Dallas Mavericks: Why hiring Andrew Baker will make a massive impact
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks have reshaped their organization this offseason. Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were ousted after more than three combined decades with the team. Owner Mark Cuban hired Nico Harrison as the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, and Jason Kidd replaced Carlisle as head coach. The Mavs will have a new coaching staff and front office to start the 2021-2022 season.
It is an important offseason for the team. They want to build a title contender around Luka Doncic immediately. The 22-year-old superstar is expected to sign a supermax extension this summer that will limit Dallas’ flexibility moving forward. The front office must upgrade the roster and improve their standing now.
Rumors are flying all over the place right now. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer dropped a plethora on July 27, including noting the Mavericks hired Andrew Baker for a position in their front office. Fans may not know him, but here is why his hire could be a massive move for Dallas.
Hiring Andrew Baker is a massive move for the Dallas Mavericks
Keith Grant has been with the Dallas Mavericks since their inception in 1980-1981. He was most recently their assistant general manager and cap specialist. Owner Mark Cuban had this to say about Baker’s hiring and Grant’s role with the organization moving forward.
No word yet on whether Grant remains with the team or what role Andre Baker will play in the front office. The newest signing could be a massive move for the Mavericks organization, though.
Baker had previously worked with the Brooklyn Nets since 2016. In 2018, he was promoted to Director of Contract Management. The Nets signed Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan to massive contracts in the summer of 2019 and stayed under the cap. Baker is credited with making it work financially. He also worked in the San Antonio Spurs organization for two years.
The Tulane University Law School graduate’s addition is massive for the Mavs. First, Nico Harrison is no stranger to negotiating contracts and signing marquee free agents, but he likely does not have a complete understanding of the CBA coming from Nike. Baker’s salary cap expertise will complement Harrison perfectly.
The newest addition comes at the perfect time. Marc Stein let fans know that the Mavericks are trying to sign free agents Kyle Lowry and Tim Hardaway Jr. this summer. Both figure to demand significant contracts. Dallas can create quickly create $34 million in cap space, but that is not enough to get the signatures of both men. The Mavericks will have maneuver to get under the cap, which is Baker’s specialty.
The addition of Andrew Baker will pay dividends in future seasons as well. If Luka Doncic signs his supermax extension this summer, the Dallas Mavericks will be working with limited cap space for multiple years. Having someone that fully understands and can exploit the CBA will be massive for the Mavs as they try to win their second championship in franchise history but first with Luka at the helm.