Luka Dončić is among the league leaders in scoring, assists, triple-doubles, usage rate and don’t forget both 3-point attempts and makes per game this season.
But he’s also among the NBA leaders in another crucial category — crucial both in terms of league revenue and perhaps more importantly, the ever-looming discourse. Through half a season in 2023-24, Dončić is sixth in the NBA in jersey sales, the NBA announced on its social media channels on Tuesday.
Which makes us wonder, for no reason in particular, do you think Dončić will finish higher or lower in the jersey sales race at the end of the year than he will in the MVP voting?
Steph Curry continues to be Steph Curry, both on the court and in the NBA Shop, as the Golden Guard from Golden State leads the world in jersey sales so far this year, with Jayson Tatum, LeBron James, rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and Giannis Antetokounmpo rounding out the top five. Dončić finished just ahead of both Phoenix Suns top scorers Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, who went 7-8, as well as Damian Lillard at 10, Ja Morant at 11, Nikola Jokic at 14 and De’Aaron Fox at 15.
Dončić is currently second in the NBA in scoring at 34.7 points per game, behind only Joel Embiid, who scores 35.3 per game. He’s third in assists per game, at 9.6, behind just Tyrese Haliburton (12.5) and Trae Young (10.9). His nine triple-doubles this season are also third, behind just Jokic (14) and Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (13). He is second behind Embiid in usage rate at 35.9. He is second in 3-point attempts per game at 10.3, behind just Curry’s 11.6, and he’s also second to Curry in makes per game at just under four.
Dončić is also one of the huge international draws on the list of players with the top jersey sales. Wembanyama, from Le Chesnay, France, and Antetokounmpo, from Athens, are right in front of Dončić in the NBA jersey sales race this year, too.
Dončić scored both a Mavericks franchise record and the highest single-game scoring output in the NBA so far this year last week when he scored 73 in a 148-143 win over Atlanta. That seems like a moment that could only help his jersey sales along, doesn’t it?
Dončić was fifth in the NBA in jersey sales in the second half of last season, before Wemby swept in with all the hype of the Western world behind him and took the 4-spot this season.
It’s interesting to note as well that Kyrie Irving was a top-10 jersey seller in the NBA in the second half of last year as well, after the blockbuster deadline-day trade with the Brooklyn Nets that brought Irving to Dallas. Welp. Irving has missed 21 of the Mavericks’ 48 games with any number of injuries this season and has fallen out of, for what it’s worth, the NBA’s top 15 in jersey sales. Truly a Biff Loman moment.
The Mavericks also squeaked into the top 10 in the NBA in team merchandise sold, according to the NBA’s press release on the mid-season jersey sales rankings. The Lakers, Celtics and Warriors went 1-2-3 in team merch sales, with Phoenix, New York, San Antonio and Dallas rounding out the top 10.
What do you think? Is sixth for Dončić and 10th for the Mavericks as a franchise about right? Feel free to both sound off in the comments and to vote with your wallet in this case.