Why Mark Cuban no longer controls Mavericks basketball operations

Mark Cuban’s name has been intertwined with the Mavericks for decades, but the times, they are a-changin’. Despite his long-standing association, Cuban’s grip on the organization isn’t what it used to be.

Cuban bought the Mavericks in January 2000 and sold his majority stake in November 2023, finalizing the sale of 73 percent of the franchise a month later. Initially, it was believed he would maintain full control over basketball operations, but recent developments tell a different story.

As the Mavericks recover from their 2024 NBA Finals loss, the focus shifts to crafting a championship-winning roster. Here’s why Cuban will have little to no say in that process.

Even though Cuban was a familiar face at Mavericks games during their Finals run, his presence wasn’t as commanding as it once was. This mirrors his diminished influence over the team’s basketball operations.

Post-sale, Cuban no longer controls basketball operations in Dallas, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. General Manager Nico Harrison, who built a Western Conference-winning roster, now handles personnel decisions. MacMahon points out that the current organizational structure offers more clarity than before:

“The once-murky organizational flow chart is now clear. Despite Cuban’s initial claims after selling the majority share to the Adelson and Dumont families, he no longer controls basketball operations. Harrison reports to new governor Patrick Dumont, who stays informed but trusts Harrison with roster decisions. Dumont even rewarded Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd with multi-year contract extensions during the playoff run.”

Following the December sale approval, Harrison made significant moves before the February trade deadline, acquiring center Daniel Gafford and forward P.J. Washington. These additions helped propel Dallas to a surprising run in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. With the Mavericks ahead of schedule, the offseason focus is on refining the roster to transition from a surprise contender to a perennial powerhouse.

As the NBA Draft and free agency loom, it’s Harrison, Kidd, and the Dumont family steering the ship, not Cuban. This newfound clarity could greatly benefit the Mavericks moving forward.

Cuban sold the Mavericks with an eye toward the future of NBA ownership, which he believes lies in real estate. He explained his decision in a December interview with the Associated Press:

“The advantage is in what you can build and where, and you need someone who’s exceptionally good at that. Patrick Dumont and Miriam Adelson are the best in the world at what they do. Literally, globally.

Partnering with them means growing your revenue base without relying on past methods. That’s a huge win. It’s a partnership. They’re not basketball people, and I’m not a real estate person. That’s why I did it. I could’ve gotten more money from someone else, but I’ve known these guys for a long time. They excel at things I’m not good at.”

Initially, Cuban claimed he would still have a hand in basketball operations, including final say in major decisions like hirings and firings. However, this has changed in the six months since the sale.

Given the team’s continued success, it’s hard to argue with the current setup. The Mavericks are poised for a bright future, even if their most famous owner is now playing a different role.