Mavs Management – Luka’s Big Deal
After signing a five-year super max rookie extension with the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic is set to be the face of the franchise for a long time to come at just 22 years old. He is the youngest player in NBA history to sign a contract that is at least $200M.
Doncic has proved he is worth every penny as he has averaged 28.8 points per game in 2019 and 27.7 points per game last season on nearly 48% shooting. Not to mention he grabbed 8 rebounds as well and averaged 8.6 assists.
In the playoffs, his numbers increased even more. In his first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers, he averaged 35.7 points per game, 10.3 assists, and 7.9 rebounds. Considering he was up against the two of the best defenders at their position in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, it is remarkable that he was able to play so exceptionally well at such a young age.
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On his shoulders alone, Luka was able to push the Clippers seven games but ultimately lost the series. It is not far-fetched to think that if he had a bonafide second star alongside him, the Mavericks would have won.
Mavs forward Kristaps Porzingis was supposed to be Luka’s crime partner coming from the Knicks a few years ago, but has been unable to stay healthy. Even when he has been on the court, he has been a shell of himself.
With his size and talent, there is no reason why he should be averaging just 13.1 points per game and 5.4 rebounds in the playoffs.
There have been rumors circulating that Porzingis is unhappy that Luka has taken all the shine and is not willing to be the second option on the team. After all, Porzingis was the face of New York City not too long ago.
I would not be surprised at all if Porzingis ends up playing elsewhere in the near future. The relationship between him and Doncic has not looked healthy ever since he got there. It will be interesting to see what Dallas will be able to get in return considering his value is not what it once was.
Nonetheless, Mavericks management must find a way to surround Luka with better talent and that starts with owner Mark Cuban. Yes, they do have some decent role players in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith which is encouraging.
What is missing however is a true second superstar which is the bare minimum to make a deep run in the playoffs in today’s NBA. Even though two stars may not be enough, it is at least a big step in the right direction.
With the addition of Jason Kidd as the new Mavericks head coach, I expect Dallas to be more of an attractive destination for stars to go to. It has been strange that they have been unable to do so thus far.
If Mark Cuban is unable to lure better talent around Luka, I do not see the Mavericks contenting for a championship anytime soon no matter how special Doncic is.