The Dallas Mavericks got a superstar performance from Luka Doncic in their first-round playoff series against the LA Clippers, but it was not enough. He led them to three wins, but Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers got the last laugh for the second straight year.
Dallas must improve their roster after two straight first-round playoff exits. Luka has proven to be one of the top five players in the league, but his supporting cast is not good enough. The Mavericks can create cap space this offseason. The front office must decide how to maximize their roster.
Luka Doncic had his 2021 exit interview on Monday afternoon. He had plenty to say about his summer plans, playing with Kristaps Porzingis, and so much more. Here is a closer look as the 22-year-old star heads into the offseason.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic on his summer plans, extension, and more
Doncic was asked about playing for Slovenia in the Olympic Qualifier which beings on June 29. See his response below.
"“Yea, this is my next goal to qualify with Slovenia for the Olympics. I’m going to be heading back to Slovenia to start practicing, so no vacation.”"
The Mavericks superstar will have to lead his team to the championship in the Lithuanian Qualifying Tournament if they want to play in Tokyo. Doncic has not played with his national teams since winning EuroBasket in 2017. Expect him to be the best player on the court and the favorites to qualify for the Olympics.
Tim MacMahon asked Luka about his relationship with Kristaps Porzingis, and the 22-year-old praised his co-star.
"“You know it is great. He is a great player. I don’t know what we are going to do next year with the whole roster. We have a couple free agents. In NBA, every year you have new teammates. I don’t know what is going to happen, but he is a great player. I think we got to use him more.”"
The Mavericks have plenty of questions to answer this offseason, but what they do with Porzingis could be the biggest. They need to get more production out of the Unicorn or move on. It will be interesting to see which way Dallas goes.
Doncic also had this to say about signing a rookie max extension when eligible for the first time this offseason.
"“I think you know the answer.”"
It is a no-brainer decision for the 22-year-old. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Doncic is set to make over $200 million in his new deal as long as he makes the All-NBA team for the second straight year. The extension would not kick in until the 2022-2023 season.
Luka also answered about what he plans to work on this offseason and more. Fans can listen to his exit interview here.
Luka Doncic will be back and better than ever next season. Expect him to take another step forward, but the Dallas Mavericks need to improve the roster around him if they want to jump into title contention. Stay tuned to see what moves they make in the months ahead.