3. Dallas Mavericks
Even having a generational talent isn't enough sometimes in this league. While the mere presence of Luka Doncic should keep the Dallas Mavericks in the playoff hunt for a while, he might not want to stick around for very long if they don't start turning things around (Spurs, anyone?).
Let's start with the basketball side. The Mavericks haven't made it out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs since their title run in 2011. They've also fallen to the Clippers, who have their own past postseason demons, in back-to-back seasons.
While Dallas has built up a decent roster with guys like Tim Hardaway Jr,, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Jalen Brunson, it's becoming clear that Kristaps Porzingis might not be the Robin to Luka's Batman when it comes to making noise as a serious contender. The worst part about that? The Mavericks still owe him $101.5 million over the next three seasons unless they can find a trade partner willing to take on that contract.
As amazing as Luka is, having one superstar isn't enough to get it done in the modern NBA, where superstars are joining forces every season. The Mavericks are in the unenviable position of trying to keep their man happy without necessarily having the resources to do so.
Onto the off-court stuff, because there is A LOT. The boulder started rolling when The Athletic released a column outlining the rift within the organization surrounding Haralabos Voulgaris. No, that's not a Harry Potter spell, but rather the name of who The Athletic called the Mavericks' "shadow GM".
It's hard to really explain what Voulgaris' official role with the team is, but many see him as a second GM with too much power over team decisions. In the mentioned article, Mark Cuban defended Voulgaris' importance and role on the team. The problem with that? Haralabos is not likable in the slightest.
"I'm just gonna be blunt. Bob Voulgaris is incredibly arrogant," said ESPN's Tim MacMahon on The Lowe Post. "He rubs people the wrong way. If you're looking for people who are going to talk behind [his] back within the Mavericks, throw a dart and you'll hit one."
The article was soon followed by the departure of longtime Mavericks President of Basketball Operations, Donnie Nelson, which was met with disappointment by Luka. A day later, Head Coach Rick Carlisle also announced he wouldn't be coming back.
The Mavericks better be careful or they could be met with a fate similar to the Houston Rockets' total blowup before too long if Cuban doesn't start making his superstar happy. Turning to Dirk Nowitzki as a special adviser to help hire a new GM and coach is a good start.
Disaster Scale: Sinking ship