There’s no arguing that Luka Dončić is one of the NBA’s best players and brightest stars. The fifth-year guard looks like he is headed for his fourth straight All-NBA first-team selection, an incredible feat at just 24 years old.
He had a monster season. Luka Dončić averaged a career-high 32.4 points per game to go along with 8.6 assists and 7.8 rebounds per contest. And, he did it in a year that was his most efficient shooting year so far, coming in at 49.6/34.2/74.4 splits shooting.
But, from a team perspective, the season was a disaster. The Dallas Mavericks, who made the Western Conference Finals a year ago, never really got it going this year. Still, when the calendar turned to February, the Mavericks were in fourth place in the Western Conference, very much in the hunt for a trip to the finals and possible championship. But, an ill-fated trade for Kyrie Irving on February 6 sent their season into a tailspin. Since the day of the trade, the team struggled to a pathetic 13-19 pace. This ultimately led to the team missing the postseason altogether, and Luka Dončić and his teammates participating in a humiliating tank job at the end of the season in hopes to keep their top-ten protected first round pick instead of sending it to the New York Knicks.
Over the weekend, rumors of Luka possibly seeking a trade came to light.
It took the Mavs less than two months to go from buzzing about a blockbuster trade to tanking.
As their summer starts early, major questions loom, beginning with the futures of Kyrie Irving and ultimately Luka Doncic.
ESPN story: https://t.co/ZlcfVYvcfI
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 8, 2023
But, after the Mavericks ended their season with an embarrassing 138-117 loss, the superstar spoke out about those rumors, and denied them reverently.
Luka Doncic was asked about the Dallas Mavericks feeling they need to "earn" his loyalty to avoid him being the next superstar to ask for a trade.
"I saw the report. I don't know who, somebody said that I was going to request a trade. It was funny because I didn't know that was… pic.twitter.com/SNwrtnL8eJ
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) April 9, 2023
That sounds like a pretty strong denial. But, if the Mavericks don’t improve and surround him with talent that can win a title, it would make sense for him to demand a trade.