Rick Carlisle has decided to step down as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks after 13 seasons. That leaves an organization that was already going through significant upheaval now looking to replace its head coach as well. Owner Mark Cuban has his work cut out for him as he'll need a new general manager and a new head coach to replace long-time confidants in Donnie Nelson and Carlisle.
Still, the Mavericks' job will be an attractive opening. The chance to work with and develop a generational talent in point guard Luka Doncic should have coaches begging for a shot. Here's our look at five possible replacements for Carlisle.
Rick Carlisle Replacements
Jamahl Mosley has a great case to make that he should take over for Carlisle. He's been with the organization as an assistant since 2014 and before that spent four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers as they rebuilt following LeBron James' exit to the Miami Heat. He's been consistently employed as an NBA assistant since 2005 following a brief international playing career.
Luka Doncic has already endorsed Mosely and he's been whispered as a target for other vacancies as well. Mosley has a great reputation around the league and has worked extremely hard to get to where he is now. It's only a matter of time before the 42-year-old is hired as a head coach. He's a strong candidate.
The point guard who led the Mavericks to their only NBA title in 2011, Kidd has become a valuable assistant to Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel. He'll be in the mix for multiple job openings this offseason.
Kidd coached the Brooklyn Nets to a 44-38 record during the 2013-14 season, then coached the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014 through the middle of the 2017-18 season before getting fired. As a head coach the 48-year-old has a record of 183-190 (.491) and never got beyond the second round of the playoffs. But after two years as an assistant with the Lakers and helping them to a title in 2020, he's become an attractive candidate.
Cuban would likely have a soft spot for his former point guard.
Ime Udoka is another hot name in NBA circles this offseason. After spending seven years as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio (2012-19), Udoka spent the 2019-20 campaign with the Philadelphia 76ers, then moved on as one of Steve Nash's assistants with the Brooklyn Nets this season. The former journeyman who spent 12 years bouncing around the NBA and playing internationally, is a highly respected assistant.
Udoka's work with the Spurs included helping the team to a title in 2014. The 43-year-old has been a strong candidate for other jobs and was even considered a possible replacement for Brett Brown in Philadelphia last offseason. It's only a matter of time before he gets his shot.
Mike D'Antoni is 70, but the chance to work with Doncic might make him beg for a chance to coach the Mavericks. He's been working as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets this season and has helped elevate the team's offense to all-time great status. A two-time NBA Coach of the Year, he might be a great get for Cuban & Co. if he's paired with great assistants.
D'Antoni has consistently produced incredible offensive teams who win games in the regular season. The issue has been a lack of postseason success, as he's never taken a team to the NBA Finals in 16 seasons as a head coach. Maybe combining with Doncic he could finally get over the hump.
On December 30 of this season, Gregg Popovich was ejected from a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, as a result Becky Hammon became the first female acting head coach in NBA history. The former WNBA All-Star has been an assistant under Popovich in San Antonio since 2014 and has earned rave reviews for her work. She will eventually get her shot as an NBA head coach, she just needs an owner and general manager willing to give her a chance.
Cuban has always been the kind of owner to think outside the box, so maybe he'll be the guy to finally pull the trigger and hire Hammon.