Dallas Mavericks 'expect' Luka Doncic to make risky decision this summer

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic just finished the best season of his career in which he was robbed of MVP and led the Mavs to their first NBA Finals since 2011, and this summer he has the potential to get even better.

Last summer we saw Doncic take his conditioning more seriously than he ever has and take huge strides as a shooter off the catch, and we could see a similar developmental path for Doncic this summer if he works as hard as he did last summer.

Doncic's 2024 NBA Playoffs were a masterclass as well, and he did so while battling countless injuries. By the end of the playoffs, Doncic was having to get pain-killing injections for his thoracic contusion and he fought through a knee sprain and ankle soreness for the entire playoffs.

Dallas Mavericks 'expect' Luka Doncic to play in Olympics

Doncic's main priority this summer needs to be getting healthy and ready to roll for next season considering that this year's offseason is much shorter for Dallas due to their deep playoff run, but that may be much harder considering a decision that Doncic will likely make.

In a press conference on Friday, Mavs GM said that he expects Doncic to play for Slovenia this summer in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

"That’s probably one of his biggest joys," Harrison said about Doncic playing for Slovenia. "As long as he can walk, he’s probably going to play for them. That’s my expectation."

Doncic playing for Slovenia shouldn't be a surprise for anyone, as earlier this month he said he'd be playing if his knee is okay, but him playing in the Olympics could turn out to be more risky than people realize.

Doncic is one to always battle through injuries, but playing in the Olympics after playing through multiple injuries for nearly two months is a sticky situation. If he happens to reinjure his knee or suffer a different naggy injury, the Mavs would be in a huge predicament going into next season.

Doncic is the heart and soul of this Mavs team, and without him, it would be extremely tough to contend in a stacked Western Conference.

Playing for Slovenia is obviously a priority for Doncic, and last summer we saw a scary situation with Doncic playing for Slovenia in the FIBA World Cup. Doncic was battling a thigh injury during the second half of the NBA 2022-23 season, and these problems persisted into the FIBA World Cup.

Doncic's thigh was bothering him during the World Cup, and at the end of the World Cup, he only had just over two weeks to prepare for Mavs training camp.

If Slovenia makes it through the pre-Olympic qualifiers and plays in the Olympics, Doncic (assuming he plays for Slovenia in the Olympics) would only have a little over a month between the Olympics and training camp. A month may seem like a long time, but that month would fly by if Doncic was nursing an injury that he suffered at the Olympics.

Doncic loves playing for Slovenia, but at the end of the day, this is a risky decision for him. It's also an interesting decision for the Mavs front office, because if they were to ask him to not play, it would likely only frustrate Doncic.

From what Harrison said, it doesn't seem like the Mavs have any objections to him playing for his country, but things could get very interesting going into next season if Doncic were to get hurt at the Olympics or if he wasn't able to fully recover from his injuries that he suffered last season.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks all offseason long, stay tuned.