Luka Doncic not pleased about Mavericks dumping Donnie Nelson

Luka Doncic played no part in Donnie Nelson’s firing.

One day after the Mavericks announced they parted ways with the longtime GM, the franchise face emotionally reflected on their history together.

“It was kind of tough to me,” Doncic said about Nelson’s firing during a press conference Thursday in Slovenia, where he’s with his national team. “I really like Donnie. I know him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me [in 2018]. It was tough for me seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.”

Nelson’s firing came in the same week a report by The Athletic detailed drama in the Mavericks front office between Doncic and Haralabos Voulgaris over decisions within the organization.

Luka Doncic Mavericks Donnie Nelson
Luka Doncic said the Mavericks parting with GM Donnie Nelson was “tough.”
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Voulgaris, the team’s director of quantitative research and development, was hired by Dallas in Oct. 2018, a few months after Doncic joined the team in June.

The report claimed Doncic is vigilant about his future in Dallas because of Voulgaris’ heavy hand in front office decision-making, including lineups and rotations.

Mavericks Donnie Nelson Luka Doncic
Former Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson.

While Voulgaris declined to comment on the report, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban labeled it as “total bulls–t” on Twitter — before telling Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks that the report is “insulting” to Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, who calls rotations in Dallas.

Following Dallas’ first-round playoff elimination at the hands of the Clippers, Doncic confirmed he’ll forgo his summer vacation to join the Slovenian men’s basketball team to help lead them to their first-ever Olympic Games in this summer’s postponed event in Tokyo.

After being named All-NBA on Tuesday, Doncic is eligible to sign a super-max extension with Dallas on Aug. 6 worth more than $200 million over five seasons.

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