Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic intends to sign a supermax contract extension, multiple league sources tell The Athletic, but poor relationships with key members of the team have some internally concerned about his future with the franchise and if he’ll want to remain.
Much of the trepidation surrounding Doncic wanting to remain in Dallas long-term stems from the current state of the Mavericks’ front office and its distribution of power. Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavericks’ director of quantitative research and development, has been the most influential voice in the front office since being hired in 2018, sources tell The Athletic.
“Mark Cuban is the most powerful person in the organization,” one team source said, “but whoever he’s listening to is second.”
From draft picks to playing style and lineup configurations, Voulgaris has had a significant impact on the Mavericks over the past three seasons. That impact includes a strained relationship with Doncic, which predates an incident in February in which the 22-year-old All-Star snapped back at a Voulgaris courtside reaction, multiple team and league sources said.
Doncic and the Mavericks have lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs in each of the past two seasons, most recently a Game 7 loss on June 6 to the Los Angeles Clippers. That was Dallas' sixth consecutive playoff series loss. The Mavericks have not won a series since winning the 2011 NBA Finals.
Owner Mark Cuban confirmed to The Athletic last week that the team does not plan to make a coaching change, bringing back Rick Carlisle for a 14th season.