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Dallas parts ways with Donnie Nelson shortly after ‘shadow GM’ report

Mavs, Donnie Nelson

The Dallas Mavericks and general manager Donnie Nelson have parted ways just days after it was reported a “shadow GM” was exerting influence on the Mavs.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Wednesday the Mavs and Nelson are headed in separate directions. Nelson spent 23 years in the organization.

https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1405224222797058056

The timing of the news is conspicuous, to say the least.

Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic dropped a bombshell report Monday suggesting sports gambler Haralabos Voulgaris–who was serving as director of qualitative research and development–was gaining influence in the Mavs organization.

The report went on to detail Voulgaris as a “shadow GM” figure who allegedly figured into head coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation decisions. It also stated the relationship between Voulgaris and Mavs star Luka Doncic was becoming a bit contentious.

Mavs governor Mark Cuban immediately refuted the report and suggested he was in constant contact with players, coaches and members of the front office. Yet, just days later, the team finds itself in need of a new lead executive.

Without being overly speculative, it’s certainly worth wondering whether the report in The Athletic played a role in Nelson and the team deciding to split. Indeed, Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Nelson “lost power” after Voulgaris’ hiring.

There appears to be some tension within the organization, whether Cuban chooses to acknowledge it or not.

The new Mavs GM will come into a challenging situation. Doncic figures to accept a supermax extension, but Dallas will have to figure out Kristaps Porzingis’ role with the franchise and navigate some potential cap issues as the Mavs try to climb the ladder in the Western Conference.