Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic could represent Slovenia in the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers this summer. See where he and other Mavericks could play.
The Dallas Mavericks are exceeding expectations so far. Heading into the NBA’s break for Thanksgiving (Happy holiday to those celebrating), the Mavs are fifth in the Western Conference. The vault up the standing is thanks in large part to Luka Doncic. The 20-year-old has taken the leap into the MVP discussion in the early going.
The Mavericks have made their goal clear. They want to qualify for the playoffs this season. They are well on their way after an 11-6 start, but there is much work to be done.
After this season wraps up, multiple Mavs could be headed to one of the four Olympic qualifying tournaments with the hopes of securing a place in Tokyo. Here is a look at the recent draw and where the Mavericks could be playing.
Luka Doncic- Slovenia
Slovenia has to travel to Kaunas, Lithuania for their six-team qualifying tournament. Poland and Angola are the other two teams in their group. The opposing pool features Lithuania, Venezuela, and Korea.
Slovenia won EuroBasket 2017 thanks in large part to the outstanding play of Doncic and Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic. They should have a fantastic shot at qualifying for the Olympics. Only the winner of the six-team tournament advances to Tokyo.
Maxi Kleber- Germany
Maxi Kleber played for his national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. It was a disappointing showing from Germany. That forced them into this qualifying stage.
The Germans travel to Split, Croatia for their tournament. Their group features Russia and Mexico. The other pool has Croatia, Brazil, and Tunisia. Germany should be favored to advance to the Olympic Games.
Dwight Powell- Canada
The Canadians are hosting the tournament in Victoria. They have to defeat Greece featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo to qualify for Tokyo. The rest of their event includes Turkey, Czech Republic, China, and Uruguay.
Boban Marjanovic- Serbia
Serbia is hosting its qualifying tournament. The rest of the bracket features Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Italy, Senegal, and Puerto Rico. Serbia will be heavily favored to secure the Olympic spot.
Boban Marjanovic and Serbia had a disappointing FIBA World Cup. They entered as a slight favorite over Team USA to win the tournament, but finished in fifth.
J.J. Barea- Puerto Rico
J.J. Barea could choose to give it one final run at the Olympics. Qualifying will be difficult because their six is incredibly tough. Never count out J.J, though.
Only Ryan Broekhoff is sitting pretty. His Olympic berth is in hand as he prepares to finish the 2019-2020 season strong. Broekhoff’s Australia team qualified by placing fourth at the FIBA World Cup.
These Olympic qualifiers will take place between June 23 and the 28th. Expect most of the Mavericks mentioned to be suited up for their country if healthy. The upside is Dallas Mavericks supporters can enjoy watching their players all summer with the Olympics beginning in late July. Stay tuned.