Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle stepping down as head coach


What changed since Cuban said Carlisle would return?

Sam Amick, senior NBA writer: We don’t have total clarity on how this went down just yet, but here’s what we know about the Carlisle dynamic that ultimately led to his departure.

  1. There was tension between Carlisle and Doncic for quite some time. But Carlisle, who is known for his ability to adapt to stars when needed (and when he’s willing), had done just that with Doncic. Still, the relationship was frayed.
  2. Carlisle was very close with Nelson. When the winds changed with that drastic move — with Cuban showing Nelson the door and supporting the controversial Voulgaris, a professional gambler — the Carlisle component clearly changed.

There are other factors here, but those are big.

Possible coaching candidates

Tim Cato, Mavericks beat writer: The first name that comes to mind is Jamahl Mosley, perhaps the most respected head coach on the Mavericks’ staff and specifically someone who Doncic has much respect for and camaraderie with.

Team sources say that the locker room’s preference would be him in charge — but what actually happens remains to be seen, especially as Dallas also has a general manager to hire.

Who is hired as the general manager should directly impact what any coaching changes look like. But as always: Think about who Doncic wants, and who he has good relationships with. That will be a major factor in any move.

Ripple effects of Carlisle’s and Nelson’s departures

Amick: To say there are ripple effects to this mass Mavs exodus undersells it. These are giant, dangerous waves landing on Cuban’s shores. He has the best young star in the game on track to sign a supermax extension this summer and now finds his organization in total disarray.

We’ll have to wait and see who gets hired to run the front office, and then who gets the head coaching job from there. But Doncic, who told reporters from Slovenia on Wednesday that he was disappointed to see Nelson go, will be watching and surely wondering how it all might impact these early years of his NBA career.

Where do the Mavericks go from here?

Cato: Dallas has obviously been dealing with chaos and dysfunction throughout its internal structures. This is the byproduct of that: a general manager fired, a head coach departing, and now enormous questions about what the power structure and coaching tree will look like going forward.

The most important thing is Doncic’s presence on the roster. It’s the hardest step toward building a roster that can compete for titles. But there’s still work to be done, and not much time to get the organization back in shape to address these concerns moving forward.

(Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)


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