Nets Cautioned Over Potential Pursuit of Mavs’ Luka Doncic

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Brooklyn Nets have the ammo to get into the potential running for Luka Doncic amid fears he is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Dallas Mavericks.

But should general manager Sean Marks really do what it might take to potentially strike a deal?

“We know the Nets have a trade package worthy of a superstar because they just got that package from Phoenix in the Kevin Durant deal,” writes Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. “Yes, the Nets could probably enter the bidding war with Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, all of those Suns picks and perhaps a few sweeteners of their own like Nic Claxton and the Philadelphia and Dallas picks they are owed from other trades. At that point, though, the Nets just wouldn’t have enough left over to actually convince Doncic to stick around.”

Brooklyn received four unprotected first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029) and a swap option in 2028 along with Bridges and Johnson who have both lived up to or exceeded expectations since arriving.

They also got one unprotected first-rounder from the Mavericks for Kyrie Irving along with a pair of second-rounder and – even more significantly – Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith.

The player loss has been substantial for Dallas who have gone 10-17 since making the trade.

Luka Doncic Could Want Out of Dallas

“There’s a strong sense of urgency within the organization to expedite the process before Doncic loses faith in the Mavs’ ability to build a contender around him,” reported Tim MacMahon of ESPN on April 8. “Team sources have acknowledged…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.”

Doncic is in the first year of a five-year, $215 million contract that has him locked up through the 2026 season with a player option for the final year in 2027.

He would not be the first player to sign that extension and then demand a trade, however.

Brooklyn’s own Ben Simmons found himself in a similar situation, although the circumstances that led up to his trade request were vastly different than the situation Doncic seems to have found himself in after pushing for the deal to bring Irving to Dallas in the first place.

Dallas is also under investigation for pulling the four-time All-Star who played fewer than 13 minutes against the Bulls after which Mavs head coach Jason Kidd all but admitted to tanking.

The loss eliminated the Mavs from playoff contention and could help keep their draft pick.

To Quinn’s point, Doncic could very well be on the table and the Nets may very well have the assets to make things interesting. But that is at least one year out and the Nets could have something sooner than that given how Bridges has progressed as the regular season has come to a close.

Nets Postseason Success Could Determine Future Plans

Bridges is locked up through 2026 but there are other decisions that must be made this summer not the least of which is Johnson’s looming restricted free agency.

They face an even more immediate challenge in the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brooklyn went 0-4 against Philly during the regular season and don’t have an answer for MVP-hopeful Joel Embiid. They will have to throw their plethora of perimeter defenders on the likes of James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey and hope for the best from there.

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