When the Dallas Mavericks first hired former Nike executive Nico Harrison to take over as General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks, it was clear what they were focused on. With no solid experience running an NBA franchise on his record, it seemed odd Mark Cuban settled on Nico to replace Mavs legend Donnie Nelson in the front office.
Nelson had been a fixture in the Mark Cuban era of the Mavs. He had more contacts around the league than just about any front office executive in the league. He may not have been staunch day-today manager but he had a knack for the deal and a track record of success.
Nico cam to Dallas as a highly respected figure, both by teams and by players. He wasn’t just a shoe salesman rather he understood the game at a level very few do. His relationships, business acumen, and cutting edge knowledge of the game made him an elite hire – even if it was out side of the box.
Nico Harrison was made GM of the Dallas Mavericks to add talent to the roster
That’s as simple as I can put it. Much like the Jason Kidd hire, Nico was brought in to attract players and elevate the roster. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar and the new regime is Mark Cuban’s honey.
After essentially striking out in free agency the pressure is on Nico. Here at the NBA Trade Deadline, he’s facing his biggest test to-date: Multiple players are on the market and the top targets are within the Dallas Mavericks market.
Nico is faced with two big decisions right now:
- Who would help the Dallas Mavericks the most?
- Are they worth disrupting what’s happening right now?
This may not sound like a big quandary but it really is. The Dallas Mavericks have overcome a lot this season and it seems to have galvanized them. They are playing some of their best ball in years and they have Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith to partially thank for it. Both players are balling right now and key cogs in Jason Kidd’s machine.
The problem is both are free agents after this season so both could end up walking away for nothing. That makes them highly tradeable pieces in most trade deadline scenarios today. Pulling the trigger and jettisoning one of them has the potential to majorly disrupt what the Mavs have going. It also could be the best way to get “the missing piece.”
Nico feels like his job is add talent and that gives him pressure to do something even if the best thing is to do nothing. There is no easy answer to this situation and fans and media are pretty split on the right course of action. I even likened this to the Rajon Rondo trade from yesteryear (see article below).
This is why Nico gets paid the big buck – to make calls like this. It’s not just who and for how much. It’s also, should we?