How can Dallas Mavericks keep Luka Doncic for his entire career?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks are wrapping up their fifth season with Luka Doncic, and it has not gone as planned. One year after reaching the conference finals, Dallas is on the verge of missing the postseason entirely, despite number 77 producing MVP-caliber stats. He is averaging over 32 points per game and has been unstoppable all season, but the wins have not come.

The Mavs have fallen flat since trading for Kyrie Irving, and the franchise faces a host of questions this offseason. They must upgrade their roster to get back into contention. The first order of business will be re-signing Irving, who is headed for free agency with plenty of suitors. Then, Dallas must improve their defense, rebounding, and depth if they want to get back to the playoffs in 2024.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban talked about all of the team’s issues on April 5, including mentioning that he believes Luka wants to spend his entire career in Dallas, but the billionaire noted that the franchise must “earn that”. How can the Mavs do that? Here are five things that must happen to keep LD leading the franchise long-term.

Dallas Mavericks have to build title contender around Luka Doncic to keep him

Losing Jalen Brunson for nothing and trading away Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie to get Kyrie Irving has done a number on the Mavericks roster. Injuries have not helped as both stars dealt with nagging ailments down the stretch, and fans still have not seen the best of Maxi Kleber following his hamstring surgery.

Their roster needs multiple pieces to jump into title contention, and it starts with defense. The Mavericks cannot get any stops right now, and it is why they are in this situation. Dallas needs to upgrade their rim protection and perimeter defense if they plan on making a run in 2024.

The Dallas Mavericks have limited assets to move this summer, so transforming their roster into a contender will be easier said than done. Still, they have to make it happen over the next two years if they want to keep Luka Doncic long-term, but that is not the only order of business.