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Coach Kidd Debuts: Mavs NBA Preseason Schedule Includes Giannis’ Bucks

Dallas Mavericks Offseason Tracker: The roster moves and more, from Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on down.

DALLAS - Our Dallas Mavericks offseason tracker .... keeping you informed on the latest news and rumors surrounding the team throughout the offseason.

SEPT 9: PRESEASON SLATE The Mavs on Thursday announced their 2021 preseason schedule, which will begin with a pair of home games against the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers on Oct. 6 and Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Dallas will continue its four-game preseason slate against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. CT. The preseason concludes on the road on Oct. 15 when the Mavericks face the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks at 7 p.m. CT.

TV and radio broadcast information will be announced at a later date.

SEPT 1: TWO-WAY SIGNING According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks are signing JaQuori McLaughlin to a two-way contract. He was a member of the Golden State Warriors summer league team earlier this summer.

McLaughlin, 23, played five seasons of collegiate basketball. His first two seasons were spent with Oregon State but he transferred to UC Santa Barbara for the remainder of his career. He went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft.

During the summer league, McLaughlin averaged 10.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals. He finished shooting just 38.3% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. 

McLaughlin showed some flashes despite his scoring efficiency appearing to be underwhelming. He had 84.4% of his shot attempts within the half-court come as jump shots and he thrived as an off-the-dribble shooter, particularly using ball screens. 

Eugene Omoruyi is the recipient of the Mavericks' other two-way contract for the 2021-22 season. Nate Hinton held one of these deals last season but was recently waived by the team. 

AUG 31: COACHING STAFF FINALIZED The Dallas Mavericks announced the official coaching staff under head coach Jason Kidd. There were a group of returning assistants including Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton. 

The roster of assistant coaches include Igor Kokoskov, Sean Sweeney, Jared Dudley, Greg St. Jean, Kristi Toliver, Armstrong, Patton, and Shammgod.

There was speculation regarding former Mavericks player J.J. Barea potentially joining the coaching staff. He was not on the finalized list but still is expected to have a role with the organization while being based out of Miami. 

AUG 30: MISSED ON MARKKANEN The Dallas Mavericks were linked to Lauri Markkanen as he remained available in restricted free agency. His situation was resolved using a sign-and-trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers after receiving a four-year, $67.5 million contract.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Mavericks were among teams that had interest in a sign-and-trade for Markkanen. Other teams included the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Boston Celtics. 

The Chicago Bulls completed their sign-and-trade of Lauri Markkanen, sending him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal that brings Larry Nance Jr. to the Trail Blazers and Derrick Jones Jr., a protected Portland first-round pick and a protected Denver second-round pick to Chicago. Chicago had sign-and-trade interest for Markkanen from the following teams, according to sources: Dallas, New Orleans, Cleveland, Minnesota, San Antonio, Sacramento and Boston. The Bulls had driven a hard bargain, refusing trade offers and eventually being hung up on a second-round pick from Cleveland, sources said.

Charania also reported that Markkanen 'fully expected' to be part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls from the San Antonio Spurs. However, the Bulls 'pulled him from the proposal.'

In return for Markkanen, the Bulls received Derrick Jones Jr., who is on an expiring deal worth $9.7 million, along with a lottery protected 2022 first-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers. 

The Mavericks simply lacked the necessary expiring salary and draft assets to make a better trade offer. Dallas would not have been justified in doing so either, especially when considering the contract details and potential fit concerns alongside Kristaps Porzingis. 

AUG 22: MAVS LOSE NICK VAN EXEL Former Mavs player and pro personnel scout Nick Van Exel is on his way to the Atlanta Hawks, who confirmed to our Mike Fisher that they've hired him as an assistant coach.

The Hawks are hiring Van Exel to replace assistant Marlon Garnett, who recently departed for an opportunity with the Charlotte Hornets. 

Van Exel has spent the better part of the last decade in the coaching field, including a previous stop in Atlanta, a stop in Milwaukee, two stints with the Texas Legends, and three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. 

AUG 19: MAVS HIRE TOLIVER According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Dallas Mavericks are hiring Kristi Tolliver as an assistant coach. She is currently a member of the LA Sparks and had previously been a member of the Washington Wizards coaching staff. 

The Mavericks hired Jason Kidd to take over as head coach after Rick Carlisle held the position for the last 13 seasons. So far, the team has added Greg St. Jean and Igor Kokoskov as assistant coaches.

There was some talk about Jason Terry potentially becoming a member of the Mavericks' coaching staff earlier in the offseason. Instead, he has since agreed to become the next head coach of the Grand Rapids Gold, the G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets.

AUG 17: JOEL EMBIID JOINS DONCIC IN SUPERMAX CLUB The Philadelphia 76ers and star center Joel Embiid are finalizing a four-year supermax contract extension that will keep him under contract through the 2026-27 season. Per reports, the deal guarantees Embiid a total of $261 million because he was already set to make $65 million in the final two seasons under the terms of his current deal.

The offseason has been highlighted by several All-Star and key players agreeing to extensions with their existing teams, including Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Doncic and the Mavs agreed to a five-year, $207 million supermax rookie extension. Doncic signed the deal last Tuesday in Slovenia with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, general manager Nico Harrison, coach Jason Kidd, assistant general manager Michael Finley and special advisor Dirk Nowitzki and director in attendance. 

AUG 16: BULLS EYEING MAXI? According to The Athletic's Tim Cato, the Bulls hold an interest in Maxi Kleber amidst talk of a potential Lauri Markkanen sign-and-trade. 

Dallas could offer Markkanen, say, a three-year deal worth $44 million and send back about $10 million in offsetting salary in a direct trade not involving its TPE. I’ve heard Chicago has interest in Kleber; it’s a riskier deal for Dallas giving up both a rotational player and signing Markkanen to a higher salary point.

There are a variety of complications that arise when analyzing a potential Markkanen sign-and-trade from the Mavericks' perspective. Giving up Kleber could create additional complications in the rotation. 

The market appears to be boxing in Markkanen with the money in free agency largely being dried up. He has been linked to the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves at times, but further traction hasn't developed. 

Much of the Markkanen debate centers around the compensation he'd receive. Dwight Powell earns around $11.1 million and if Markkanen receives a deal closer to that mark while bringing highly efficient shooting, it's worth considering. 

AUG 7: INTEREST IN MARKKANEN During a recent episode of "The Mismatch" podcast, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor mentioned the Dallas Mavericks as a 'team to watch' for Lauri Markkanen.

“One other team to watch for (Lauri) Markkanen is the Dallas Mavericks. I’ve heard they also have interest, so there’s some sign-&-trade possibilities involving him with Charlotte & Dallas.” 

The Charlotte Hornets were mentioned as a potential landing spot for Markkanen by O'Connor but the team has since landed Kelly Oubre Jr. in free agency. Now, the options are all the more bare for Markkanen to consider.

There are legitimate concerns with the idea of pairing Markkanen with Kristaps Porzingis in the frontcourt. The lack of foot speed between the two against teams would be concerning, especially if Porzingis does not return to previous form in that regard. 

Lauri and Luka? Fun. Lauri continuing to try to copy from Dirk Nowitzki? Fun.

Everything is relative to price, however. On a big offer sheet it wouldn't make sense throw money at Markkanen from the Mavericks' perspective. But if the price is much lower? Then that's a completely different scenario. 

AUG 7: LUKA LOSES Luka Doncic was arguably the MVP of the Tokyo Olympics. But not even he was enough in the bronze game as a good Australian team caused Slovenia to fall 93-107.

Doncic, the Dallas Mavs’ star, was obviously heartbroken about the loss, in which he posted 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but was inefficient from the three-point arc as he made just three of his 13 attempts from long distance. He also had eight turnovers.

Team USA is the gold winner over France.

Doncic, 22, will soon sign his $201.5 million Supermax contract with Dallas, where he will chase a title … and then four years from now, he will surely again chase a medal for Slovenia.

AUG 6: BULLOCK OFFICIAL Reggie Bullock, who comes to Dallas via a reported three-year, $30.5 million deal, on Friday made the commitment official.

Bullock (6-6, 206) has career averages of 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 21.5 minutes in 366 games (202 starts). The eight-season vet most recently played for the Knicks. Last year he averaged 10.9 points, a career-high 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a full-time starter. He was among the NBA's best corner-3 shooters and points-per-possession weapons.

The University of North Carolina, who arrivedvia the 2013 NBA Draft when he was drafted 25th overall by the Clippers, will wear No. 25 in Dallas.

AUG 4: KEMBA GETS BOUGHT Former Mavs target Kemba Walker is headed to the Big Apple. Walker is finalizing a contract buyout with the OKC Thunder and the New York Knicks will sign the four-time NBA All-Star as a free agent, according to multiple reports. The 31-year-old is a Bronx native so it'll be a homecoming to Madison Square Garden. Reportedly, the Knicks are planning to offer Walker a contract worth roughly $8 million in average annual value.

AUG 2: LILLARD TO BROADWAY? On a recent segment of Sirius XM NBA Radio, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported information that he had heard about Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard's desire to play for the New York Knicks....IF he were to be traded. 

This confirms the report by DallasBasketball.com's Grant Afseth, who was first to report on Lillard's desire to land with the Knicks in the event he were to be dealt to a new team. 

A lot would need to happen for Lillard to leave the Trail Blazers and he has remained adamant publicly that he wants to try to win in Portland. This remains a situation to monitor, nevertheless. 

AUG 2: 2 SHOOTERS JOIN The Dallas Mavericks continued to add size and shooting to the wings via free agency on Monday evening, signing 3-and-D rotation player Reggie Bullock to a deal.

The Mavs will reportedly be splitting the mid-level exception between Bullock and their previous signing of the day, Sterling Brown.

The Brown report at the above link. The Bullock report is here.

AUG 2: BOBAN AND HARDAWAY BACK: Free agent center Boban Marjanovic has, as expected, agreed to a deal to re-sign with the Mavericks. That news happens as the Monday night window opens with Tim Hardaway Jr. being retained on a four-year, $72 million deal. 

Sources suggest to DBcom that the center-heavy roster could mean a trade of Dwight Powell. Among the Dallas pursuits: Goran Dragic.

AUG. 1: NEWS IN PAIRS Mavs plan? They are apparently collecting familiar centers, as it seems Boban is coming back and Willie Cauley-Stein is coming back. We get Luka-friendly. (Boban). And we've nothing against WCS. But ... 

How many reserve centers are needed?

Meanwhile, it seems Miami has a slightly more premium plan. Dallas likes Kyle Lowry but we're not optimistic. Separately, Dallas likes DeMar DeRozan, too.

But the Heat might get both of them?

AUG. 1 LONZO RUMOR VS. FACT Mavs and Lonzo Ball? Some national media outlets see it. We do not. Sources suggest to us that beyond the complications that exist in trying to do a deal there (the sign-and-trade, being hard-capped) there is simply this: Ball and the Chicago Bulls will soon, we bet, close a deal together.

JULY 31: CONLEY TO STAY A league source has told DallasBasketbal.com that Conley will return to the Jazz and what was described as a three-year, $60 million contract. 

The Mavericks have been linked at times to Conley over the years, including this offseason. He is among the top secondary ball handler options set to become free agents, but he will stay in Utah. 

JULY 31: LOWRY TO HEAT? As DallasBasketball.com previously reported, the Miami Heat are the front-runner to sign Kyle Lowry. The Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans remain serious suitors.

The close relationship that Lowry shares with Heat superstar Jimmy Butler is a significant factor in Miami's pursuit of his services. For a full breakdown of the situation, click here

JULY 31: BROWN TO DALLAS According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Mavericks are acquiring Moses Brown from the Boston Celtics in part of the Josh Richardson trade.

Brown, 21, showed some intriguing signs with the Thunder as he posted averages of 8.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 21.4 minutes per game. He was dealt originally to the Celtics and is being re-routed to the Mavericks. 

Beyond the box score, there are concerns with Browns' inability to defend out in space and that would be a concern playing alongside Kristaps Porzingis. 

JULY 25: LOWRY PURSUIT According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Dallas Mavericks are among the teams expected to have interest in Kyle Lowry. 

The 76ers, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans and Heat are expected to be top suitors for Raptors free agent guard Kyle Lowry, sources said.

It's no secret the Mavericks will make a real pursuit of a secondary ball handler. Lowry is among the top options that will be available in the NBA offseason, but he does not appear to be among the more likely of them. 

Lowry has personal connections to the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. He has a close friendship with Jimmy Butler and grew up in Philadelphia. Will those hold greater weight than playing with Luka Doncic and the Mavericks?

JULY 23: WARRIORS TRADE TALKS According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Golden State Warriors are 'not interested' in a potential trade with the Dallas Mavericks for Kristaps Porzingis. 

"The Golden State Warriors are not interested in a trade for Kristaps Porzingis, at least involving their picks. I haven't heard any interest."

It was widely reported that Dallas had previously approached the Warriors about a trade involving Porzingis but were unable to get a deal done. The scenario was centered around Kelly Oubre Jr., who is now set to reach free agency this offseason. 

The Warriors also have recently been linked to Myles Turner in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported that Indiana has been 'one of the more active teams' in trade talks and the name in those conversations has been Turner. 

“[The Warriors] are having trade conversations I have not seen reported that—I believe I had it in my story—that they’ve had some conversations with the Pacers. The Pacers have been one of the more active teams. The name that I’ve heard involved in those conversations is Myles Turner."

There is a major case to be made that Turner is quite a bit more attractive of a trade target from team's perspectives than Porzingis. He is set to earn roughly $12 million less next season and is a far more impactful defender while still being a stretch-big with finishing ability. 

JULY 22: MAVS EYEING HOLMES According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks are expected to purse Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes in free agency.

Holmes has solidified himself as a starting center during his two seasons with the Kings. He posted averages of 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 29.2 minutes per game during the 2020-21 regular season.

The Mavericks will have their eyes on a secondary ball handler to pair with Luka Doncic this offseason. However, a rim protector that is a versatile roll man and play finisher would be a welcomed addition.

JULY 20Giannis Antetokounmpo Giannis Antetokounmpo was the apple of the Dallas Mavericks eye before the 2012 NBA Draft. But it worked out another way, culminating Tuesday night as he carried the Bucks past the Suns, 105-98, for the franchise's first NBA title since 1971.

"I’m a f---ing champion! Nobody can say s--- to me!" Antetokounmpo later said on his Instagram.

"The Greek Freak'' became the first player to tally 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a playoff game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2001. The 6-11 star ended the night with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.

In the words of LeBron James, "Greek Freak is HOOPING!!!!!!!"

Ousted Mavs GM Donnie Nelson, as Mavs fans know, saw this coming. So did the late Kobe Bryant, who, after Giannis' first of two MVPs in June 2019 tweeted, "My man.... M.V.P. Greatness. Next up: Championship. #MambaMentality" 

JULY 18: The Mavs continue to work to assemble a championship-caliber cast, on and off the floor - while at the same time watching Giannis Antetokounmpo push his Milwaukee Bucks to within one more win of an NBA championship.

"One more to go," Antetokounmpo said on live TV after the Bucks' wild 123-119 come-from-behind Game 5 win over the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. "One more to go."

"The Greek Freak'' totaled 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists, including a game-sealing alley-oop dunk, pushing the Bucks to a 3-2 series lead - despite having trailed 2-0 to start the series.

The key play: 

"They don't call him the Freak for nothing," Jrue Holiday said. "I threw it as high as I could."

Meanwhile, as you can read below, Kawhi Leonard is in the middle of Mavs buzz. How close is he, despite the injury news, to being Dallas' "Plan A''? That's worth continued study as new head coach Jason Kidd closes in on hiring top assistant Igor Kokoskov, best-known for coaching Luka Doncic in Slovenia during EuroBasket 2017.

JULY 16: KAWHI WATCH According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks 'will not be dissuaded' from making a run at Kawhi Leonard in free agency despite his ACL surgery. 

"Dallas, just to name one expected suitor, will not be dissuaded from pursuing Leonard even if he’s forced to miss all of next season, league sources say."

It remains to be seen how long Leonard will be sidelined as he recovers from surgery that repaired a partially torn ACL injury. Much of the 2021-22 season could be at risk.

Given the injury history that comes with Leonard, there was previous speculation regarding potential hesitancy from various potential suitors ahead of free agency.

JULY 15: MAVS TARGETING IGOR According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Mavericks are targeting Fenerbahce head coach Igor Kokoskov to join the coaching staff as an assistant. 

Kokoskov has prior experience coaching Luka Doncic as he was the head coach for Slovenia during EuroBasket 2017. The pairing was quite successful as Doncic led the team to winning the whole thing. 

The resume Kokoskov brings to the table is quite impressive. He initially became an NBA assistant with the LA Clippers in 2000-01 and received his first head coaching gig with in 2018-19 with the Phoenix Suns. He then joined the Sacramento Kings' staff for 2019-20 before departing the NBA. 

Kokoskov is known for his ingenuity for offense and with a talent to focus a half-court attack around like Doncic, that's an intriguing pairing. Especially when factoring there is already familiarity.

JULY 14: NERLENS NOEL RETURN? According to SNY's Ian Begley, the Mavericks are among the teams expected to have interest in soon-to-be free agent Nerlens Noel. 

Initially, NBA Analysis Network's Evan Massey reported that soon-to-be free agent, Nerlens Noel, is expected to draw interest from the Raptors, Kings, Hornets, and Trail Blazers. 

Prior to the start of the playoffs, it was reported that Dallas will seek to pair Kristaps Porzingis with another big man in the frontcourt. Given the competitive nature of the market, 

The disconnect between Noel and former Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is well documented. With Carlisle no longer at the helm, it seems as though Dallas is viewed as a more viable option. 

There is reason for intrigue when it comes to the idea of the Mavericks adding Noel to the roster. First and foremost, he is a rim protector that has real athleticism to be utilized as a lob threat and interior play finisher alongside Doncic.

JULY 13: MAVS EYEING COLLINS According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Mavericks are among the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and Minnesota Timberwolves as the teams expected to show interest in John Collins.

"Dallas, Miami, San Antonio and Minnesota are among the teams expected to show interest in Collins, believing he could be attainable as a restricted free agent, sources said. Hawks owner Tony Ressler said after the season that he hoped the team reached a “fair agreement” with Collins. Will the sides find that threshold?"

There have been numerous occasions when the Mavericks have been linked to Collins. Between his improved three-point shooting and threat as a rim roller, there's a lot to like about the fit. 

Collins will have no shortage of interest from teams in restricted free agency. The Mavericks would need to determine if paying both Kristaps Porzingis and Collins would be a viable strategy. If not, a Porzingis trade could make sense. 

JULY 11: MOSLEY TO MAGIC According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Orlando Magic will officially make former Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley their head coach. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mosley will received a four-year deal in his first stint as a head coach in the NBA.

The Magic are fully in the midst of a long-term rebuilding process. Adding a head coach that resonates well with young players is an intriguing choice for Orlando and appears to be a strong fit for Mosley in his first tenure as a head coach.  

JULY 9: OLADIPO INTERESTS MAVS? According to Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Network, the Mavericks and Miami Heat both seem to have interest in Victor Oladipo ahead of free agency. 

The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are currently expected to be two of the most active teams in the NBA this offseason. Both franchises are looking to make splash additions to improve their chances of competing for a spot in next year’s NBA Finals. One player that they both seem to have interest in is Victor Oladipo.

For the Mavericks, Oladipo appears to be most logical in the event of Tim Hardaway Jr.'s departure. This appears to be especially true when considering how the Heat appear to be one of the more likely landing spots for Hardaway Jr. if he were to leave. 

Both the Heat and Mavericks will undoubtedly have their aspirations set higher this offseason than to prioritize signing Oladipo, especially when he likely won't be available to start the 2021-22 season. 

JULY 8: MOSELY TO MAGIC? According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, former Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley is now the 'strong frontrunner' to become the next head coach of the Orlando Magic.

The Mavericks had the opportunity to hire Mosley to be their head coach but ultimately opted to go with a more experienced option in Jason Kidd. Mosley was well received in the locker room, particularly by Luka Doncic. 

JULY 8: ASSISTANT COACH SEARCH According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks are in 'advanced talks' to bring in Detroit Pistons assistant coach Sean Sweeney.

There is already familiarity between new head coach Jason Kidd and Sweeney as he was an assistant under Kidd in his previous two NBA head coaching stints. 

JULY 6: MELLI TO EUROPE? According to EuroHoops.net, Olimpia Milano of the EuroLeague is closing in on a deal with Nicolo Melli. He was set to be an unrestricted free agent with a cap hold of nearly $5.1 million.

Olimpia Milano is close to bringing forward Nicolo Melli back in EuroLeague. The two sides had been having long conversations for quite some time and, as Eurohoops has learned, they are now nearing a deal.

The Mavericks acquired Melli in part of the trade deadline deal with the New Orleans Pelicans that was headlined by J.J. Redick. Now, both members of the deal appear primed to be headed elsewhere.

JULY 6: MOSLEY A FINALIST? Mavs assistant Jamahl Mosley was elbowed out of Dallas with the hiring of Jason Kidd as the head coach. But Mosley could "fall up'' and be a head coach next season, as he is reportedly a finalist for openings in Washington and Orlando, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

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JULY 2: CONLEY WATCH During a recent episode of Hollinger & Duncan NBA Show, John Hollinger mentioned the Mavericks as a 'team to watch' for Mike Conley in free agency.

"The team to watch with Conley is Dallas, though. I mean, they were the team that was after him when he was a free agent last time and he re-signed with (Memphis). Yeah, I would definitely keep an eye on Dallas."

Conley will have no shortage of options in free agency, so the market could very well dictate his landing spot. Will the Jazz be willing to pay him substantially to return? Will a Los Angeles based team make a move for a point guard? Those will be key questions to watch. 

The Jazz do not have a track record of being able to attract high profile free agents, so keeping him alone for that reason makes it quite attractive. However, the fact that the team will be very limited financially if he were to leave is all the more reason.

JULY 1: KAWHI TO DALLAS? According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will make a 'hard push' to sign Kawhi Leonard in free agency. 

"The Mavericks and Heat plan to make a hard push to acquire Leonard, league sources say. The Knicks will also pursue any superstar that becomes available, and a long list of other suitors would at least make an attempt if he hits the market. Who wouldn’t want a 30-year-old two-time Finals MVP still performing at an All-NBA level?"

When evaluating the landscape of potential landing spots, the Mavericks have made the short-list of many analysts. In theory, playing alongside Luka Doncic could create a truly dynamic duo that can be overwhelming for opposing teams to play... but would Leonard want to play in Dallas?

Some league executive view the Mavericks as the 'most serious threat' to sign Leonard due to the opportunity of being able to play alongside Luka Doncic and the salary cap flexibility the team can create. 

"Dallas is considered by some executives to be the most serious threat to land Kawhi because of Luka Doncic’s presence and the front office’s ability to create maximum cap space or work out a sign-and-trade."

One layer to the situation that must be mentioned is Leonard's relationship that he established with new Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison from his time at Nike.

During Leonard’s years with Nike, he also developed a good relationship with Nico Harrison, the Mavs’ new general manager and a former longtime executive at the company.

If the Mavericks were able to successfully recruit and sign Kawhi Leonard to come play in Dallas, it would change the scope of the situation immensely. The team would immediately become an elite threat with a serious chance to win the 2022 NBA Finals. 

JUNE 29: HARDAWAY LINKED TO HEAT According to Greg Sylvander of 5 Reasons Sports, Tim Hardaway Jr. is 'intrigued' by the idea of playing for the Miami Heat ahead of free agency. 

"As the beginning of free agency gets closer and closer, I can report that Tim Hardaway Jr is intrigued by the idea of landing in Miami and would love to join the Heat, a league source tells Five Reasons."

Sylvander did add that Hardaway Jr. and his camp do see 'timing of free agency' and 'contract details' as potential challenges in signing with the Heat in free agency. 

"However, the timing of free agency and contract details are perceived as likely challenges by Hardaway and his camp, according to the same sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

There will be no shortage of teams interested in targeting Hardaway Jr. in free agency. He has emerged as a highly efficient off-the-catch threat while showing the ability to do more. His explosive playoff performances only add to his value, too. 

The Heat will have a variety of tough questions to face before they can go and pursue a player like Hardaway Jr.  Atop the list is the fact that players like Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn entering restricted free agency.

Victor Oladipo is also set to become a free agent and the Heat will surely need to make a decision on whether to bring him back, too. He suffered a season-ending quad-tendon injury -- the same one he injured back in 2019.

JUNE 29: MAVS FANS OF OUBRE JR According to SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley, there are some within the Mavericks organization that are 'fans' of Kelly Oubre Jr ahead of free agency. 

Some with the Mavs are fans of Oubre, per SNY sources. He’ll surely garner interest from several teams this offseason.

This would be far from the first time the Mavericks have been linked to Oubre Jr. in media reports. 

There was a recent report mentioning how the Mavericks approached the Warriors about a potential Kristaps Porzingis trade prior to the March deadline. 

JUNE 28: KIDD SPEAKS “Dallas has meant so much to me as a player and I want to thank Mark Cuban for the opportunity to return as a head coach,” said new coach Jason Kidd in a Monday press release. “I am excited to get to work with this young, hungry and incredibly talented team and to continue to build a winning legacy for the Mavericks organization.”

Kidd, who was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, begins his third stint in Dallas after spending eight of his 19 seasons as a player with the team and helping the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title.

Kidd joins the Mavericks after most recently serving two seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was part of the franchise’s 2020 NBA championship season.

“We are excited to welcome J-Kidd and his family back to Dallas,” Mavericks owner Cuban said. “He possesses a winning mentality that carried him through a Hall of Fame career as a player and has helped him successfully transition to the NBA’s coaching ranks. We are eager for him to get to work and lead our franchise and talented young players into the future.”

READ MORE: Done Deals: Dallas Mavs Hire Jason Kidd As Coach, Nico as GM

Kidd is taking over in Dallas alongside new GM Nico Harrison.

THURSDAY: DISCUSSIONS WITH NIKE EXEC According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Mavericks have discussed a front office role with longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison. 

Harrison is known for his 'strong relationships' with many NBA players, among them being Luka Doncic. The Mavericks are not the only NBA team to pursue Harrison for a front office role. 

NBA teams have become more creative with out-of-the-box hires for front office roles in recent years. The greatest example being former CAA agent Leon Rose heading up the New York Knicks front office as the president of basketball operations.

The intent is to recruit top talent and that will be crucial for the Mavericks to achieve the intended level of success in the Luka Doncic era.

THURSDAY: NEW EXEC COMING According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Mavericks are 'close' to hiring a new executive to join the front office. 

There has yet to be clarification provided on Michael Finley's role with the Mavericks organization. He is 'expected' to remain with the organization whether he remains in his current role or not. 

The Mavericks were rumored as intending to add a new executive into the front office regardless of a potential promotion for Finley as head of basketball operations.

THURSDAY: KIDD EMERGES AS FAVORITE According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon, Jason Kidd has emerged as a 'strong frontrunner' to be hired as Rick Carlisle's replacement. The team is also 'closing in on' a new GM. 

MacMahon also reported that Mark Cuban and the 'soon-to-be-hired GM' have conducted deep conversations about potential head coaching candidates. Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki, among other advisors, supports Kidd as a candidate.

Carlisle even publicly endorsed Kidd as his pick to be the next head coach of the Mavericks following the news breaking of him being hired by the Indiana Pacers. 

"My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players," Carlisle said. "I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I'm the only person on the planet that's coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that's just an opinion."

Kidd has prior history with the Mavericks organization, most notably with his involvement on the 2011 championship run. 

Kidd has received a few chances as a head coach between his time with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks -- resulting in a 183-190 (.491) regular season record and going 9-15 (.375) in the postseason.

THURSDAY: PACERS HIRE CARLISLE Former Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle has told DallasBasketball.com that he is signing a four-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. 

Carlisle joins the Pacers one week after resigning from the Mavericks, the team he’d led to the playoffs nine times in 13 years, including the title run in 2020-21.

Carlisle last week announced that after several meetings with owner Mark Cuban, “I informed him that I will not be returning as head coach, This was solely my decision."

"Dallas will always be home, but I am excited about the next chapter of my coaching career." 

This upcoming season will kick off Carlisle's second term in Indiana. He coached the Pacers from 2003-07, reaching the postseason four times.

Carlisle, 61, has 836 career wins, the third-most among active coaches. He will look to bring Indiana back to the playoffs next season after the Pacers finished 34–38 in 2020-21.

Carlisle had two years remaining on his current contract with the Mavericks prior to resigning from his position. (ESPN reports that his new deal totals $29 million.) As previously reported, the team will not seek compensation from his new team despite being in a position to do so. 

WEDNESDAY: INTEREST IN DINWIDDIE Per NY Daily News' Kristian Winfield, the Mavericks are among the teams who are interested in Spencer Dinwiddie ahead of NBA free agency.

“The Mavericks are another team with interest in Dinwiddie, according to a source, and the Nets guard will be one of the more coveted players in free agency. Dinwiddie’s interest in Dallas or Miami is unclear.”

TUESDAY: GM SEARCH According to New York Times' Marc Stein, the Mavericks are 'not pursuing' established front office executives for the general manager vacancy. That includes Raptors exec Masai Ujiri and former Celtics exec Danny Ainge.

"The Mavericks are not pursuing established executives like Toronto's Masai Ujiri or Danny Ainge, the former Boston president of basketball operations, to replace Nelson, according to a person with knowledge of the team's intentions. Those executives would surely want more autonomy than Cuban is willing to cede."

MONDAY: MAVS PURSED OUBRE? Based on the reporting of Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Mavericks approached the Warriors about a potential trade centered around Kristaps Porzingis for Kelly Oubre Jr. This was before the March trade deadline. 

"Sources told B/R the Mavericks approached Golden State before the deadline on a structure that centered around Kristaps Porzingis, in exchange for Oubre. But that was a different regime, predating Dallas' recent changeover atop the franchise's basketball operations."

FRIDAY JUNE 18: MAKE YOUR BETS The latest betting odds have been released in regards to who will be the next Mavericks head coach. Per Odds Shark, Jamahl Mosley (-110) is the frontrunner while Becky Hammon (+600) and Terry Stotts (+600) are among the leaders. 

FRIDAY JUNE 18: DIRK RETURNS While he won't be making a return to the lineup, Dirk Nowitzki will be rejoining the Mavericks organization as a 'special advisor.' He will be tasked first with assisting in the head coaching search. 

THURSDAY JUNE 17: CARLISLE STEPS DOWN Former Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle informed owner Mark Cuban that he will not be returning to coach the team next season, as first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

WEDNESDAY JUNE 16: NELSON OUT AS GM The Mavericks and GM Donnie Nelson have chosen to part ways, as first reported by The Athletic's Shams Charania.

TUESDAY JUNE 15: LUKA LARGE HONOR Presenting the 2020-21 All-NBA First Team: 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Nikola Jokic 

Stephen Curry 

Kawhi Leonard

Luka Doncic

READ MORE: Luka Plans To Sign Dallas SuperMax

Luka getting the honor is not a surprise. But it’s big in terms of recognition … and in terms of his SuperMax eligibility.

TUESDAY JUNE 15: ‘TAKING SIDES?’ The Dallas Mavericks imbroglio involving Luka Doncic vs. Bob Voulgaris is an argument that I’ve now been drawn into because I’m apparently on the wrong side of it.

Except I don’t know what the argument is.

And I haven’t ventured toward taking a side.

The in-depth reporting on the issue by The Athletic led to DallasBasketball.com efforts to “advance the ball,” resulting in our reach-outs to Voulgaris, coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban.

Over the course of a Monday of reporting, we stated repeatedly that Doncic’s intention of signing his five-year $201.5 million extension in no way means Dallas is protected from future conflict with the star.

We said it at 3:20 p.m. in the Fish Report on “G-Bag Nation” on 105.3 The Fan. (See below.)

We said it at 6 p.m. on “Fish at Six” on YouTube. (Click link.)

We said again with “Nosebleed Seats” at 7:20 p.m. (You get the idea. But here it is, below.)

The essence of our objective take: “Just because a player is signed today doesn’t mean he can’t wake up tomorrow unhappy and wanting out.”

We have never intimated, suggested or reported otherwise.

In a subjective take, we have often bemoaned this aspect of the NBA, using James Harden’s unsavory departure from Houston as an ugly example.

Somehow, as a result of all of the above, this has gotten twisted into DallasBasketball.com being accused of thinking a) that it’s being reported that Doncic might not really-sign (we do not think that) and b) that once he signs, the Mavs’ problems are solved.

Again, as stated often, in three Monday broadcasts and in print (to paraphrase ourselves): “The Mavs right now have more cracks in the dike than they have fingers.”

It seems our phrasing of a question(s) to Cuban has been misunderstood as being in support of the notion of “everything being OK” or support of Cuban.

We’re not sure how that’s been misinterpreted. We asked about the owner being "Luka-centric,'' about whether Carlisle is in charge of his lineups and about whether Voulgaris is a "shadow GM.'' You don't have to like/trust/believe Cuban's answers. But upon our reviews of our questions? We're fine with them.

And referring to “supporting” any position in this kerfuffle - Cuban, Doncic, Carlisle, Donnie Nelson, Voulgaris, any of the principles: Scan our coverage again.

Here is our one-on-one interview with Cuban: Mavs Exclusive: Rumors Of Luka Doncic 'Rift'? Mark Cuban Responds

Here is our one-on-one interview with Carlisle: Mavs Exclusive: Coach Carlisle on Rumor Of Wanting To Leave For Bucks

Here is our report on Doncic’s contractual plan: Luka Doncic Plans to Sign $201.5 Million Extension

These are news stories. These are not “taking sides.” These are not “arguments.” These are not “subjective.”

We have our opinions on the Dallas Mavericks, of course. And when we state those, it will be clear to you, the reader. There is therefore no need for critics to manufacture in anyone’s minds “what side we’re on.”

Our reporting seeks to be objective. As is regards our interviews with the principles in this case, we stand by our reporting. And when we do state our opinions? We stand by those, too. - Fish

MONDAY JUNE 14: Mavs Trade? Porzingis ‘Intrigues’ Hornets

According to NBA Analysis Network's Evan Massey, the Charlotte Hornets are 'very intrigued' by the idea of trading for Kristaps Porzingis this offseason. The idea would be to add more offensive firepower alongside LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. 

"One source stated that the Hornets are very intrigued by the possibility of adding Porzingis. They want to add a big man alongside LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. Porzingis would not bring the defensive presence that they would like, but he would add more offensive firepower and more star power in general."

The Hornets have long been eyeing big men with Cody Zeller set to reach NBA free agency this offseason. Charlotte is also reportedly 'really interested' in Pacers' Myles Turner and have been linked to Lakers' Montrezl Harrell and Kings' Richaun Holmes, too.

MONDAY JUNE 14: Rick Carlisle Denies Interest In Coaching Bucks

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported that Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is among those that 'have an eye on Milwaukee's potential opening' in anticipation of a potential firing of current coach Mike Budenholzer. 

"Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is another longtime coach who's been rumored to have an eye on Milwaukee's potential opening."

In response to this report, Carlisle made it clear he has 'zero interest' in leaving Dallas, via Rick's one-on-one visit with DallasBasketball.com.

Keep in mind, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed after the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs that Carlisle 'isn't going anywhere.' And now, rumors and gossip aside, you have Carlisle's on-the-record position.

SATURDAY JUNE 12: Mavs To Pursue Jarrett Allen In NBA Free Agency? 

On the HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto mentioned the Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets as 'teams to watch' for Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason. 

"Some executives around the league believe the Charlotte Hornets could make a play for him (Jarrett Allen) as they need a center and have cap space, even though he’s a restricted free agent. Some have floated out Dallas."

It's unlikely the Mavericks will be able to land Jarrett Allen since he is a restricted free agent and the Cavaliers are very much interested in matching offers. Cleveland expected to give him a contract extension worth $100 million or more this offseason.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 9: Porzingis Trade: Could Celtics’ Kemba Walker Be Mavs Target?

According to Bleacher Report's Farbod Esnaashari, the Mavericks are among the teams to watch for a potential trade for Kemba Walker. The idea is that Walker would provide the desired secondary ball handler the team seeks. 

Another team that could easily assimilate Walker would be the Dallas Mavericks. Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly frustrated with his role and was used less and less throughout the playoffs; he had a 26.5 usage rate in the regular season, and it dropped to a career-low 16.2 in the playoffs.

The Celtics have been linked to various frontcourt options in the past with a Kristaps Porzingis trade being among them. While there's undoubtedly risk involved in this idea, the general premise is that each side would solve a need. 

TUESDAY JUNE 8: Tim Hardaway Jr. On Mavs: 'I Love It Here'

Much attention will be placed on Tim Hardaway Jr. as he will enter NBA free agency as the top Mavericks talent reaching the open market. He made it clear he is quite fond of Dallas. 

“If you talk to anybody that’s around me,” Hardaway said on Monday as the Mavs, ousted from the playoffs, move toward the off-season, “they would tell you that I love it here in Dallas.”

Given how robust of a performance Hardaway Jr. provided the Mavericks in the NBA playoffs, no shortage of suitors are expected. There is mutual interest in getting a deal done and he could receive 'up to $20 million' per season.

One team that has been linked as a potential suitor for Hardaway Jr. in NBA free agency is the Miami Heat. Given the major injury to Victor Oladipo along with his pending free agency, the midseason move to bolster their perimeter talent didn't pan out. 

MONDAY JUNE 7: Luka Doncic Plans To Sign Mega-Extension

After earning All-NBA honors on his rookie contract, Luka Doncic has positioned himself to be eligible for a five-year, $201.5 million supermax extension. He intends to sign the historic deal. 

"I think you know the answer to that question," the 22-year-old All-Star said with a smile.

The Mavericks will have to focus on surrounding Doncic with the necessary pieces in order to make sure he stays in Dallas for the life of that contract. 

MONDAY JUNE 7: Myles Turner A Trade Target For Mavericks?

The Indiana Pacers are coming off an underwhelming season that featured missing the NBA playoffs altogether. Our own Dalton Trigg reported mutual interest between Turner and the Mavericks.

"According to said source, there could be interest that would unite the Mavs and Pacers’ versatile big man Myles Turner. If Dallas does ultimately decide to move on from Porzingis, trading him to Indiana for Turner might be one of the more realistic options the Mavs front office will have."

Turner has been mentioned as a trade option for the Mavericks in the past, and for good reason. He provides elite rim protection as a weak-side help defender and pick-and-roll defender while having a stretch-five skill-set on offense.

It also doesn't hurt that he's a native of the Dallas area, where he attended Trinity High School in Bedford.