The Dallas Mavericks and longtime general manager Donnie Nelson mutually agreed to part ways on Wednesday, and it does not sound like the move is one that was supported by the franchise’s biggest star.
Luka Doncic was asked on Thursday for his thoughts on Nelson leaving the Mavericks. He described it as “tough” for him.
“It was kind of tough to me. I really like Donnie. I know him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me,” Doncic said while playing with the Slovenian national team, via Marc Stein of the New York Times. “It was tough for me seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.”
Doncic’s take is noteworthy given the circumstances. Earlier this week, a report from The Athletic relayed that there are people within the Mavericks organization who are concerned Doncic may eventually want to leave the team. The reason? He supposedly hasn’t been getting along with former professional gambler Haralabos Voulgaris, whom Mark Cuban hired as director of quantitative research and development in 2018. Nelson reportedly lost power internally since Voulgaris came on board.
Cuban issued a strong response to The Athletic story on Twitter, but the timing of Nelson’s departure does not seem like a coincidence.
Doncic is one of the best players in the NBA, so the Mavericks will try to do whatever they can to keep him happy. Their first order of business may be addressing his concerns with Nelson’s exit.