Luka Doncic might not want to stay with Dallas Mavericks, might ask for a trade in summer

Luka Doncic in a file photo [Image-Twitter]
By Blesson Daniel | Apr 9, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Mavericks’ 2023 season has descended into complete chaos after a promising 22-16 start. Dallas has lost 16 of 27 games since January 2 and is no longer in the running for a playoff or play-in spot in the Western Conference. The Mavericks were defeated by the Bulls on Friday night, 115-112, in a contest that they looked to have punted from the start. Minutes into the second quarter, they benched guard Kyrie Irving and removed guard Luka Doncic.

Dallas’ difficulties appear to be just beginning since the season has already been gone and there is only one home game against the Spurs left. Tim MacMahon of ESPN said on Saturday morning that the Mavericks are wary of Doncic possibly requesting a trade after the 2024 season.

“Team sources have acknowledged to ESPN that fear exists that Dončić, who publicly and privately expressed extreme frustration this season, could consider requesting a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if Dallas doesn’t make significant progress by then,” MacMahon wrote.

A dejected Doncic told reporters that he “used to have fun” playing basketball and felt like he was simply going through the motions in ’23 on March 24, after the Mavericks fell to the Hornets 117-109 at home. Doni is committed to Dallas through the 2026 campaign, with a player option for the 2027 campaign.

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What’s Next for Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks?

Before being technically eliminated, the Dallas Mavericks announced their season’s end on Friday, but the defeat to the Chicago Bulls was a painful necessity for the future of the team. Tanking may have decreased overall as a result of the play-in, but it is still an NBA situational endemic. For Dallas, this contest had to be lost. Going into the game, both clubs had 38-42 records, ranking them 10th and 11th worst in the NBA.

It’s not about Victor Wembanyama and the 3% probability of a Dallas miracle. It’s about having a vital asset on the team at a critical juncture. The Mavericks completed a trade for Kyrie Irving ahead of the deadline in order to team up with star Luka Doni. However, too much depth was lost to challenge for the postseason. Now is the opportunity to either recommit to Irving and fill out the rest of the roster or to go in a whole other way.

With Doni and Irving on the team, scoring will not be an issue. The squad has veterans such as Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dvis Bertns, Reggie Bullock (just $5.5 million of his $10.5 million contract is guaranteed), and younger developing players like Josh Green and Jared Hardy. The addition of JaVale McGee in the summer was a mistake; the club still needed a primary center.

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