Mavs Moneyball Exclusive: One-on-One Interview With Donnie Nelson

Donnie Nelson is the General Manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Dallas Mavericks.  In addition to that, he is also one of the Co-Owners of the Texas Legends, an NBA Developmental League team.  The team is located in Frisco and is the official affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.

When Nelson is not handling responsibilities for the Mavericks, he attends the games for the Legends to help promote the team.  Before speaking exclusively with Mavs Moneyball on Wednesday night, he jumped on the radio play-by-play broadcast being conducted by Ben Rogers and Jeff 'Skin' Wade.  They are the hosts of the "Ben and Skin" show which can be heard every weekday from 9 am to Noon on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio. 

Nelson commented more on the acquisition of Peja Stojakovic.  He mentioned that, when healthy, Stojakovic could provide versatility with his ability to play either forward position.  The team recognizes that he has been observed as a great teammate and that the former three-time All-Star knows how to win games.  The team had kept a close eye on sharpshooter over the course of the year, especially as he was a member of the New Orleans Hornets playing against the Mavericks on November 15.  Stojakovic scored 17 points in 19 minutes of action and went 6-8 from the field (4-6 from three-point range).

Nelson also commented that Joe Alexander has a much better feel of the game compared to when the forward came into the league and was personally shocked that Alexander has not been picked up by a team.  An intriguing note was made by Nelson as he mentioned that Sasha Pavlović worked out with Alexander before being signed to a 10-day contract with the Mavericks. 

In closing, he mentioned in regards to trade potential, the front office will focus more on talent and then look at the contract.  As long as the age works, then the contract will fix itself.  Nelson elaborated more on that detail as well as other points of interest for Mavs fans during an exclusive interview conducted by Mavs Moneyball.

MMB:  Donnie, with the trade deadline being less than a month away, can you talk about the level of activity that is going on in terms of communication with other teams?

Donnie Nelson:  There is activity at all times.  I don’t care if we’ve won twenty straight games, I communicate constantly so that is ongoing.


MMB: What is your opinion when it comes to the philosophy of balance in regards to the importance of focusing on the future versus focusing on trying to win while the "Dirk Window" is still open?

Donnie Nelson:  You said it yourself, you want to be championship caliber and you also want to have your young guns for the future.  You’ve got Roddy (Beaubois), DoJo (Dominique Jones), and (Ian) Mahinmi as some of our young guys, so you want to have your cake and eat it too.


MMB: How much influence does the unknown with the new Collective-Bargaining Agreement come into play or how much does it dictate in your decision-making process when in comes to looking at trades?

Donnie Nelson:  I wouldn’t say it is a significant factor.  Everyone in the NBA is overpaid, that is no secret, so the key is that you want to make sure that you don’t miss on the player.  The ones you regret are if someone has a long-term deal and they’re an A-Player that is functioning at a D-Level, you know, those are the ones that stand out and they’ve got an A-Salary.


MMB:  Roddy Beaubois appears to be making solid rehab progress, when it comes time for him to start playing, do you see a quick stint in Frisco with the Legends as a realistic option?

Donnie Nelson:  I really don’t know at this point in time.  If it’s something where he needs a couple of games to get his rhythm, then that is certainly a conversation worth having.  If it’s something where he’s getting those reps and practice time and getting that rehab within the confines of the Mavericks practice facility and he’s ready to play right away then we’ll go in that direction.


MMB:  Rick Carlisle, Mark Cuban and yourself create the "Triangle of Trust."  Carlisle has mentioned that player personnel moves like trades are more of an issue for Cuban and yourself, what role does the coach play in the situation?

Donnie Nelson:  Here is the deal, Rick has the hardest job on the planet maybe besides the President of the United States.  It’s not like every single conversation that I had today he knows about, he’s got enough to worry about on his plate.  Before we do anything, there are three people that have to get comfortable with it and he is one of those three people.


Twitter?  I don't even know her!  Oh......

You can stay connected with all things Dallas Mavericks by following Bryan Gutierrez on twitter @BallinWithBryan

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