The Dallas Mavericks have done an incredible job of scouting and developing international talent. The fan base has been extremely fortunate as the Mavs had two decades of greatness with Dirk Nowitzki only to have his final season overlap with the next international all-time great in Luka Doncic. The Slovenian star has led Dallas to the playoffs two straight years, but the Mavericks have been knocked out in the first round by the LA Clippers both times.
An important offseason lies ahead for the franchise. Luka can sign a five-year max contract extension worth over $200 million this summer. The 22-year-old is expected to put pen to paper, but Doncic is not Dirk. Nowitzki was never leaving Dallas. He stayed with the team through thick and thin for 21 years. Luka could depart if things do not improve.
Fan’s fears skyrocketed on June 14 when The Athletic reported (subscription required) growing tension between Doncic and some members of the Mavericks front office, including Haralabos Voulgaris. Will the 22-year-old superstar leave Dallas? What can the Mavs do to keep him for his entire career like Dirk?
Will Luka Doncic play his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks?
The NBA has changed. Players have all the control, and they use it. James Harden had three years left on his contract but forced his way from Houston to Brooklyn at the beginning of the season. Anthony Davis left New Orleans to play with LeBron James in Los Angeles. The list goes on. Players decide where they want to play in the NBA today.
Doncic is expected to sign his max extension this offseason, but the clocking is already ticking for the Mavericks front office to build a consistent winner around him. Luka won’t stay in Dallas if the team is knocked out in the first round of the playoffs every year.
Here are three things the Dallas Mavericks must do to keep Luka Doncic long-term.
Next: No. 3