The Dallas Mavericks hired Nico Harrison away from Nike to be their general manager and president of basketball operations in the summer of 2021 after parting ways with longtime top executive Donnie Nelson. Multiple teams tried to get Harrison to join their front office, but he did not bite until coming to Dallas with Jason Kidd taking over as head coach.
Harrison is just wrapping up his second offseason with the Mavs meaning he has had two chances to find pieces that make the Mavs a title contender around superstar Luka Doncic. Dallas surprisingly reached the conference finals last season, and Harrison's tenure has widely been a success so far.
That does mean he has not made a few mistakes. Every first-time general manager does, and here are Harrison’s three biggest and what he and the team can learn from them.
Mistake Nico Harrison has made as Dallas Mavericks GM: 3. Letting JB walk
It became clear that Jalen Brunson was leaving well before he was allowed to communicate with the Knicks. From New York hiring his father as an assistant coach to clearing cap space during the draft, JB was destined to be the point guard in the Big Apple.
It hurts any team to lose their second-best player, but that pain goes to a ten when they get nothing in return. Brunson departed in free agency, and Dallas has nothing to show for it. They had a chance to create a trade exception by giving New York a second-round pick, but Harrison and the front office declined.
The Dallas Mavericks will regret letting Jalen Brunson walk for nothing, especially when it comes to making a future trade. It was a botched situation that could cost the team for years to come. They should have taken a trade exception or engaged the Knicks earlier about a trade to ensure they received a return.