Following a day of rumors and speculation, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd will officially be the next head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, according to multiple reports:
The Mavericks have completed their deal with Nike's Nico Harrison for Harrison to run the team's basketball operations ... with Jason Kidd having also agreed to a deal to be the Mavericks' new coach, league sources say. They are expected to arrive in Dallas next week.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2021
Earlier on Thursday, there was a report that Kidd would be a “prime candidate” for the open Dallas Mavericks head coaching job, but that the search would likely wait until the team had finalized its GM hire. It didn’t take long, as ESPN was soon reporting that Kidd was viewed as the “strong frontrunner” for the gig.
Mark Cuban and the soon-to-be hired GM have had in-depth discussions about the coaching candidates, sources said. Jason Kidd has had support of Dirk Nowitzki and others advising Cuban. https://t.co/WrvVaGsONC— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 24, 2021
Marc Stein of the New York Times soon added that the Mavericks have already begun talking money with Kidd, making it even more of a certainty that Kidd would get the job:
The Mavericks have opened contract negotiations with Jason Kidd to be their next coach, league sources say, with support from their leading (but not yet identified) top candidate for head of basketball operations.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 24, 2021
The Mavericks are negotiating with the respected Nike executive Nico Harrison about taking over as the team's president of basketball operations, league sources say, with the hope of hiring Harrison alongside Jason Kidd as their next coach.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2021
Dallas' approach, if it can succeed where other teams have failed in luring Harrison away from Nike, is an offshoot of how various agents have moved into front offices. Relationships and a strong rep, especially for a team that has struggled in free agency, hold undeniable appeal— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2021
The Mavericks envision Nike's Nico Harrison and vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley working side by side, with special adviser Dirk Nowitzki also a significant part of Mark Cuban's reshaped brain trust. Harrison also has a longtime relationship with Jason Kidd.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2021
It’s safe to say the hire is not being endorsed by our sister site Mavs Moneyball, for reasons that range from his two middling-at-best previous head coaching tenures to (more importantly) the legal issues in Kidd’s past we criticized the Lakers for overlooking when hiring him as an assistant:
But if this indeed ends up coming to fruition, the Lakers will have to replace the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA, either internally by elevating a current assistant coach, or with an external candidate. The former group would include the remaining members of head coach Frank Vogel’s bench: Lionel Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon, Mike Penberthy, Quinton Crawford, Greg St. Jean, Dru Anthrop and Jon Pastorek, although it’s always possible one or two of them depart with Kidd, as assistant coaches getting hired for a head gig elsewhere often take a colleague or two with them.
Who would they external candidates to join the staff potentially be? That depends on a lot of things (including whether or not the Lakers decide to elevate someone internally) but a few interesting names are Terry Stotts and Dave Fizdale.
The former is known around the league as an offensive guru, and Indiana Pacers job he was most prominently linked to after the Portland Trail Blazers fired him was just taken by Rick Carlisle (who he and Kidd won a title with in 2011). It’s unknown if Stotts would have an interest in being an offensive coordinator again, but he would almost certainly help juice the Lakers’ creativity on that end. Fizdale, meanwhile, has a good relationship with LeBron James dating back to their Miami Heat days, and would be another defensive mind and voice that James respects to add to Vogel’s staff. Other names will surely be considered as well.
Either way, the Laker will have at least one opening to fill on Vogel’s staff. How they do so will be one of many storylines to watch this summer.
This story may be updated with more information as it develops. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.