Per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Dallas Mavericks hired Andrew Baker of the Brooklyn Nets to a senior role with the organization. Baker had spent the previous five years with Brooklyn as Director of Contract Management.
Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News asked Mark Cuban about the hire, but Cuban declined to comment.
Mark Cuban declined to confirm @BR_NBA report that Mavs have hired Nets’ Andrew Baker as a salary cap strategist, saying he doesn’t comment on non “masthead” hires.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) July 27, 2021
When asked about the status of longtime assistant GM and capologist Keith Grant, Cuban said “KG is still the man!”
Baker is a graduate of New York University and Tulane University Law School. He interned with the New Orleans Saints and the San Antonio Spurs. After graduating law school, he took a position with the Spurs as a Basketball Operations Quality Assurance Assistant.
After a year with the Spurs, he took a job with the Nets as a Strategic Planning Coordinator, and in 2018 was promoted to Director of Contract Management.
Baker is respected for his contract creativity and is widely credited with making the 2019 Kevin Durant sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors work. The deal demonstrated the unique thinking Baker possesses regarding contracts and trades, which is something the Mavericks desperately need.
The move is part of reshaping the Mavericks’ front office. The addition of Baker will hopefully bring new ideas and creativity in the team building process, something that’s been needed for quite some time. New President of Basketball Operations Nico Harrison is already showing he’s willing to shake things up. Maybe the results of these hires will be manifested on the roster soon enough.
The Mavericks were once considered one of the most aggressive and creative franchises when it came to acquiring new players. That changed in the last decade, as they relied on “plan powder” and consistently focused on clearing cap space to chase superstars. Here’s hoping that the Baker hire signals a return to the Mavericks front office of the 2000s, which eventually led to a championship in 2011. With free agency set to begin, we won’t have to wait long to find out.