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Rick Carlisle Rumors: Former Mavericks Coach Linked to Bucks, Pacers Vacancies

Adam WellsJune 18, 2021

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle may not stay unemployed for very long. 

Appearing on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t RealGM.com), ESPN's Tim MacMahon said Carlisle could end up with the Milwaukee Bucks if they decide to move on from Mike Budenholzer

MacMahon added "there's a lot of smoke" about Carlisle going to the Indiana Pacers. 

Carlisle told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski via text message on Thursday that he informed Mavs owner Mark Cuban he wouldn't be returning as head coach next season. 

"This was solely my decision," Carlisle added. "My family and I have had an amazing 13-year experience working with great people in a great city."

The Bucks job would be one of the most sought-after head-coaching positions in the NBA if it becomes available. They haven't finished worse than third in the Eastern Conference standings in each of the past three seasons, and Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a five-year extension in December.

Wojnarowski reported on the June 11 episode of his podcast (h/t RealGM.com) that "it's hard to imagine" Budenholzer, who has one year remaining on his current contract, returns if the Bucks lose their playoff series to the Brooklyn Nets. 

The Pacers will going into the 2021-22 campaign with their third head coach in three seasons. Nate McMillan was fired by the team in August after a first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. Nate Bjorkgren was fired last week after a 34-38 record. 

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Carlisle is very familiar with the Indiana organization. He spent three years as an assistant coach under Larry Bird from 1997 to 2000. The 61-year-old returned to the Pacers as head coach from 2003 to 2007. He went 181-147 with three playoff appearances during that span.  

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