Grades for every Dallas Mavericks player ahead of the trade deadline

Dec 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates with Dallas
Dec 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates with Dallas / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic is having the greatest regular season from any Dallas Maverick in history up to this point, and it's hard to argue whatsoever. Doncic is averaging 34.7 points, 9.6 assists, and 8.6 rebounds per game on 48.9/37.5/78.0 shooting splits. All of those marks are career highs for Doncic barring field goal percentage and rebounds, but that doesn't even tell the whole story of how effective Doncic has been for Dallas this year.

With Kyrie Irving in and out of the lineup as well as injuries to other role players, Doncic has almost sing handily willed Dallas to some wins through his insane shot-making and playmaking. Doncic's 73-point performance against Atlanta last Friday was extremely emblematic of this, as Doncic got wherever he wanted on the court through his ability to manipulate and counter defenses.

Doncic has been excellent in the in-between game this season, as he's feasting on floaters and mid-range jump-shots. He's shooting 9.3% better on shots from 15-19 feet compared to last season, as this is arguably the most compete Doncic we've seen from an offenisve perspective. Doncic has also gelled much better with Kyrie Irving this year, as the two have continually gotten better at running actions through each other on offense as well as divvying up ball-handling responsibilities more effectively.

Doncic has even played slightly better defense overall this year, so much so that he is starting to shift the national narrative of him being a "bad" defender. More importantly compared to his on-court production though, Doncic has stepped up as a vocal leader in the Mavericks' locker room more so than ever this season. While he may still complain to refs too much, Doncic is exhibiting a lot of maturation in multiple facets of the game both on and off the court for Dallas this season. If Dallas was in a better position in the standings then Doncic would likely be the favorite for MVP, so this is an easy A+.

MVP caliber season. Has improved every season of his career. Luka Doncic. Midseason grades 1. A+