Rick Carlisle is not the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, at least not yet. Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson just confirmed that no deal was struck today.
Nelson, writing in a text message, did not elaborate as to why the deal did not get finished today, meaning that as of now, no press conference to introduce Carlisle as the franchise's ninth head coach is expected to be held Friday. When asked if the contract process remains on track to finish by Friday, Nelson did not immediately respond.
Although negotiations have seemed to drag, both sides have always reported steady and positive progress being made as the days have passed.
The delay could be due to the travel situation of Carlisle's agent Warren LeGarie, who was traveling from Greece Thursday and returning home to San Francisco. He said he received the contract from the Mavs at midnight yesterday (4 p.m. CDT Wednesday) and was about to give it a close read.
So there might have been some details LeGarie and Carlisle were not able to hash out today. LeGarie did indicate on Wednesday that because of the late hour in which he received the contract the deal might not get completed as soon as both sides had hoped.
"We're still moving forward," LeGarie said Wednesday. "It may be delayed by a day, but we're still moving forward."
Carlisle remains the only known candidate to have interviewed with Nelson and owner Mark Cuban. The former Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers coach accumulated a 281-211 record in six seasons with the two clubs. He is known as a demanding coach and a micromanager, but a strong X's and O's coach whose teams play hard-nosed defense.
His offensive resume is not as strong as his defensive and if he does become the Mavs' next head coach he will have to show that he can loosen up his offensive control and allow point guard Jason Kidd to play his up-tempo style. In Avery Johnson's rigid offensive system, Kidd did not excel.
-- Jeff Caplan