The Dallas Mavericks are entering a critical offseason with Luka Doncic as their clear present and future as a superstar, but with plenty of uncertainty around him with regards to the roster. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a free agent, trade rumors are swirling about Kristaps Porzingis given his struggles in the postseason, and overall the roster needs upgrades to become a real contender in the West.
Early in the week, a bombshell report dropped in which much of the blame for Dallas’ internal dysfunction was laid at the feet of pro gambler turned executive Haralabos Voulgaris, calling him a “shadow GM” and with many examples of him apparently overstepping his role and becoming far more powerful in decision-making within the organization than maybe anyone, including GM Donnie Nelson. It wasn’t hard to figure out who was likely one of the chief sources in that story, as Nelson would understandably be one of the most frustrated individuals about a shift of power as described in The Athletic’s piece, but what came next was something no one expected.
Nelson, who has been with the Mavs since 1998, has “parted ways” with the organization as of Wednesday, leading them into their most critical offseason in years with a new top priority of finding a new GM.
The Dallas Mavericks and Donnie Nelson have mutually agreed to part ways. pic.twitter.com/YRg8pF15oG
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 16, 2021
It is hard not to see this as, at least in some way, tied to that internal dysfunction, but the decision reportedly came before the story ran.
The decision for Donnie Nelson to leave the Mavericks was made Sunday, sources told ESPN.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 16, 2021
All of this is to say, Dallas has some serious work to do internally to figure things out, but they now get a chance to reset with a new GM and, possibly, more shakeups in their front office structure before they get into a very important draft, free agency, and trade season.