Jason Kidd has emerged as a strong front-runner to become the next head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Mavericks are also negotiating with Nike executive Nico Harrison to take over as their new president of basketball operations, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. Stein notes that Harrison has developed strong relationships with players throughout the league through his work at Nike. Dallas’ hope is to land both Harrison and Kidd.
The Mavericks have already started negotiations with Kidd for him to be their next coach, according to Stein, and Kidd is in the process of assembling a coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
On Thursday, former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who won a championship with Kidd, endorsed his former point guard for the job.
“My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavs because he and Luka [Doncic] have so many things in common as players,” Carlisle told ESPN’s Tim Macmahon. “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.”
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Kidd previously coached the Brooklyn Nets for one season and the Milwaukee Bucks for parts of four. He was fired by the Bucks with a 23-22 record midway through the 2017-18 season. He never won more than 44 games as a coach in either Brooklyn or Milwaukee. Mike Budenholzer took over the Bucks for the 2018-19 season and led them to a 60-22 record.
Kidd has been an assistant under Frank Vogel on the Lakers’ coaching staff for the past two seasons, and won a championship there in the Orlando bubble. He has a strong relationship with LeBron James due to his basketball IQ, but James is far from the only star to have endorsed Kidd. Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly offered to speak to Bucks ownership on his behalf when he got fired, and Damian Lillard publicly lobbied for Kidd to become the next head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Kidd played two separate stints for the Mavericks and won the 2011 championship as their starting point guard. He was the co-rookie of the year after the 1994-95 season with Dallas and in 1996, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns for a package that included Michael Finley, who had been viewed as a candidate to replace Donnie Nelson atop the Dallas front office before Harrison’s emergence. Finley currently works as the vice president of basketball operations in Dallas, and is expected to remain with the Mavericks moving forward, according to Macmahon.
The Mavericks recently hired team legend Dirk Nowitzki as an advisor to owner Mark Cuban. Nowitzki played alongside both Kidd and Finley. Now, as the team attempts to usher in a new era of championship contention, it appears as though it will lean on the players that kept them there over the past two decades.