The only way to describe the ending of the Dallas Mavericks’ season is absolute disaster.
At the trade deadline, the team traded a future 1st round pick, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Spencer Dinwiddie to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving in an effort to turn themselves into a contender.
At the time, the Mavs were a few games over .500 and were contending for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Since then, they’ve gone 9-17, fallen past the Western Conference play-in, and even decided to bench their starters yesterday while still in playoff contention in an effort to hold onto their top-10 protected pick in this year’s draft.
With their season now essentially over, the Mavericks can begin looking toward the future.
As they begin focusing on that future, it seems there is one big thing the franchise is worried about. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Mavs are afraid Luka Doncic will request a trade next summer.
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
Team sources have acknowledged to ESPN that fear exists that Doncic, who publicly and privately expressed extreme frustration this season, could consider requesting a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if Dallas doesn’t make significant progress by then.
It’s easy to see why Doncic would be frustrated with the Mavs right now.
He led them to the Western Conference Finals a year ago. The team lost Jalen Brunson during the offseason and their solution to replacing him clearly did not work out.
Now they’re reportedly interested in re-signing Kyrie, which is a move that there is plenty of reason to be skeptical about given the way the season went after the Kyrie trade.
Luka Doncic is such a talented player that he deserves to have a contending roster around him and the Dallas Mavericks haven’t provided him with that yet.
They’ll need to change that soon if they want to make sure to keep their star.