Mavericks part ways with controversial research director

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The Dallas Mavericks have parted ways with Haralabos Voulgaris, their director of quantitive research and development. The news was originally reported by Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, but later confirmed by Voulgaris on social media. 

Voulgaris wasn't fired; his contract expired and was not renewed. According to Voulgaris, he actually asked to be released from his contract sometime after the season ended, but was refused. 

Turbulent end to three-year tenure

A former professional gambler, Voulgaris was hired in 2018 and immediately began influencing front office decisions. According to a June report in The Athletic, Voulgaris had "either initiated or approved virtually every transaction" since he arrived. He even reportedly had input on the team's first two 2020 draft picks while the scouting department did not. 

As you'd imagine, this caused some feather-ruffling within the organization. According to The Athletic, there was a lot of tension between Voulgaris and (now former) general manager Donnie Nelson. Nelson had been with the Mavericks for 24 years, but The Athletic reported that Voulgaris had been usurping his power. Nelson and the Mavs parted ways in mid-June, just a week after The Athletic's report was released. 

Also at issue was superstar Luka Doncic's relationship with Voulgaris. Doncic reportedly didn't like Voulgaris, which could have affected Doncic's long term relationship with the team. Owner Mark Cuban issued a blanket denial to all of The Athletic's reports with a two-word tweet. 

Given those reports, Voulgaris' position seemed pretty solid. But once a GM is fired, a new one has to be hired. The Mavs hired Nico Harrison to replace Nelson, then also underwent a coaching changeover with Jason Kidd replacing Rick Carlisle. With all the new blood, it looks like the Mavs are trying to start fresh.

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