The Dallas Mavericks said they have mutually parted ways with Donnie Nelson, the team’s long-time president of basketball operations.
Nelson, who had been with the Mavericks for 24 seasons, oversaw a franchise that made the playoffs in 17 of the last 21 seasons. But despite Luka Doncic’s emergence as an NBA star, the Mavericks have lost in the first round of the playoffs for two consecutive years.
There has been tension within the Mavericks organization over the presence of Haralabos Voulgaris (a former professional gambler), who was hired in Oct. 2018 as the team’s director of quantitative research and development.
Voulgaris worked directly with governor Mark Cuban and head coach Rick Carlisle, much to the chagrin of Nelson.
Donnie Nelson reportedly wasn’t the only one within the organization who was frustrated by Voulgaris. The Athletic reported that star Luka Doncic didn’t get along with Voulgaris, referencing an incident in February where the 22-year-old “snapped” at him. Doncic also told teammates that the executive was “quitting on them” after he left an eventual loss to the New York Knicks early in April, per the report.
Doncic reportedly isn’t happy with the latest change in the front office, either. Apparently, Doncic is said to be “really upset” about the loss of Nelson, who engineered the draft-day deal to land him back in 2018.
The Slovenian star is eligible to sign a supermax extension after he was named to the All-NBA First Team, but there are no talks right now about the deal, which means that the Mavericks’ troubles could stretch out of the front office and onto the court.