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The Dallas Mavericks hire Igor Kokoskov as assistant coach

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Luka Doncic will be reunited with his former national team coach.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks are close to hiring Igor Kokoskov as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd’s staff.

Kokoskov coached the Fenerbahce basketball club in the Turkish league last season. On Tuesday, Fenerbahce announced they had released Kokoskov from his contract per his request. The club’s statement mentioned Kokoskov’s acceptance of an offer from the Mavericks.

The hire would reunite Luka Doncic with his Slovenian national team coach. Kokoskov helmed the 2017 Slovenian team that won Eurobasket, a first for the small European nation. That team was headlined by Doncic and Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic.

Kokoskov got his NBA coaching start with the Los Angeles Clippers under Alvin Gentry in 2000. For the next 18 years he spent time as an assistant with the Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and Utah Jazz. He was a part of the Piston’s championship team in 2004 and served on the Eastern Conference All-Star team’s coaching staff in 2006.

Kokoskov became the head coach of the Suns in 2018, coaching them to a 19-63 record. He was fired at the end of the season. He spent a year as an assistant under Luke Walton with the Sacramento Kings, then moved on to the Fenerbahce job.

The hire pays immediate dividends by simply making Doncic happy. It’s well-known the two have a good relationship, and having as many people on staff to reach Doncic effectively should be the goal. Kokoskov also brings two decades of coaching experience along to help Jason Kidd. It also helps draw Dragic as a free agent if the Mavericks are leaning toward acquiring him. It’s a great hire, at least as far as assistant coaching hires can go.