The Dallas Mavericks strange and disappointing season is drawing to a close. They still have one game to play, but a loss against the Chicago Bulls Friday officially eliminated them from any postseason consideration. So now the focus turns to the offseason, and with that, the future of Luka Doncic.
Team sources told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that the Mavericks fear Doncic, who’s expressed his frustration with the team’s stalled progress, could consider asking for a trade as early as the summer of 2024.
“He’d like to be here the whole time,” Cuban told reporters earlier this week. “But we’ve got to earn that.”
Doncic has always been noticeably silent when it came to roster decisions, but MacMahon reports that has changed. From the same piece:
Doncic had grown impatient with the Mavs’ mediocrity early in the season, when he was playing at an MVP-caliber level while carrying a historically heavy workload. For the first time in his career, Doncic enthusiastically engaged in personnel discussions with the front office, as sources told ESPN that he pushed for a major upgrade despite the Mavs’ limited trade assets.
No one should be surprised that Doncic has grown frustrated. He came into this season expected to compete for the MVP award, and put up the stats that should have him in the conversation to win it. But due to the team’s lack of success, Doncic has become an afterthought.
There’s nothing atypical about a NBA superstar becoming involved in the roster makeup of their team, even if they’re often bad at it (looking at you, LeBron James). But it’s up to the front office to navigate the delicate balance of keeping the franchise cornerstone happy while also making the best moves to compete for a title every year. It’s not easy, but that’s why they get paid well.
There will be plenty of news to come as the offseason progresses. With such a disappointing season, there’s likely big changes on the horizon for the Mavericks. Hopefully it’s enough to keep Doncic in Dallas.