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Rick Carlisle's worth to the Mavericks goes beyond coaching

The staff discusses the news that Carlisle could be extending his contract, and what it means for the team.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

With news yesterday that the Dallas Mavericks and current head coach Rick Carlisle are discussing a new contract, the staff decided to weigh in on what the contract means for the Mavericks, Carlisle, and the future of the franchise.

What's your immediate reaction to the news that the Mavericks are working on a contract extension for Carlisle?

Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789):

Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): Shock. I didn't know this was a thing at all. I've always assumed Rick Carlisle and Mark Cuban would part ways amicably, with Dallas heading towards a rebuild. I'm really pleased this is being discussed. Rick's one of the best coaches in the league and he's not someone that should be parted with lightly.

Doyle Rader (@TheKobeBeef): I was extremely pleased to see that the Mavericks and Carlisle are negotiating a contract extension. He's as much a face of the organization as Dirk and Cuban at this point. And with all due respect to Dick Motta and Don Nelson, he's the best coach the team has had.

Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21): First initial thought is he deserves it. While that may seem obvious, no coach has been through so much roster turnover in the last number of years than Carlisle. Not only that, but he's handled it better than anyone could've imagined. This is the best thing the Mavericks could've done. It's also the smartest thing they could've done. Who knows what would've happened if Carlisle went into next year, no contract offer from Dallas and found a more lucrative offer elsewhere? It was a no-brainer, and very well-deserved.

Josh Bowe (@Boweman55): That maybe this thing isn't 100 percent totally screwed afterall. The Mavs are going to fall hard once Dirk decides to retire in the next year years and the franchise is going to need a direction. Having Carlisle on board will help ease that sting a tad and keep providing Dallas with some credibility in free agency. For as awful as the Mavs roster continuity has been since 2011, at least they've kept one thing constant.

Andrew Kreighbaum (@kreighbaum): We often talk about how the Mavs' front office failures over the last half decade have been a real injustice to Dirk. The same could be said for Carlisle, who is typically mentioned as the second-best coach in the NBA. If Dallas had had the same kind of roster stability as the Spurs over the last several seasons, it's easy to imagine he would be talked about as a real rival to Gregg Popovich. I hope that he's rewarded for his loyalty to the Mavs with an improved roster in the future.

What does this extension say about the front office's priorities?

Josh: That the Mavs front office treats its coaches better than its players? I dunno. Carlisle doesn't seem like the rebuilding type coach, but he's also coached some pretty rebuilding-ish looking rosters (2012, 2013, this season) since the title. He doesn't have the best reputation with rookies but he's shown some better signs with that with the development of Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder and has given chances to Dwight Powell and seemingly Justin Anderson. I think if the Mavs have any shot to not totally be in tank mode after Dirk leaves, Carlisle is their best shot. It also helps that Carlisle is one of the handful of current coaches from the rough and isolation heavy era of the late 90s-early 00s to survive and thrive during the NBA's postion-less, pace and space revolution. Carlisle's adaptability is key.

Doyle: With the decision to keep a rather fluid roster season after season, it's nice to see the front office nail down at least one piece with some degree of permanence. I think that they knew they needed to retain the talents of Carlisle past the inevitable retirement of Dirk. I'm not sure that there's any coach more suited to rebuilding in the league than Carlisle because he essentially is forced to do it every year.

Andrew: It indicates the team values stability to a certain extent. Donnie Nelson has been with the team for a decade and a half and Carlisle will have that kind of tenure when this new extension runs out. The problem is Dirk Nowitzki is the only player who the Mavs have kept around for more than a couple seasons in recent years. Dallas has paid lip service to roster continuity in recent years, so it will be interesting to see whether the organization starts to match its commitment to stability in the front office and coaching staff with the team it puts on the floor.

Bailey: The front office clearly believes it can avoid a full rebuild. There has been much speculation that the worst part of the DeAndre Jordan debacle might be that it ensured Rick Carlisle would be gone soon. The impression was that Carlisle had zero interest in coaching a team in rebuild mode, which makes sense. A coach that talented should be contending for a playoff run. I think this extension tells us that the front office believes it can use Wes Matthews and Chandler Parsons to build a bridge to a competitive post-Dirk team without blowing the whole thing up. And if anyone can make a team without a true superstar a dark horse contender, it is Rick Carlisle.

Danny: One thing it shows is that the Mavericks' front office rewards loyalty, at least within the coaching ranks. Life hasn't been easy since 2011, and this past summer proved it. Through all the insane roster turnover and trying to field a competitive team around Dirk Nowitzki, Carlisle has handled every possible situation with class and dignity. Surely, there's no way Carlisle sees a rebuilding team heading into the post-Dirk era. I'm not sure how he'll be able to do it, but this extension shows the front office has all the confidence in the world that the best coach in franchise history can continue to get it done.

What does this extension say about Carlisle as a coach?

Kirk: That he's dedicated to Dallas, come what may. Honestly, I thought he would leave when his contract was up to go coach a team on the rise, maybe even a team that's on the cusp of a championship. He must be happy in Dallas and that's important as Dallas heads down a more uncertain path. That Carlisle is willing to help build something new is very important for the Mavericks' future.

Andrew: It shows what a valuable asset he is to the team. That's clear in the years committed and, I imagine, the salary figure. Coaches only get you so many wins in the NBA but Carlisle has been a huge part of maintaining the winning culture in Dallas since Mark Cuban blew up the championship squad. Hopefully his skills as a coach can continue to make Dallas an attractive organization for players but recent years have made apparent that a coach can only take you so far. At some point the team is going to have to commit to prudent roster building, instead of swinging for home runs in free agency every summer.

Danny: That he's one of the best coaches in the NBA and the Mavericks couldn't afford to let him walk. Plain and simple. Carlisle hasn't coached a below-.500 team in all of his years in Dallas. Despite a different starting five virtually every year, to having to deal with the Rondo debacle and Monta Ellis' moodiness, Carlisle has continued to defy the odds. Look no further than Game 3 against the Houston Rockets in the first round. Rondo gets sent home, Parsons is hurt and Carlisle has the best possible gameplan to go point-for-point with the Rockets with J.J. freaking Barea leading the charge. That game showed Carlisle is one of the smartest minds in the game, and deserves to be paid like one.

Josh: That he's a top 3 coach in the league. If the Mavs thought anything less, they'd probably be more willing to go in an entirely different direction once Dirk retires. We may have some occasional nitpicks with Carlisle (at times weird rotations, failure to trust younger players) but there's no doubt that the alternative would be doom. Carlisle helped bring the Mavs a title, he's helped keep the franchise afloat during a tumultuous period since that title and he's probably the 1B to Gregg Popovich's 1A. Carlisle is a foundation piece just as much as any player could be.

Bailey: I think this says one of two things about Carlisle. Either he genuinely believes the front office's vision for the team's transition to a Dirk-less existence or things other than basketball are perhaps more valuable to Carlisle at this stage in his career. I still really don't think he wants to coach a rebuilding team, but maybe he's willing to risk doing that because he likes the culture and work environment in Dallas and his family feels at home here. While Cuban's efforts have provided mixed results, it is clear that the owner WANTS to have a successful team. And will do whatever it takes to try and give Carlisle the most talented squad possible. I'm curious to see whether Carlisle will be provided more input in personnel decisions going forward. It would be nice if we could avoid anything like the Rondo fiasco again.

Doyle: Carlisle is a top two coach in the league and it's not even debatable. You aren't going to find someone of his skill and professionalism around any corner. He's proven time and again that he is up to whatever challenge thrown his way and deserves more praise than he receives