DALLAS - We're not much on conspiracy theories, but we cannot help but notice how vocal Damian Lillard is about all the management moves the Dallas Mavericks are in the process of making ... and we cannot help but wonder if it is something more than random.
Three weeks ago, Portland superstar Lillard told Yahoo Sports that “Jason Kidd is the guy I want'' (to coach the Blazers). More recently have come reports that Lillard is starting to get antsy with the Portland front office. And on Friday, in the wake of the news that Dallas is working to secure Kidd their new head coach, with Michael Finley in the front office and with hopefully soon-to-be new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison also involved up top comes yet another Dame endorsement.
"Facts,'' he tweets in regard to Harrison's qualifications.
So let's walk through this ... conspiratorial step by conspiratorial step ...
STEP 1: Owner Mark Cuban makes sure Luka Doncic is comfortable with the names about to be presented to him: Jason Kidd and Nico Harrison. Luka is comfortable.
STEP 2: Cuban makes Dirk Nowitzki a "special advisor.'' Was Dirk going to ever say "no'' to the idea of Jason Kidd as coach?
STEP 3: Lillard wants to play for Kidd and, as he approaches age 31, is maybe starting to question his Portland loyalties.
STEP 4: Coach Rick Carlisle walks out the door on the way to Indiana and - in a highly unorthodox move - announces his support for the candidacy of Kidd as his successor. Why? And why is Cuban not demanding trade compensation? Are Cuban and Carlisle exchanging favors here?
STEP 5: The Mavs prepare to hire Kidd - Lillard's guy (and a favorite of many NBA players) - as the head coach.
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STEP 6: The Mavs prepare to hire Harrison - Lillard's guy (and a favorite of many NBA players) as the VP of basketball ops, or GM, or something.
STEP 7: Lillard's people on Friday morning appear to leak more "inside info'' regarding Lillard's dissatisfaction in Portland.
Why? Why? Why?
Is there a gigantic leap from buying into this odd series of events to Lillard being traded to Dallas? Indeed, in large part because of the price Portland would demand. One source has already suggested to DallasBasketball.com that the Mavs "just don't have the ammo'' for such a deal.
And yet, in this NBA, when a star player wants out, he almost always gets out.
Is there a gigantic leap in buying our conspiracy theories in general? Sure, because maybe Carlisle endorsed Kidd simply because he truly believes Kidd can bring the best out of Luka Doncic. (Or maybe he did so because he isn't very friendly with his top aide in Dallas, Jamahl Mosley.) And hey, maybe Lillard liked Kidd for Portland and it stops there. And maybe Lillard is just congratulating Harrison for Dallas with no other personal attachment.
Or ... maybe the one thing the Dallas Mavericks have done poorly in the last decade - assembling star-quality players to support their singular superstar - is in the process of being fixed. Nico Harrison, Jason Kidd and Luka Doncic figure to be a powerful recruiting team.