The Dallas Mavericks split with general manager and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson split after 24 years with the team on June 16. Head coach Rick Carlisle stepped down on Thursday. The Mavs had more than a decade of stability, but that crumbled in recent days. Owner Mark Cuban will now be looking to replace two key decision-makers as the organization heads into a crucial offseason.
The departures come just days after The Athletic reported tensions within the Mavericks front office. The piece notes Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris gained power within the organization, including having a say in transactions, lineups, and rotations. The former professional gambler was even called a “Shadow GM” by The Athletic.
There is dysfunction within the Mavericks’ power structure. Owner Mark Cuban is going to have the final say, but he needs a president of basketball operations to pull the strings on moves. That cannot happen if the Mavs keep Bob Voulgaris in his current role.
Dallas Mavericks need to get rid of Haralabos Voulgaris
The Athletic reported on Thursday that Nelson was fired after bringing up what he viewed as losing some power within the organization.
No prominent executive is going to come to Dallas if they believe their decisions are going to be overruled by Voulgaris. Owner Mark Cuban values Bob’s analytical approach, but the moves have not worked since his hiring in 2018. The Mavericks need to have more talent around Luka Doncic. This offseason is so important because of that.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on Spotify Greenroom that Voulgaris is no longer with the team, but that has yet to be confirmed. Conflicting reports are out there about his role or lack thereof moving forward.
Cuban needs to get rid of Voulgaris. He has a poor relationship with Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic as discussed heavily by The Athletic. Tim MacMahon also discussed Voulgaris’ arrogance as rubbing many people the wrong way on Thursday’s Lowe Post podcast. Voulgaris must be let go if Dallas is going to get cohesion among their new front office. They need that if they plan on keeping Luka long-term.
The Mavericks need to hire an experienced president of basketball operations that owner Mark Cuban trusts and will listen to in the weeks ahead. Cuban must let him bring in some of his own staff, and listen to how the new decision-makers want to build around Luka Doncic. The Mavs are closer to winning a championship than fans think, but they are going to have to get out of their own way to accomplish that goal.
The offseason got more important this week. The Dallas Mavericks need to find a lead executive and head coach before trying to improve the roster around Luka Doncic. They just lost two men that helped architect their championship team in 2011. Can they find the replacements that help them get back into title contention? Dallas has a generational superstar, but the pieces around him must improve. Stay tuned to find out how it all shakes out this summer.