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There is drama in Dallas.
After a first-round playoff elimination to the Clippers, Mavericks star Luka Doncic reportedly does not see eye-to-eye with the the team’s front office.
The Athletic reported there are apparent concerns in Dallas over Doncic’s abysmal relationships with “key members of the team” — one being Haralabos Voulgaris, the Mavericks’ director of quantitative research and development, whose connection with the franchise face is seemingly strained.
Doncic, though, “has a healthy relationship with the Mavericks organization at large,” according to the report.
While the 22-year-old intends to sign a super-max contract extension in Dallas (worth more than $200 million over five seasons), he’s wary about his long-term future, sources told the website.
“Mark Cuban is the most powerful person in the organization,” one team source said. “But whoever he’s listening to is second.”
Voulgaris is that second person, according to The Athletic, noting that the majority of front office decisions in Dallas — including at times lineups and rotations — went through him.
Cuban called the report “total bulls–t” on Twitter. He also commented on Voulgaris in the story.
“I really like what Bob brings to the table. He does a great job of supporting [coach] Rick [Carlisle] and the front office with unique data insights,” the “Shark Tank” star told The Athletic.
Voulgaris declined to comment on the report.
Cuban continued to pour cold water on the report Monday afternoon.
“I pay close attention to what Luka says, what the front office, analytics group and our scouts say. What Rick says. The idea that there is a shadow GM is laughable. The idea that anyone but Rick sets rotations is insulting,” Cuban told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks.
The reported rift began sometime in February when Doncic clapped back at Voulgaris for a court-side reaction after a turnover, multiple team and league sources told The Athletic.
“Don’t f–king tell me to calm down,” Doncic said, according to a source’s recollection of the heated moment.
Voulgaris later said his reaction wasn’t meant to single out Doncic, however, the event “only worsened an already inflamed relationship between the two.”
Following the February drama, Doncic reportedly told teammates in April Voulgaris was “quitting on them” after the exec’s early exit during a loss to the Knicks.
Following the Mavericks’ first-round playoff elimination, Cuban said he would not make a coaching change. Dallas intends to bring back Carlisle for a 14th season.
Doncic, the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year, finished this past season averaging 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.0 steals and .5 blocks per game.
The Slovenian star finished sixth in MVP voting.
Doncic is eligible to sign a super-max extension with Dallas on Aug. 6.
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