Dallas Mavericks best coaching replacement for Rick Carlisle: 4. Darko Rajakovic
This is a name that not many people would expect, but Rajakovic has been a coach all over the world since 1996. He has gained an impressive reputation for his ability to both scout and develop talent. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz notes (subscription required) that Rajakovic has had a hand in developing Dennis Schroder, Mikal Bridges, Desmond Bane, and De’Anthony Melton.
The 42-year-old is currently an assistant for the Grizzlies. He was a Spurs scout from 2004 to 2011 and has had assistant coaching stints in Oklahoma City and Phoenix before landing in Memphis.
Rajakovic is from Serbia and has strong European ties. He could use that experience to gain the trust of Luka Doncic. The 42-year-old could also play a massive role in developing Josh Green, Tyrell Terry, and other young Mavericks guards. The list of players Arnovitz mentioned competes hard on both ends of the floor, so he could play a key role in improving the Mavericks defense too.
Darko Rajakovic is going to get an NBA head coaching opportunity at some point. Could it be replacing Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks? It seems unlikely, but he is an under-the-radar name to watch.
Next: No. 3