Update (2:35 p.m. CST, 6/16/21): There are swirling rumors that Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavericks current director of quantitative research and development and a key player in Cato’s story about the Mavericks internal power struggle, might be on the way out as well.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner said during a live broadcast Wednesday afternoon on the app Green Room that Voulgaris is going to leave the organization. O’Conner’s collogue, Wosny Lambre, disputed that notion. There hasn’t been any additional confirmation, but Voulgaris contract expires later this summer and the noise is saying the Mavericks won’t outright fire Voulgaris, but let his contract expire.
To further add credence to this rumor, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that the Mavericks have hired Mike Forde’s Sportsology, a well-known consulting firm that helps sports organizations make front office hires. If the Mavericks are using a firm to find Donnie Nelson’s replacement, it would appear Voulgaris isn’t taking that spot, which could confirm that he is on the way out as well. Take this for a grain of salt until we get additional confirmation from other sources.
Original Story: Shams Charania of The Athletic has broken major news that long time general manager of the Dallas Mavericks Donnie Nelson has agreed to part ways with the Dallas Mavericks.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon confirmed the story.
Source confirms that longtime president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson is parting ways with the Mavs, as reported by The Athletic.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 16, 2021
Nelson had lost power since the hiring of Bob Voulgaris, creating internal tension.
The news comes just days after Tim Cato of The Athletic published a story detailing the disfunction of the front office. Though the story focused on director of analytics and research Harlabos Voulgaris, the big picture pointed to major issues in the front office and the perception of two general managers in Nelson and Voulgaris.
Nelson’s tenure with the Dallas Mavericks extends back to 1998 where he helped facilitate the franchise-changing trade for Dirk Nowitzki as assistant general manager to his father Don Nelson. Nelson was the chief architect behind numerous trades by the Mavericks in the 2000s which eventually led the team to acquiring the right mix of players in the 2010-11 season that led to the first Dallas Mavericks championship.
What’s next for the Dallas Mavericks is hard to say. The elevation of Voulgaris as the true general manager seems a possibility, despite the Athletic story, if only because he apparently has the full attention of owner Mark Cuban. This is a massive shake up for an organization that’s relied on the consistency in management and coaching.
However, the rapid rise of superstar Luka Doncic changes the timetable for Dallas and despite Doncic’s willingness to sign an extension, there is intense pressure to make the Mavericks a contender as soon as as possible.
We’ll report more on the situation as more information is made available.
Following the news, we did a live Green Room (formerly Locker Room) recording to get reactions from fans. You can download it here or find it wherever you get your podcasts by searching Mavs Moneyball Podcast.