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Mark Cuban Calls Report of Luka Doncic Friction with Mavericks Exec 'Total Bulls--t'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 14, 2021

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

On Monday, Tim Cato and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that there are internal concerns within the Dallas Mavericks that the "front office's dysfunction" may hurt Luka Doncic's relationship with the organization and that "poor relationships Doncic has with key members of the franchise, including Haralabos Voulgaris, could impact his current desire to remain in Dallas long-term."

Later on Monday, team governor Mark Cuban dismissed the report in no uncertain terms (warning: contains profanity):

Mark Cuban @mcuban

Total bullshit https://t.co/vBpYcZTTkI

Officially, Voulgaris holds the title of director of quantitative research and development, though Cato and Amick reported that he's been the "most influential voice within the Mavericks front office since joining the team, either initiating or approving virtually every transaction made over the past two seasons." 

He's also reportedly earned the ire of Doncic on more than one occasion, per that report, though Cuban defended him. 

"I really like what Bob brings to the table," he told The Athletic. "He does a great job of supporting Rick and the front office with unique data insights."

"Bob has a great grasp of AI and the opportunities it create for gaining an advantage," he added. "Which is important to me. But he isn't any more influential than any other data source on the team."

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Cuban also spoke to Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, where he further rejected the premise of the report:

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

Just spoke to Mark Cuban about the recent reports:<br><br>“I pay close attention to what Luka says, what the front office, analytics group and our scouts say. What Rick says. The idea that there is a shadow GM is laughable. The idea that anyone but Rick sets rotations is insulting”

The good news for the Mavs is that Doncic reportedly "has a healthy relationship with the Mavericks organization at large" and that the concern isn't necessarily his current feelings on the team, but that his relationship with the front office might be trending in the wrong direction given his relationship with Voulgaris. 

He's already essentially confirmed that he would sign a five-year, $200 million supermax contract with the Mavs this offseason:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Luka Doncic smiles widely when asked if he plans to sign a supermax extension this summer: “I think you know the answer.”

Losing Doncic would be devastating for the Mavericks. He is essentially the new Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. So if his relationship with the front office ever deteriorates to the point that he asks to be traded—or even gets close to that point—it's likely major changes would come.

Outside of Cuban, the most powerful person inside the Mavericks organization is Doncic. The entire goal is surrounding him with the supporting cast and culture to win a championship. At the moment, there are major questions as to whether the Mavs have the right people in place to execute that vision. 

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