Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson led the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs last season.
Understandably, many wanted to see the two continue to progress together and become one of the league’s more notable dynamic duos.
Unfortunately, in the offseason, Brunson left the Mavs for a four-year, $104 million contract from the New York Knicks.
Given that he is coming off a career-year from both a personal and team perspective, many have taken to wondering why Brunson decided to leave.
Some have suggested that Brunson’s exit was prompted by a desire to run his own team. Doncic has a 36.8 percent usage rate. When he is on the court, everything revolves around him.
Others have said that Brunson was more or less okay with that, but simply couldn’t get Dallas to pay him the money that the Knicks offered.
A third group believes that Doncic had some role in the Mavericks’ slow-footed response to New York’s overtures.
This week, Mavs insider Tim MacMahon appeared on the Hoop Collective podcast with Brian Windhorst and addressed that third group.
“They seek [Luka’s] input, but he’s not heavily involved in personnel decisions,” MacMahon said.
“He has not shown interest in being heavily involved. He spends much of his offseason in Europe. He’s not a guy who has shown the desire to be a recruiter.”
This assessment checks out in a multitude of ways. Doncic is a big fan of Goran Dragic. This is a known fact. Despite that, the Mavericks refused to offer Dragic anything but a bench role – which he promptly rejected. That wouldn’t have happened if the front office was truly focused on appeasing Doncic.
Look at the riff-raff LeBron James’ teams have signed just to make him happy. That is what pacification looks like.
Doncic has only ever hated one teammate during his stint in Dallas, and it took years for even that to get addressed.
By and large, Doncic stays out of everything besides what happens on the court. He doesn’t even argue with the coaches anymore, really. The way he has handled Jason Kidd’s criticisms and decisions over the past year has been telling.
Dillon Brooks is having himself quite the offseason. https://t.co/yXBNHC35bS
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 16, 2022
Brunson’s departure may have been the result of him wanting his own team. Or maybe it was because the Mavericks didn’t want to pay him.
But one thing that definitely didn’t influence it?
Doncic or how he felt about his teammate.