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Donnie Nelson confident of Rick Carlisle return

DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is at the end of his four-year contract, but president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Sunday that the franchise's lone championship coach isn't getting away.

"He likes us, we like him and those situations generally get worked out," Nelson said the day after the defending champions were swept out of the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. "Rick's not going anywhere. This is certainly not the time and place to get into depth on that issue, but I don't foresee that situation changing."

There has yet to be a time and place for discussion of a new deal for Carlisle, who was hand-picked by Nelson and handed the reins without the team interviewing any other candidates.

"This has been a great opportunity for me and my family and we love it here," Carlisle said. "That's as far as I'm going to go talking about it."

He did make some statements Sunday that might indicate he will be back for a fifth season and beyond.

"Going forward, we've got an extremely attractive situation here," Carlisle said. "We've got a great owner, it's a great city, the physical setup is second to none in terms of the proximity of everything and this is a franchise that's always going to be in the hunt."

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