The Dallas Mavericks are finalizing a deal to make Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd the franchise’s new head coach, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is also close to hiring longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison to a front-office leadership position, sources said. Cuban and Harrison, who is close to Kidd, have had in-depth discussions about the coaching candidates and identified Kidd as the target, sources said.

Sources said that Kidd has begun the early stages of assembling a coaching staff.

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban

The Mavs are optimistic that vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley will remain with the franchise and work alongside Harrison, sources said.

Harrison, who has been pursued by other teams for front-office roles, has well-established connections with players throughout the NBA stemming from his two decades with Nike. He has a strong relationship with Luka Doncic, having played an instrumental role in the Mavs star shifting from Nike to the Jordan brand in the fall of 2019.

Kidd, who had two stints with the Mavericks during his playing career and starred on the 2010-11 championship team, has had the support of Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki and others who have been advising Cuban. Nowitzki recently returned to the franchise as a special advisor to assist Cuban in the searches for a new lead basketball executive and head coach in the wake of the departures of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle.

Carlisle, who resigned after a 13-season tenure in Dallas, offered an unsolicited endorsement of Kidd as his replacement.

“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka have so many things in common as players,” Carlisle told ESPN on Thursday after agreeing to become the Indiana Pacers’ head coach. “I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason. I’m the only person on the planet that’s coached both of those guys and that knows about all of their special qualities as basketball players. To me, that just would be a great marriage, but that’s just an opinion.”

Kidd has a career record of 183-190 as a head coach. He coached the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Kidd, who has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, has a 9-15 career playoff record, advancing to the second round in his lone season with the Nets.

Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, who has a particularly strong relationship with Doncic, is among the other coaching candidates who have been considered.

Kidd, 48, a 10-time All-Star who won five assists titles, was drafted by Dallas with the No. 2 overall pick in 1994. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns in December 1996 and returned to Dallas in February 2008 after stints with the Suns and then New Jersey Nets.

Kidd spent five seasons with the Mavs during his second stint in Dallas, forging strong relationships with Cuban and several others who remain in the Dallas front office and support staff.

Kidd’s departure from Dallas in the 2012 offseason was acrimonious with Cuban — Kidd changed his mind after agreeing to re-sign with the Mavs and instead joined the New York Knicks in free agency — but they long ago smoothed out any hard feelings stemming from that exit.

Finley, a two-time All-Star for the Mavs who originally arrived in Dallas as part of the 1996 Kidd trade, has been an executive with the franchise for the past seven seasons, serving as vice president of basketball operations the past three. Sources said that Finley, like Nowitzki, strongly lobbied to hire Kidd as coach.

Courtesy: ESPN


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