The Dallas Mavericks won their first playoff series since 2011 last season. On their way to the conference finals, Luka Doncic made his case for best player in the NBA and may have destroyed not one but two franchises. The Kings had a front office overhaul two years after they selected Marvin Bagley III over Doncic in the draft, and now Luka tore apart two playoff contenders.
The Jazz went into a total rebuild after losing to the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. After six straight postseason appearances, Utah decided to blow it up and trade both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this summer.
The Mavs knocked out the top-seeded Suns in the second round of the playoffs after rallying to win the final two games, including the infamous Game 7 blowout. Phoenix faces plenty of turmoil entering this season, including just losing to a non-NBA team in preseason action. Could the Suns be the next to blow things up? Jae Crowder wants out, and Deandre Ayton could follow, but what franchise should be scared of facing Luka and the Mavs in the playoffs this year?
What franchise will Luka Doncic destroy next?
The Jazz appeared headed for a rebuild if they did not advance deep into the playoffs last season, but few expected the Suns to be where they are right now, especially after they had the best regular season record in the NBA. Being dissected by Doncic in the playoffs can do strange things to a team.
The two most likely teams to blow it up may fail to make the playoffs this season in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. Both teams missed the play-in tournament last season and have star players in their 30s. The Western Conference is loaded this season, and failing to qualify for the playoffs again could have Damian Lillard and LeBron James looking to change addresses next offseason.
Two sneaky contenders could be the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves. Nikola Jokic just signed a five-year supermax extension, but a second straight first-round playoff exit could cause the Nuggets to change his supporting cast. Minnesota went all-in on Rudy Gobert, but if the two big men experiment fails, they could quickly try to pivot their build around Anthony Edwards. Do not count on full rebuilds, but making significant trades could be on the horizon if they make early postseason exits.
No team is looking forward to facing Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs. The 23-year-old superstar raised the alert level to ten after dismantling two franchises last season. Who is next on Doncic’s list of destruction? Stay tuned to find out.