for somewhere on this road trip to get him back.” Dallas’ upcoming four-game road trip begins on Sunday in Indiana and runs through next Friday (March 1).
  • Does two-time MVP Nikola Jokic believe there’s a scenario in which he and Doncic join forces on an NBA team? Asked that question at All-Star weekend, Jokic said he has no desire to leave Denver but suggested with a laugh that if Luka gets fed up in Dallas, he’s welcome to join him on the Nuggets (Twitter video link via DNVR Sports).

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Cuban, Barlow, Pelicans

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic leads the league with 34.2 points per game, yet there’s little buzz regarding his Most Valuable Player award candidacy. Perhaps a big showing in tonight’s All-Star Game could change that narrative, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

However, Doncic himself is skeptical. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t know.”

He does know there’s a lot of work to be done to make this a special season for himself and the franchise. “I have a long, long way to go,” he said. “So I just enjoy every moment. . . I just appreciate every day. Every game. Every practice. For me it’s fun. So for me to do this as my job, it’s a dream.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver has plenty of praise for Mark Cuban, who has given up majority ownership in the Mavericks but will reportedly remain involved in basketball operations. Silver called Cuban a “game-changing owner” who continues to voice his opinions regularly to the NBA office, Townsend writes in a separate story. “He’s had an incredible impact on this league,” Silver said. “I have been with the league through the entire tenure of his ownership. From his earliest days in the league, he pushed us hard. He came in as a technologist.”
  • The Spurs’ Dominick Barlow, who is on a two-way contract, participated in the NBA G League’s Up Next tournament on Sunday. Barlow, who has appeared in 23 NBA games this season, said he’s grateful to have any type of pro contract. “If you don’t have a purpose and a passion for something and aren’t giving your all, you are just wasting your time,” he told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News. “So many people, especially young people, are searching for what they want to do in life and it takes a long time for a lot of different people to find that. I was fortunate to find what I wanted to do at a young age and I try to take full advantage, understanding I have a gift and a blessing. I don’t want to waste it.”
  • Former Warriors GM and current ESPN TV analyst Bob Myers compares the Pelicans to the Knicks, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune relays. “I think the Knicks are the Pelicans of the East,” Myers said on ESPN. “Very deep. A lot of good players. Lacking greatness.” Myers adds that those types of teams are less effective in the postseason. “When you get to the playoffs, it’s not about the ninth or 10th guy,” he said. “When the Warriors were winning championships, you know what our bench scoring was? Twenty-seventh in the league; 28th in the league; 29th. You know who scored? The guy making $40 million. The guy making $30 million.”

Mavs Notes: Kuzma, G. Williams, Washington, Gafford, Front Office

Following up on reports that Kyle Kuzma was nearly traded from the Wizards to the Mavericks last week, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link) that he believes Dallas was offering two first-round picks to Washington in its proposal for the veteran forward.

One of those first-rounders was almost certainly the 2024 pick that Dallas acquired from Oklahoma City, which will likely end up being the more favorable of the Clippers’ and Thunder’s first-rounders. According to Tim MacMahon on The Hoop Collective, the Mavs and Thunder “very quietly” agreed to the deal involving that pick several days before the trade deadline, even though it wasn’t reported until Thursday.

The second first-rounder the Mavs offered for Kuzma would’ve presumably been their own 2027 pick, which was ultimately sent to Charlotte in the P.J. Washington deal instead, with top-two protection.

Windhorst, MacMahon, and ESPN’s Tim Bontemps agree it’s probably safe to assume the Mavs were looking to include Grant Williams in that potential Kuzma trade, which means the proposal might have been something like Williams, Richaun Holmes, a 2024 first-round pick, and the Mavs’ 2027 first-rounder for Kuzma. It’s unclear whether the ’27 pick would’ve had the same light protection that Dallas agreed to in its deal with Charlotte.

Ultimately, after the Wizards decided not to move forward on the Kuzma trade, Dallas ended up sending one of those first-rounders and Holmes to Washington in exchange for Daniel Gafford, completing separate deals with the Wizards and Hornets rather than just a single trade for Kuzma.

Here’s more on the Mavericks:

  • After winning his first game with the Hornets, Williams raised some eyebrows with his postgame comments, which could’ve been interpreted as a shot at his former team in Dallas, notes Brian Robb of “It’s great to get a win for the city and play for the jersey that’s across your chest, not on your back,” Williams told reporters. “Everybody touched the ball, we trusted one another, a team that never played, practiced together, every single person seemed like they had each other’s back.” MacMahon reported after the deadline that Williams had “personality clashes” and “rubbed a lot of people the wrong way” during his half-season with the Mavs, adding in the latest Hoop Collective podcast that the forward reported to Dallas out of shape this past fall.
  • Tim Cato, Josh Robbins, and Dave DuFour take a closer look at how Washington and Gafford will fit in Dallas, examining what the two newcomers will and won’t be able to do for the team.
  • New Mavericks governor Patrick Dumont spoke to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (subscription required) about the hierarchy within the front office under the new ownership group. While reports have indicated that Mark Cuban retained his control of basketball operations, Dumont didn’t exactly confirm that. “The way the structure works, just formally, is that I am the governor,” Dumont said. “The league wants one person to speak to, so that’s me. But I intend to get the benefit of Mark’s experience and his success. So working with him is actually a benefit to our organization. And that’s how I see it. Nico Harrison is the GM. He is the head of basketball operations. So we all get the benefit of working with Mark, but there’s one GM. That’s Nico.”

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Luka, Cuban, Rockets, Lopez, Murphy, Smart

The Mavericks are starting to get a better idea of what their optimal lineup might look like, but they haven’t gotten a chance to take a longer look at it due to ongoing injury issues, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic.

As Cato details, the Mavericks like the idea of leaning more on lineups that feature Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dante Exum, and Dereck Lively. So far this season, Dallas has an eye-popping offensive rating of 145.5 to go along with a defensive rating of 97.0 when that quartet is on the court. However, the sample size is relatively tiny — the four players have shared the floor for just 31 total minutes across four games.

All four players have dealt with moderate or minor injuries at some point this season, which has limiteed the Mavs’ ability to play them more together. Irving has been active for the past three games after missing 12 consecutive contests due to a heel contusion, but Doncic (right ankle swelling), Exum (right heel contusion), and Lively (left ankle sprain) were all unavailable for Friday’s win over Portland.

The Mavs are hopeful that Doncic’s ankle ailment is just a day-to-day issue, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In the team’s initial injury report for Sunday’s matchup with Minnesota, Doncic is listed as questionable, but Lively is doubtful and Exum has already been ruled out.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Longtime Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who recently sold his majority stake in the franchise, informed team employees this week that he’ll paying them bonuses that total approximately $35MM, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN relays (via Twitter).
  • Confirming offseason reports, Bucks center Brook Lopez said on Saturday that he seriously considered the possibility of signing with the Rockets as a free agent this past summer, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). “It was pretty close,” Lopez said. “There was a lot of mutual interest. Watching this season, they’ve obviously done some great things. I love what (head coach) Ime (Udoka) has been doing. Obviously, the group of guys they have here have done great stuff.”
  • After returning on Friday from a three-game absence due to left knee tendonitis, Pelicans sharpshooter Trey Murphy said his knee feels OK. However, he’ll be on a restriction of 20-to-25 minutes per game for now as the team manages some inflammation he has recently experienced in that knee, tweets Will Guillory of The Athletic. Murphy made just 1-of-9 shots in 17 minutes off the bench on Friday.
  • In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart spoke about his reaction to being traded last summer and how he’s adjusted to his new NBA home, as well as what it’s been like mentoring Ja Morant and his young teammates in Memphis.

Southwest Notes: Cuban, Brooks, J. Green, Pelicans

Mark Cuban has clarified his role once the Maverickssale is finalized, confirming that he will continue to handle most of the team’s personnel decisions, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Cuban spoke with reporters tonight after he finished a pre-game shooting session at American Airlines Arena and said he looks forward to working with the Adelson and Dumont families, who will soon have the controlling stake in the team.

“Nothing’s really changed except my bank account,” Cuban said. “I feel really good. I think it’s a great partnership. It’s what the team needed on the court and off. I’ll still be overseeing the basketball side of it, but having a partner like Patrick and Sivan (Dumont) and Miriam (Adelson) and their ability to build and to redevelop the arena and whatever comes next beyond that just puts us in a much better position to compete. That’s all. That’s what it comes down to.”

Cuban confirmed that there’s “no contractual language” in the purchase agreement that outlines his authority, but he has an understanding with the new owners about what he’ll do. He will keep a 27% stake as the Mavericks’ sole minority owner, but admitted that Patrick Dumont, who will serve as the team’s governor, will have “final say” on every decision.

Cuban expects the new owners to focus mainly on business interests, including a long-term plan to build an arena with a resort hotel and casino. He added that the new facility will be located somewhere within the city of Dallas.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Rockets forward Dillon Brooks sat out tonight’s game with a strained oblique he suffered Tuesday and the team doesn’t have a timetable for him to return, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Jae’Sean Tate took Brooks’ place in the starting lineup, Feigen adds, while rookies Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore both got minutes in the first quarter.
  • After Tuesday’s game, Rockets coach Ime Udoka told reporters that he has “not thought about” moving guard Jalen Green to the bench, according to Michael Shapiro of The Houston Chronicle. Green has struggled in his first season under Udoka, averaging 16.7 PPG while shooting career worsts from the field (39.4%) and three-point range (31.9%). “Obviously, with [Green] playing that way, if he was playing the other way we obviously wouldn’t struggle as much offensively and have to lean on other guys as much or play other guys minutes,” Udoka said. “We’ll continue to keep him confident, continue to [help] him improve in certain areas, and he’ll take a jump eventually.”
  • The Pelicans announced the renewal of naming rights this week for Smoothie King Center, relays Rod Walker of A statement from the team said the name will remain in place “for the foreseeable future.”

Cuban’s Control Of Mavs’ Basketball Ops Not Formalized In Sale

While Mark Cuban has been assured that he’ll retain control of the Mavericks‘ basketball operations department, there’s no language in the sale agreement that will guarantee he’ll keep that role in the future, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News had heard differently from his source.

Cuban is selling his majority stake of the franchise to the Adelson and Dumont families. The transaction received unanimous approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors and is expected to be finalized later this week.

Patrick Dumont will be the new Mavericks Governor, with Cuban the alternate. Cuban will remain a significant minority shareholder (27%) of the team.

Cuban’s position as head of basketball operations may not be formalized in writing, but Stein reiterates (via Twitter) that the longtime owner is expected to stay in the role going forward. Stein points out that the parties had been working together for several months to reach an agreement.

We look forward to working in partnership with Mark Cuban as stewards of this great franchise and bringing another NBA championship to the city of Dallas,” Dumont said in a statement. “We are committed to the long-term success of the Mavericks and delivering a world-class hospitality experience to our fans, players, employees, sponsors and partners.”

Cuban originally purchased his majority stake of the Mavs in January 2000.

Sale Of Mavericks Receives Unanimous Approval

Mark Cuban‘s agreement to sell his majority stake in the Mavericks to the Adelson and Dumont families has been approved by the league’s Board of Governors, tweets NBA writer Marc Stein. Sources tell Stein that the league’s 29 other owners all voted in favor of the move.

Sands Corp. Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dumont will take over as the Mavericks’ governor with a 73% stake, according to Stein (Twitter link). Cuban will retain a 27% share in the team and becomes alternate governor. The Mavericks’ valuation in the deal is likely to fall between $4 billion and $5 billion with the Sands Corp.’s promise of a new arena being included, Stein adds.

The transaction is expected to close this week, the league announced in a formal statement (Twitter link). Sale documents still have to be signed and money has to be paid to Cuban and the team’s five minority stakeholders who are being bought out in the deal, notes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

A person familiar with the sale tells Townsend that the franchise is being valued between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion without the arena considerations. He adds that it’s believed to be the largest pure cash transaction in the history of the league as Miriam Adelson sold $2 billion in Sands stock to help finance the deal.

Cuban was expected to retain control of basketball operations when news that he was selling broke in late November, and those provisions are being included in the sale documents, another source tells Townsend. Cuban purchased the team for $285MM in 2000.

[UPDATE: Cuban’s Control Of Mavs’ Basketball Ops Not Formalized In Sale]

With an estimated fortune of $33 billion, the Adelson and Dumont families will become the NBA’s second wealthiest owners, Townsend states, behind only the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer. Townsend adds that Cuban’s estimated worth of $6.2 billion and his high profile around the league will continue to serve as assets for the franchise.

The league office streamlined the voting process as a show of support for the new owners, Townsend tweets. A source tells him that the league recommended approval of the sale, then it passed unanimously through a BOG executive committee before today’s vote was taken.