LATEST UPDATE : Dallas Mavericks GM makes claim that’s music to Luka Doncic’s ears

While Dallas is now making noise in the postseason, GM Nico Harrison wants fans to be prepared for this every season.
According to general manager Nico Harrison, the Dallas Mavericks will see a lot more of themselves in the postseason in the coming years as their club is built for the long term. The Mavericks are currently playing the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, and they lead the series 2-1.

In an interview with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Harrison and other members of the organization discussed how they built the team through the draft and, particularly, free agency to their current level of success. He made it clear that when Dallas was established, they considered “the next three playoff runs,” including the one they are now in.
“It wasn’t really about winning right now,” Harrison admitted. “It was simply about continuing to create it. It’s as if each step is about how we might improve farther. And we’re not just built for the now; we’re built for the next three postseason runs.”

Harrison sought to expand Mavericks beyond Doncic and Irving.

The Mavericks’ foundation was laid in 2018 when they dealt their lottery pick, Trae Young, to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Doncic, who is widely regarded as one of the league’s best players. There’s little doubt he is the focal point, and the idea was to develop around him, which led to the team acquiring Kyrie Irving in a trade in February 2023.
“I think what we did this year, regardless of what happens in the playoffs, we start next year at a high level,” Harrison told reporters. “We don’t start with, ‘Hey, can Luka and Kyrie play together?’ We understand that.You aren’t answering a lot of questions. You think, ‘How good can this team be?’

Now that they have a solid foundation with the Mavericks’ two major stars, they must surround them with a strong supporting cast, which is exactly what they did just before the NBA trade deadline, when they were extremely busy. They would first sign big man Daniel Gafford, who has already made an impact for them and told ESPN he believed it would be a good fit for him after leaving the Washington Wizards.

“Right spot at the right time,” Gafford added. “I was like, ‘It’s going to be a good time being here with this team.'”

Newcomer P.J. Washington described the Dallas move as a “confidence booster.”

Another excellent player they acquired was P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets, who offers the Mavericks extra size and a dependable starting power forward. He even stated that being noticed by Harrison gave the 25-year-old footballer a “confidence boost.”

Mavericks GM makes claim that's music to Luka Doncic's ears

“It was a confidence booster for me,” Washington explained. “I think Nico [Harrison] understands who I am. He’s been around me since high school, so hearing him say those things felt amazing. I simply wanted to build on that and be active on the defensive end.”

Harrison had big ideas for Washington, not only did he want him to be a threat on offense, but also on defense.

While he couldn’t show it with the Hornets, the Mavericks’ general manager stated that they will “hold him accountable.” “We’re going to be holding him accountable, but he can actually do a lot of things that he doesn’t show all the time because the game comes easy to him,” Harrison said in an interview with ESPN. “We’ll make sure to push him to get the best out of him, but he really does have it on both sides of the ball.”

Gafford stated that they went from “playing for nothing to playing for something”

Returning to Harrison’s original comment, it is important to note that, in addition to partnering Doncic with Irving, he acquired two players in Gafford and Washington, both of whom are 25 years old, talented, and might serve as the cornerstone for this club in the coming years. Depending on how far they advance in the current playoffs, the general manager deserves a lot of credit for his efforts since taking over in 2021.

Getting two guys like Gafford and Washington is critical since, aside from their talent, they were both on the Eastern Conference’s bottom three clubs, the Wizards and Hornets. Now, they can make a winning impact, as even Gafford admitted, without disrespecting the teams in issue.

“No disrespect to any other team that we were on, but it’s just we went from playing for nothing to playing for something,” Gafford was quoted as saying. “It’s like we had to lock in a whole different way.”

Doncic has had probably his finest NBA season yet, averaging 33.9 points, 9.8 assists, and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field. He even stated earlier this season that “this team is special,” in contrast to last season, when he was more vocal about the lack of cohesion on the club.

“We’re just having fun out there,” Doncic said following his March 29 victory over the Sacramento Kings. “[Kyrie and I] are both pleased. We’re both accomplishing wonderful things on the court, and we have fantastic teammates. I think this team is unique.”
The Mavericks are led by head coach Jason Kidd.
All of this is guided by head coach Jason Kidd, who has obviously had a successful career as a former NBA player and is widely regarded as one of the best point guards of all time. Harrison presented Kidd with flowers, stating that while guiding a squad like the Mavericks, “he’s the best coach to lead this team.”

“J’s done a great job,” Harrison stated. “I honestly believe he is the best coach to lead this team.” I believe that with the two stars we have, you will not be able to find a better fit.”

While the offense has been the most visible aspect of the club that fans enjoy watching, the defense has been the most underappreciated. Dallas had the best defensive efficiency in the final six weeks of the season, and Kidd told ESPN that he just asked his players if they could do it.

“It first starts with asking them, ‘Can you do this?'” Kidd stated. “They claimed they could. So, sometimes things are simple—ask

They claimed they could. Then keep showing them [on] film how to improve. They have been actively absorbing knowledge at a high level.

The Dallas Mavericks are looking to go past the first round of the NBA Playoffs, where they lead the Los Angeles Clippers 2-1. Their next game is Sunday afternoon, and Dallas hopes to return to the Western Conference Finals as they did in 2022.

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