The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to terms with Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd to be their head coach and with longtime Nike executive Nico Harrison to be their general manager and run the franchise’s basketball operations, sources told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Friday.
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 team owner Mark Cuban. Nowitzki recently returned to the franchise as a special adviser to assist Cuban in the searches for a new lead basketball executive and coach in the wake of the departures of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle.
Sources told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday that Kidd had begun the early stages of assembling a coaching staff. Sources told MacMahon on Friday that longtime Mavs player J.J. Barea has had a preliminary conversation with Kidd about joining his coaching staff. Barea, a former teammate of Kidd’s in Dallas, has strong relationships throughout the organization, including with Luka Doncic, and the Mavs missed his presence last season.
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 Doncic, having played an instrumental role in the Mavericks star shifting his endorsement deal from Nike to the (Nike-owned) Jordan Brand in the fall of 2019.
Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley is expected to remain with the franchise and work alongside Harrison, sources told MacMahon.
Carlisle, who resigned after a 13-season tenure as Mavericks coach before taking the Indiana Pacers job Thursday, 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. “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, 48, has a career regular-season record of 183-190 as a head coach, and his teams have gone 9-15 in three playoff appearances. Kidd coached the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014 to 2018 and has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Damn I hate to lose JKidd man but damn I’m happy for him at the same time! Good luck Kidd!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 25, 2021
A 10-time All-Star who won five assists titles, Kidd was drafted by the Mavericks with the No. 2 pick in 1994, after top pick Glenn Robinson. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns in December 1996 and returned to Dallas in February 2008 after stints with the Suns and the New Jersey Nets.
Kidd played five seasons for the Mavericks during his second stint in Dallas, forging strong relationships with Cuban and several others who remain in the Dallas front office and as 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 Mavericks and instead joined the New York Knicks in free agency — but they long ago smoothed out any hard feelings stemming from that exit.