Several reports indicate that Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd is returning to where his career began and enjoyed his greatest success, but this time it will be his third term as head coach.
By Marc Stein from The New York Times, as well as Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Mavericks legend (written in 1994; champion in 2011) has entered negotiations to lead Dallas following the departure of Rick Carlisle for the Pacers. Kidd is also said to have started to build staff.
The Mavericks have entered into contract negotiations with Jason Kidd to be their next coach, according to league sources, with the backing of their main (but not yet identified) candidate to head basketball operations.
– Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 24, 2021
Both reports noted that the Mavericks are closing in on a new “basketball operations chief,” and the mystery candidate backs the addition of Kidd.
As the evening wore on, it became clearer that the executive in question was Nico Harrison, currently the team’s vice president leading Nike’s basketball operations in North America.
The Mavericks envision Nike’s Nico Harrison and vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley working side-by-side, along with Special Advisor Dirk Nowitzki, also a big part of Mark Cuban’s reshaped brain trust. Harrison also has a long-standing relationship with Jason Kidd.
– Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2021
Harrison has reportedly been in the mix for similar positions in the past, with an eye for talent identification and a well-maintained, deep network throughout the league.
Kidd joined the Nets for their second season in Brooklyn, the same year the team acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a bid to speed up their window to compete in the East. They went 44-38 in the regular season, beating the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game first round before losing to eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in five.
A power struggle ensued in the front office, with Kidd aiming to add decision-making responsibilities regarding basketball in addition to the role of coach; that ended with his departure for Milwaukee, where he coached the Bucks to a 139-152 record over 3 seasons, including leading the conversion of Giannis Antetokounmpo to Milwaukee’s chief ball manager. The Bucks have reached the playoffs twice (2015, 2017), each time coming out in the first round with a six-game loss.
After a year of absence, Kidd joined the Lakers in 2019, when they hired him as Frank Vogel’s main assistant.
MacMahon further reports that Dallas is “optimistic” that Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley will stay with the team to some extent, extending a streak to seven seasons.