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Mavericks looking to add former Suns coach Kokoskov to Kidd’s staff

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson explain what has gone wrong for the U.S. Men's Basketball Team early in Olympic exhibitions and break down the adjustments the Americans need to make if they want to win gold.

Igor Kokoskov was the Phoenix Suns coach for one season, but before that he was Luka Doncic’s national team coach for Slovenia. They have a strong relationship.

So it’s not a surprise the Mavericks are bringing in Kokoskov to be a top assistant on Jason Kidd’s staff. Jake Fisher broke the news, and Marc Stein confirmed the Mavericks were paying to get Kokoskov out of his contract with Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce.

Dallas has shaken up its front office and coaching staff this offseason, and not-so-coincidentally it now has a very pro-Doncic flavor. Kokoskov is another step down that road.

Kokoskov was the first European-born person to be a head coach in the NBA. The Suns went 19-63 with a young and unimpressive roster that season, and after ownership fired GM Ryan McDonough — the guy who hired Kokoskov — the writing was on the wall. The new Suns GM at the time, James Jones, wanted to bring in his own guy as coach, Monty Williams. That has worked out pretty well for Phoenix.

When the Suns hired Kokoskov, it was thought it was in preparation to draft Doncic No. 1 that year, but instead they went with Deandre Ayton (reportedly with owner Robert Sarver pushing for Ayton).