Two years ago Luka Doncic made it to the Western Conference Finals in what was inarguably his most productive season as an NBA player.
The future looked extremely bright for both him and the Dallas Mavericks as an organization. Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last long.
After coming into his 2022-23 NBA campaign as the favorite to win an MVP, not only did the 24-year-old fail to live up to those expectations, but he also couldn’t even guide his squad into the playoffs.
Between the communication issues that he and Kyrie Irving have admitted that they have had and the increasingly weird dynamic between him and head coach Jason Kidd, questions have started to emerge about how much longer Doncic will remain in Dallas.
As noted by Tim MacMahon of ESPN, there are definitely some reasons out there for Dallas to start panicking.
“Team sources have acknowledged to ESPN that fear exists that Doncic, 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,” he wrote.
If things don’t improve between Doncic and the Mavericks, two teams have emerged as the likeliest landing spots for him.
According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Utah Jazz are keeping “a very interested eye” on Doncic at the moment.
“With my spies telling me that Utah in particular is keeping a very interested eye on Doncic situation, even the [Brooklyn] Nets’ kitchen-sink offer for Doncic — the four firsts from [the] Phoenix [Suns] and one from [the Philadelphia 76ers], plus whatever matching salary not named Bridges is needed to make the deal work — likely falls massively short,” he said.
Hollinger isn’t the only one hearing about the Jazz’s interest in Doncic. Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake City Tribune echoed that reporting.
“I’ve heard similar things, for what it’s worth,” he wrote.
“I don’t have spies, but I do have sources within the Jazz organization, who say that the Jazz are keenly interested in Doncic.”
If Utah can’t get something for Doncic done, the New York Knicks continue to loom as a threat as well.
According to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, they should be viewed as the frontrunner for any trade sweepstakes involving the Mavericks’ star player.
“Picks are something the Knicks have in abundance,” he wrote.
“They’ll be able to offer seven unprotected picks and four swaps to Dallas in a Doncic deal, but perhaps more importantly, they have one of the few players likely to make an effective recruiting pitch to Doncic in Jalen Brunson.”
The fact that Brunson helped Doncic get to his first and only ever Western Conference Finals, coupled with how much success the former enjoyed without the latter this past season, makes for an effective pitch in itself.
The Cincinnati Bengals continue to impress. https://t.co/e2YoGi0TVW
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 16, 2023
It will be interesting to see where Doncic and the Mavs go from here. Obviously they will never want to trade him away, but superstars have a lot of power in the NBA.
If he decides he wants out, there won’t be much anyone would be able to do to stop him.
Will the Mavericks ultimately find a way to put a talented roster around Doncic before it ends up being too late? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.