"I just want to thank Donnie for his 24 years of service to this organization," Mark Cuban said via the team's release. "Donnie has been instrumental to our success and helped bring a championship to Dallas. His hard work, creativity and vision made him a pioneer. Donnie will always be a part of the Mavs family and I wish him all the best."
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One reported reason as to why the Mavericks and Nelson agreed to part ways stems from a report on Monday which detailed a power struggle within Dallas' organization. It detailed a rift between Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic and team executive Haralabos Voulgaris, who team owner Mark Cuban hired in 2018. It also detailed questions regarding the amount of control Voulgaris has within the organization, despite not being the biggest decision-maker in the franchise. Nelson reportedly began to lose power within the franchise once Voulgaris was brought in, which created "internal tension," per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
Regardless of the reasoning to part ways with Nelson, the fact of the matter is, the Mavericks haven't won a playoff series since winning a championship in 2011. Although Nelson was key to the Mavericks making a draft-night trade to land Doncic, and pulled the trigger on the transaction that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas in 2018 (which doesn't look so great now), Dallas hasn't been able to land any big-name free agents that would help this team win a playoff series since.
Nelson is a well-regarded general manager throughout his time with the Mavericks, and made several key moves over his tenure, most notably building the 2011 championship roster. He traded for players like Tyson Chandler, signed undrafted guys like JJ Barea and executed the deal that brought Jason Kidd to the Mavericks, which was essential to Dallas defeating LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. Even after the championship, when the Dallas failed to land its top options in free agency time and time again, Nelson still managed to bring in players that kept the Mavericks competitive.
As the Mavericks enter a pivotal offseason with significant cap space and Doncic's max rookie extension looming, they will do so without a integral piece of the organization. They've hired a search firm to find their next president of basketball operations, per the New York Times' Marc Stein, and they'll surely cast a wide net to bring in someone who can get this team over the hump over losing in the first round.