Nico Harrison

Latest On Potential Mavericks Sale

Sands Corp. president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont, son-in-law of Miriam Adelson, will be the family’s “foremost member” if their purchase of the Mavericks is approved by the NBA, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

It’s still not fully clear how much power Mark Cuban will have once he becomes a minority owner, even though it was reported Tuesday that he will continue to run the team’s basketball operations. Stein notes that it’s an unprecedented arrangement, and the Adelson family may want some say in personnel moves once they’re writing the checks.

Stein points out that Cuban has already ceded some decision-making to Nico Harrison, who was hired as general manager in 2021, and CEO Cynthia Marshall, who has been handling business matters since 2018. Even so, Stein found it shocking that Cuban opted to sell the team, considering that he sits near the bench at most games, maintains a visible role in the war room on draft nights, and remains involved in most personnel decisions.

League sources tell Stein that Cuban plans to be “a very active partner” to the Adelsons on basketball matters while letting the family deal with television revenues, real estate ventures and similar issues.

There’s more from Dallas:

  • The Adelson family agreed to purchase the Mavericks with an eye toward legalizing casino gambling in Texas, according to an editorial from The Dallas Morning News. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has since died, focused on Texas two years ago as the primary spot for expansion, the editorial states. Lobbying money from the Adelson family and other gambling interests has poured into the state, helping to soften any opposition. Cuban is perfect as a “primary stakeholder,” the paper adds, because he has been an advocate for building a casino in downtown Dallas.
  • The Adelson and Dumont families have issued a statement regarding their purchase of the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Through our commitment and additional investment in the team, we look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban to build on the team’s success and legacy in Dallas and beyond,” it reads in part. “The goal is to win and to have a team that proudly represents the greater DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) area and serves as a strong and valuable member of the local community.” The families are hoping to close the sale by the end of December.
  • Last year, Cuban cited the Sands Corp. as his ideal partner for a casino and resort destination, per Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that the Mavericks can’t leave their current home at the American Airlines Center until their lease expires in 2031.

Mavericks Optimistic They’ll Re-Sign Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving met with Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison and expressed his gratitude for how he was treated by the organization. Harrison, in turn, told the media on Tuesday that re-signing Irving is the organization’s top priority this offseason, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“I think the things that he said along the way about how he feels here, how he feels appreciated, how he feels accepted and allowed to be himself — those are the things that he said kind of consistently,” Harrison said. “That’s what gives me the optimism that he wants to be here.”

The Mavs went 7-18 after the blockbuster trade with the Nets that sent Irving to Dallas and dropped out of the playoff race. They had an 5-11 record when both Irving and Luka Doncic played.

Yet Harrison insists they can thrive in the long-term.

“I think Luka and Kai work together,” he said. “I think when we have that talented of a player — that talented of two players — I think they work together. I really think it’s the players around them … kind of knowing their role with having those two guys out on the floor at the same time. I think that’s the thing that we need to work on.”

Irving declined to meet with the media after the season.

Whether Dallas will offer Irving a maximum contract, or something close to it, remains to be seen. He is eligible for a five-year, $272MM contract with the Mavericks or a four-year, $201.7MM deal with another team.

Doncic told the media he wants to the organization to re-sign Irving. The Mavs have some internal concerns about whether Doncic might request a trade next offseason if the team doesn’t show significant progress in 2023/24, sources within the organization have told MacMahon.

Harrison says it’s his responsibility to make sure Doncic doesn’t feel the need to request a trade.

“He’s under contract, so I don’t go to sleep at night worried about, ‘Is Luka going to be a Maverick?’ Because he is a Maverick, and he’s under contract. Obviously, if that changes, then we’ll have to reevaluate it,” Harrison said. “But I think our job really to keep Luka happy, if you will, is surrounding him by the right players to help him win.”

Mavs Rumors: Harrison, Wood, Irving, First-Round Pick

Despite the Mavericks‘ disappointing season, it sounds like both head coach Jason Kidd and general manager Nico Harrison will remain with the team for 2023/24.

Team owner Mark Cuban said earlier this week that the Mavs intend to bring back Kidd for a third season. As for Harrison, league sources tell Marc Stein (Substack link) that Cuban is pleased with the work that the longtime Nike executive has done since transitioning to a front office role. While the Mavs have faced criticism for a handful of roster moves – including losing Jalen Brunson and Kyrie Irving – Stein suggests that Harrison doesn’t need to worry about his job security at this point.

Here’s more on the Mavs from Stein:

  • Stein’s “up-to-the-minute sense” is that the Mavericks won’t attempt to re-sign big man Christian Wood in free agency this offseason. Noting that Dallas intends to make some roster changes over the summer, Stein identifies JaVale McGee and Tim Hardaway Jr. as two veterans who could find themselves back on the trade block.
  • There’s “considerable skepticism” around the NBA that the Mavs will take a hard-line stance and insist on a short-term deal in their negotiations with Kyrie Irving, according to Stein, who says early rumblings suggest the team may offer a three- or four-year contract to the star guard.
  • If the Mavericks retain their 2023 first-rounder (which they owe to New York with top-10 protection), they’re expected to explore their trade options with that pick, sources tell Stein. A loss to San Antonio today would ensure Dallas has nearly an 80% chance to hang onto that pick — those odds could climb even higher if Utah wins and Dallas loses today.

Mavs Notes: Elimination, Draft Pick, Luka, THJ, Kyrie

Entering the day on Friday, the Mavericks could still have secured a play-in spot if they’d won their last two games of the season and the Thunder lost to Memphis on Sunday. However, Dallas essentially decided to throw in the towel on its chase for a postseason berth, sitting a number of regulars (including Kyrie Irving) and limiting Luka Doncic to essentially a quarter of action.

Unsurprisingly, the Mavericks did indeed lose their game to Chicago, officially eliminating them from the play-in hunt. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes, head coach Jason Kidd told reporters before the game that the decision was made by team owner Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison.

“We were fighting for our lives, and understanding this is a situation we’re in, but the organization has made the decision to change,” Kidd said. “So, you know, we have to go by that and that’s something that happens. So the guys that are playing, we got to go out there and put our best foot forward, and we talked about that this afternoon.”

Speaking after the game, Kidd said that the move was less about “waving the white flag” and more about prioritizing the future.

“It’s decisions sometimes are hard in this business,” he said, per MacMahon. “We’re trying to build a championship team. With this decision, this is maybe a step back. But hopefully it leads to going forward.”

Asked if he agreed with the decision to prioritize the future instead of the present by sitting players on Friday, Kidd replied, “Those are my bosses, so yes.”

Kidd confirmed after Friday’s loss that Doncic and Irving definitely won’t be playing in Sunday’s regular season finale, with other regulars likely to join them on the sidelines (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • As Tim Cato of The Athletic observes, one more loss on Sunday would ensure that the Mavericks finish with sole control of the NBA’s 10th-worst record. That would give them approximately an 80% chance of hanging onto the top-10 protected first-round pick they owe the Knicks — there would be about a 20% chance of a team near the bottom of the lottery standings leapfrogging them and pushing them out of the top 10, in which case they’d have to send the pick to New York.
  • Within a separate story about what’s next in Dallas, MacMahon says there’s a “strong sense of urgency” to expedite the process of building a contender around Doncic. Team sources have admitted there’s concern that Luka could request a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if Dallas doesn’t take a significant step forward by then, MacMahon reports.
  • Appearing on The Carton Show on FS1 (Twitter video link), Tim Hardaway Sr. said that Doncic and Irving aren’t leaders, and referred to Doncic as a “crybaby” due to his frequent in-game complaints to referees. As Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News writes, Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. asked to speak to reporters in order to distance himself from those comments. “I disagree with it 1000%,” the younger Hardaway said, stressing that his views both Doncic and Irving as good leaders. “… It’s disappointing that I have to come out here and say (this). I love him to death, like I said, my dad. He made a mistake. It’s his opinion, not mine. We’re two different human beings, so that’s really all I can say.”
  • In the most recent episode of the Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps, and MacMahon discussed Irving’s upcoming free agency, debating whether or not Kyrie holds most of the leverage as he enters free agency (hat tip to RealGM). MacMahon and Bontemps believe Irving is in a good position to command a long-term maximum-salary deal from the Mavs, while Windhorst questioned whether there are any teams that will have the cap flexibility and the desire to make a play for Kyrie and put pressure on Dallas.

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.”

Mavericks Notes: Finney-Smith, Harrison, Green, Hardy

Dorian Finney-Smith called it “bittersweet” to be leaving the Mavericks after spending six-and-a-half years with the team, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Finney-Smith, who earned a roster spot as an undrafted free agent in 2016, was one of the bargaining chips the Mavs are using to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Nets.

The versatile 29-year-old forward is nearing the first anniversary of signing the four-year, $55.5MM extension that seemed to make him a franchise cornerstone. He was among the Mavericks’ best perimeter defenders and steadily improved as a shooter throughout his time in Dallas.

In an interview with Townsend, Finney-Smith acknowledged rumors that Brooklyn might include him in another deal before Thursday’s deadline.

“It makes you feel good that the league sees the work that I’ve put in,”  he said. “But you never know. We’ve still got four more days and you never know what can happen.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • In acquiring Irving, general manager Nico Harrison is trading the team’s established culture for a shot at winning a title, observes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie were an important part of that culture, Caplan adds, along with Jalen Brunson, who left for the Knicks in free agency last summer. Caplan also states that Harrison was forced to gamble on Irving because his offseason moves to add Christian Wood and JaVale McGee haven’t turned out the way he hoped, while Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s return from injury hasn’t made up for the loss of Brunson.
  • The Nets had strong interest in Josh Green, but the Mavericks refused to include him in their offer, sources tell Tim Cato of The Athletic, who adds that Dallas was also reluctant to part with rookie guard Jaden Hardy. Cato also confirms a report from Sunday that the Mavs are hoping to shake up their roster even further before the deadline. Cato’s sources say the front office is pursuing other deals, and he notes that wing depth is a glaring issue, particularly on defense, following the loss of Finney-Smith.
  • Luka Doncic will miss his second straight game Monday with a right heel contusion, but Wood is listed as questionable to return from a fractured left thumb, according to a tweet from the team.

Mavs’ Harrison Talks Brunson’s Departure, Roster Moves, Kemba

With the Mavericks set to play the Knicks on Saturday for the first time this season, Jalen Brunson will get an opportunity to face his old team, while the Mavs will get the chance to see what they’ve been missing since losing the standout point guard in free agency over the summer.

Asked by Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News about whether the team regrets how Brunson’s free agency played out, Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison was quick to point out that Brunson’s departure “wasn’t our choice” and that Dallas made a competitive offer.

Still, as Tim Cato of The Athletic writes, there’s “no question (the Mavs) mishandled” the Brunson situation, given that they could’ve locked him up well before his free agency if they had been willing to offer a four-year extension worth approximately $56MM — the same deal Dorian Finney-Smith signed last season. By the time the Mavs put that extension (the most they could offer during the season) on the table for Brunson, he had outperformed it and was headed for a bigger payday on the open market.

In the wake of Brunson’s departure, the Mavs could have pursued a veteran free agent replacement – perhaps Goran Dragic – in July, but opted not to do so. Instead, they’ve used their 15th roster spot so far this season to audition veteran play-makers on non-guaranteed salaries. They began the season with Facundo Campazzo in that role and have since waived him to sign Kemba Walker.

Asked by Caplan whether the Mavs should have done more to address that third point guard spot in the summer, Harrison said it’s easy to second-guess the team’s thinking, but that he still has confidence in the current roster.

“You can look back at it and say that, but I also have faith in the guys that we have here,” Harrison said. “… Guys haven’t made shots, but we’ve seen them do it, and I have faith in them. I think if guys make shots just at the rate or slightly below what they normally do, we’re not even having this conversation. I think that erases a lot of the doubt or the feeling that we’re not quite achieving what the expectations would’ve been. The law of averages, they eventually equal out, and guys will make shots.”

Here are a few more of the most noteworthy quotes from Harrison’s Q&A with Caplan, which is worth checking out in full if you’re a Mavs fan:

On his thoughts about the Mavericks’ up-and-down performance so far this season:

“It’s no secret — we’ve lost some bad games, and we haven’t played good on the road, and our guys who shoot the ball well haven’t shot well. If you add those three up, I’m not surprised where we’re at, but I wouldn’t have expected all three of those things to happen.”

On whether the Mavs felt the need to use the 15th roster spot to address a lack of ball-handling rather than leaving it open:

“I just think it’s one of those things that you’re just constantly evaluating the team. When you see that there’s a hole, then you’ve got to try to fill it. I mean, you say lack of ball-handling, but at the end of the day, whoever that person is that we bring in, whether it was Facu or whether it was whoever, it’s not like they’re in the regular rotation. If we have one of the best, one of the best point guards in the league who’s one of the highest usage rates, it’s kind of a gift and a curse.”

On the Mavs’ expectations for Kemba Walker:

“I don’t think there’s any expectations, really. One, I hope his body holds up. I think that’s the first and foremost thing. I hope his body holds up. If it does, he’s a veteran guy. One, he’s an amazing person — I think that’s the point. He’s an amazing person. He’s been through everything in the league. He obviously can handle the ball and everybody knows he’s an ex-All-Star. I won’t even say ex-All-Star. He’s an All-Star. He’s a scorer. Adding that veteran presence for if and when we need it ready will be helpful.”

Texas Notes: Tate, Washington, Harrison, Days

Rockets small forward Jae’Sean Tate is not resting on his laurels after signing a new three-season, $22.1MM contract with Houston this summer, writes Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle. The 26-year-old hopes to improve his play all over the court.

“With the extension, it just really helped me a lot because it just made me relax and focus on basketball instead of trying to just stress about stuff,” Tate said. “Since [signing the deal], I’ve been even more confident in my overall game. My shooting, my ball-handling, my ability to talk and lead.”

Tate indicated he is working out multiple times daily in Houston, including at the Rockets’ home arena, the Toyota Center. During his second season in 2021/22, the 6’4″ Ohio State alum averaged 11.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG and 0.9 SPG across 26.4 MPG for the 20-62 Rockets. He appeared in 78 games, starting all but one.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Rockets rookie point guard TyTy Washington revealed a COVID-19 pandemic-era preparatory holdover that has helped him track player tendencies: a notebook he kept from 2020 through his lone season at Kentucky. Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle writes that the 20-year-old intends to begin jotting down observations into a fresh notebook during his first NBA season with Houston. Washington would watch documentaries as well as current and classic NBA games and write down thoughts in his original notebook. “That one was kind of through high school and college, like younger me but more watching it as a fan,” he said. “But now it’s like, I’m at this level. So it’s no more watching it as a fan. It’s watching and trying to get better, watching it to learn stuff.” The 6’2″ guard was selected with the No. 29 pick by the Grizzlies on draft night before ultimately being dealt to Houston.
  • Mavericks GM Nico Harrison addressed a variety of interesting topics, including the departure of Jalen Brunson in free agency, the recovery timeline of Tim Hardaway Jr., and the fit of new center JaVale McGee, in a conversation with Mark Medina of “You lose a talent like Brunson, it’s definitely a blow,” Harrison acknowledged. “We knew it was a possibility that could happen. We did as good a job as you could do with anticipating something like this actually happening.”
  • Spurs Summer League forward Darius Days, who went undrafted out of LSU this year, is doing his darnedest to earn a two-way contract with San Antonio, writes Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. The team has already signed center Dominick Barlow to one of its two-way slots. “You’ve got to have fun,” Days said of his opportunity. “This is going to determine the rest of our lives, but you’ve got to have fun at the same time.” In his final NCAA season, Days earned All-SEC honors, while averaging 13.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.5 SPG across 33 games, all starts. During a 97-84 Spurs loss Monday to the Rockets, Days scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Orsborn notes that Days is competing with undrafted ex-St. Joseph’s rookie guard Jordan Hall and second-year forward Joe Wieskamp for a chance to nab a two-way deal.

Draft Rumors: Pistons, Duren, Dieng, Mavericks, Raptors, Anunoby

The Pistons, who already made news this week with their impending trade of Jerami Grant to Portland, could make another significant move this evening. They are holding ongoing conversations to acquire another lottery pick, with Memphis center Jalen Duren believed to be the target, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets.

Detroit already holds the No. 5 selection in the draft. A report earlier today indicated Pistons GM Troy Weaver is a big fan of Duren.

  • Ousmane Dieng seems destined to be chosen higher than any other international prospect. The French big man, who played for the New Zealand Breakers, has been surging up draft boards and could go as high as No. 8, where the Pelicans are picking, Marc Stein tweets.
  • The Mavericks are covering all their bases, even though their first-round pick is headed to Houston and their second-rounder is headed to Washington, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. GM Nico Harrison says they’re are not actively calling teams to trade into the draft, but have done the prep work needed in case they end up with a draft pick in either round.
  • The Raptors are unlikely to move into the lottery and trade forward OG Anunoby, Michael Grange of Sportsnet tweets. Most of the chatter surrounding Anunoby has come from the Trail Blazers, who are trying to add veterans around Damian Lillard, Grange adds, while Toronto remains in a ‘be patient and grow’ mode.

Western Notes: McGee, Doncic, Brunson, Mavs, Williamson

Veteran center and unrestricted free agent JaVale McGee said he’s interested in re-signing with the Suns this offseason, according to Kellan Olson of

“Definitely consider it, definitely consider an opportunity,” McGee said. “At this point in my career, I’m definitely focused on myself and what’s best for me and my situation and my family. I know what I bring to a team if it’s any organization that I go to. For me, that’s what it’s all about. Make sure I’m valuing myself as much as the team (is) valuing me.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Luka Doncic will be informed of potential roster moves via frequent contact with head coach Jason Kidd, owner Mark Cuban, GM Nico Harrison and assistant GM Michael Finley, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News reports. Doncic will not be taking it easy this summer. He’ll start practicing with the Slovenian National Team on June 15 ahead of World Cup qualifying matches against Croatia (June 30) and Sweden (July 3). He’ll re-join the national team in August to prepare for EuroBasket, which begins Sept. 1 in Cologne, Germany.
  • Doncic wants free agent Jalen Brunson to remain his backcourt partner, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. “The step – the huge leap – he took this year was unbelievable,” Doncic said. “And he’s going to deserve all the money he gets.” The Mavericks have made their desire to retain Brunson known but they also want to acquire a quality big man — a rebounder and rim-protector. “That’s no secret. We know we got beat up on the boards,” Harrison said after the conference finals.
  • Zion Williamson no longer has any restrictions from his foot injury. So how will he fit in with a Pelicans team that showed vast improvement in the second half of the season? Will Guillory of The Athletic takes a closer look at that topic.