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Rick Carlisle, Luka Doncic, Mavs

3 best coaches to replace Rick Carlisle for Luka Doncic-led Mavs

The Rick Carlisle era in Dallas has come to an end. It was reported Thursday afternoon that the veteran coach was divorcing the Mavericks organization after 13 seasons. During his tenure, he consistently brought the Mavs to the playoffs but didn’t usually have rosters good enough to make deep runs, especially in the late 2010s and early 2020s with Luka Doncic doing everything he could to advance in the postseason. After losing in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers this postseason, Carlisle coached his last game with the team in a crucial Game 7.

Carlisle was selected as coach of the Mavs in 2008, taking over Avery Johnson. After many disappointing playoff exits, Mark Cuban wanted to figure a way to keep Dallas competitive amid the prime of Dirk Nowitzki. Carlisle led the Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011 while reaching the playoffs in nine of 13 seasons.

Since the Mavericks’ championship, Carlisle and his team have not advanced past the first round. The franchise came close both in 2014 and 2021 but never finished the job of clinching the series. As the Mavs have Luka Doncic as the franchise cornerstone, Cuban wants to find a new way of surrounding him with a new coach and staff to elevate the team.

Many coaches are waiting for an opportunity to be on the sidelines once again. There could be a special coach that can transition the Mavs into a dangerous threat in the Western Conference. Whether it’s a veteran coach or a rookie, Dallas should choose wisely with the choices that will be in front of them.

Mavs coaching targets:

Mike D’Antoni

Mike D’Antoni does not have a championship under his belt. But that doesn’t take away his ability to run a great offensive team. Every team that D’Antoni has coached for, they have elevated as a team and often became a playoff threat. This may not be the first request for the Mavs, considering that D’Antoni is not defense-oriented, but his offensive mind could help the team produce efficiently.

D’Antoni and Doncic could grow a great player-coach relationship if selected as the next coach. As Doncic shows the ability to run the fast break, there may be some scenes where the Mavs run “7 seconds or less,” the same scenario which emerged when D’Antoni coached the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash in the mid-2000s. Doncic’s usage rate will remain at number one if coached by D’Antoni. The star forward will continue to run the offense with the ball primarily in his hands.

Mark Jackson

Why wouldn’t Mark Cuban go with a coach who has an impact on wins and losses? A coach who can bring the most out of his players? It has been seven seasons since Mark Jackson parted ways with the Golden State Warriors. The three-year coach is in search of another opportunity to build a team into a contender. It could be the Mavs.

Jackson was a part of the Warriors organization in the beginning stages of development which preceded the launch of their dynasty. As the team missed the playoffs in his first season, the team followed it up with two playoff appearances, including advancing past the first round in 2013. Jackson is a great candidate at bringing the team together and learning how to win, which is exactly what the Mavs need right now.

Becky Hammon

Will Mark Cuban be the first owner to bring in a women’s NBA coach? The Mavs could make history. Being on the sidelines with Gregg Popovich, Becky Hammon has the capabilities of what it takes to win at a high level. Her knowledge of the game is greatly respected across the NBA and has been a pioneer for women working as coaches.

Hammon has built her knowledge of basketball by being one of the greatest point guards in WNBA history. She was a leader on the floor and understood how to get the best out of her teammates. Hammon has carried over the same mentality to the sidelines. For a Mavs team trying to start over, maybe Luka Doncic will find respect in a female coach who can help him understand the game from other perspectives.