Doncic, 22, openly clashed with Carlisle at times this season, and Kidd arrives with experience as a Hall of Fame point guard and after stints working with LeBron James in Los Angeles and Giannis Antetokounmpo with the Milwaukee Bucks. Doncic, a prominent Jordan Brand athlete, has a relationship with Harrison, who has never led an NBA front office. Doncic is eligible for and widely expected to sign a five-year, $201 million contract extension this summer.
Kidd arrives in Dallas with a 183-190 (.491) career coaching record, having spent the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets and guiding the Bucks from 2014 to 2018 before winning a 2020 championship ring with the Lakers as part of Frank Vogel’s staff. The move is a homecoming of sorts for Kidd, who was drafted by the Mavericks in 1994 and spent four-plus seasons with the franchise late in his career, earning all-star honors in 2010 and starting at point guard on the 2011 title team.
The primary challenge for Kidd in Dallas will be to translate Doncic’s superstar ascent into greater team success. The Slovenian guard earned all-NBA first-team honors and averaged 35.7 points, 10.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds in the playoffs this year, only for the Mavericks to bow out in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers for the second straight season.
Kidd guided his teams to the playoffs in three of his five years as coach but advanced out of the first round only once, with the Nets in 2014. During his two years as a Lakers assistant, he repeatedly indicated his desire to return to the head coaching ranks.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban consulted with Nowitzki in his search to replace Carlisle, who resigned last week after 13 seasons with the Mavericks and then agreed to a multiyear contract to coach the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. Earlier this week, Carlisle endorsed Kidd as his successor in Dallas.
“I just think that it would be a great situation for Luka, and I think it would be an amazing situation for Jason,” Carlisle said in a statement to ESPN, predicting a “great marriage” for Kidd and Doncic. “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.”
Harrison, who played college basketball at Army and Montana State before launching a brief professional career overseas, has worked at Nike since 2002, rising through the ranks to become vice president of basketball in North America. His tenure with the sneaker giant included work with Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Mavericks executive Michael Finley is expected to remain with the organization and work with Harrison in the new-look front office.