DALLAS - It has already been an eventful offseason for the Dallas Mavericks. Donnie Nelson? Gone. Rick Carlisle? Gone. The team is currently working to replace Nelson in the front office above all else.
We knew too staffer Michael Finley would be a candidate for Nelson’s seat. And now the ball is being advanced a bit.
According to New York Times' Marc Stein, the Mavericks are 'strongly considering' elevating Michael Finley to a role that would lead basketball operations. Dallas would still make an external hire even if this move was made.
As I reported last week, Dallas is strongly considering elevating one of Nowitzki’s favorite former teammates — Michael Finley — to be the team’s head of basketball operations and would add to the group with an external hire even if Finley gets the job. Cuban needs to surround himself with as much versatility and experience as the Mavericks can muster, since he will always be the organization’s lead shot-caller and prefers to render the final say after consulting top aides.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that Dallas is 'not pursuing' established executives like Raptors' Masai Ujiri or former Celtics exec Danny Ainge. Signaling that Mark Cuban isn't open to giving up his shadow role as 'lead shot-caller.'
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Hiring the top basketball minds to run the show is one thing. Sitting back to allowing them to do what they do best is another. Right now, neither of those appear to be in the cards for the Mavericks.
Whatever it is that Dallas ends up deciding to do with its front office, it's vital that proper decisions are made. Dysfunction is not tolerated by superstars, and giving a talent like Luka Doncic reason to feel like eventually departing is necessary would be a truly crippling outcome.
Hiring Dirk Nowitzki to serve as a 'special advisor' was a sound and justifiable move. However, far more needs to be done than just that to achieve acceptable results. Finley merits consideration, as does Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley, a possible successor to the departed head coach Rick Carlisle. But these moves seem “comfortable,” in a sense a continuation of some of the problems that put Cuban’s Mavs in this predicament in the first place.