Pressure to Win

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Mavs Star Luka Doncic Intends to Sign Extension Amid Franchise Turmoil

After a heartbreaking exit from the 2021 NBA playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks enter an important offseason.

In just his third NBA season, Luka Doncic has elevated himself to superstar status and at just 22 years of age, Doncic is in-line for a serious pay day.

This means it is up to Mark Cuban and his front office to not only pay up for their budding star, but to also put together a legitimate roster around their Doncic as the addition of Kristaps Porzingis has failed to exceed nor even match expectations to this point.

Things have also been compounded by reports of turmoil within the organization.

According to The Athletic, the team’s director of quantitative research and development, Haralabos Voulgaris, has become the most influential voice within the Mavericks front office since being brought on in 2018.  Voulgaris is said to have his finger prints on just about everything basketball operations related – from the signings the team makes, to its trades, to even the lineup configurations.

“Mark Cuban is the most powerful person in the organization, but whoever he’s listening to is second,” commented one source on Voulgaris’ organizational power.

Seems to not be too big a deal, right?

Just a case of a team looking to incorporate analysis in all aspects of its day-to-day operations and Voulgaris is the voice on top as the head of R&D.

So where does the problem lie?

While evidently a brilliant mind, Voulgaris doesn’t appear to be the most popular individual in the organization and is reported to have many strained relationship with numerous members of the Mavs front office. Moreover, reports suggest that Doncic has budded heads with Voulgaris on multiple occasions over the past couple of years.

Ah, that could be an issue.

Will this effect Doncic’s future with the team?

The Athletic suggests that for the moment, that is not the case, and the superstar guard fully intends to sign the supermax extension this offseason. Yes, $200-plus million can cover up a certain level of frustration, but people close to the situation believe that if the situation does not improve, Doncic’s future with the franchise may be in jeopardy.

As Voulgaris’ contract with the team is set to expire this summer, there is no word on whether the Mavericks are looking to bring him back nor how his bumpy relationship with the franchise’s superstar will effect his future with the team.

The most important thing is, the Mavs are at a point where they must win and whether or not Voulgaris is a part of that process or not, the Mavericks must take advantage of Doncic’s prime if they hope to return to championship glory.

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