Luka Doncic Lands Significant Help in Proposed Trade for $85 Million Finals Champ

Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks

Getty Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

Two things are absolutely true. One: Luka Doncic is a transcendent superstar. Two: Luka Doncic is being absolutely overplayed by the Dallas Mavericks. As it stands, Doncic has both a career-high and league-leading 43.3 percent usage rate. The next highest? Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, at 37.7 percent.

Here’s the difference between Antetokounmpo and Doncic: when fully healthy, Milwaukee can trot out three All-Stars in Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton. The same cannot be said for Doncic, who is bearing nearly all of the playmaking load (though Spencer Dinwiddie’s 4.4 assists per night is helping). That very reason is why Dalton Trigg of si.com proposed the Mavs pull off a deal for Miami Heat veteran and Finals champion Kyle Lowry.

Here’s Trigg’s proposed deal:

Mavericks Receive: Kyle Lowry

Heat Receive: Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock


Why the Mavs Say Yes

The math is simple for the Mavericks: Lowry replicates (in theory) some of the playmaking that left town when Jalen Brunson departed for New York City. This season, Lowry is averaging 5.8 assists, his lowest mark in over a decade. But that figure would instantly be the second-best in Dallas and an immediate relief for Doncic.

The defense might not always be great between a triumvirate of Doncic, Lowry, and Dinwiddie, but somehow Dallas has found a way to sport a top-10 defense in the lineup’s current iteration. Perhaps the bigger concern would be the loss of projected shooting, though Hardaway and Bullock have been far from lights out so far this season. Plus, the rise of Josh Green might alleviate any offensive concerns in the long-term, as Trigg noted.

“Although Lowry (36) is older than Hardaway (30) and Bullock (31), he fits more of a need for Dallas than those two do, especially with the emergence of 21-year-old Josh Green in his third season.”


Why the Heat Say Yes

For Miami, this is essentially addition by subtraction. Lowry is a far more talented player on paper than both Hardaway and Bullock. But Lowry’s on the downward swing of a strong career, with his $85 million contract looking more and more like an albatross.

But Bullock and Hardaway are far from guarantees, either. In getting off Lowry’s gargantuan contract, the Heat essentially have to take gambles on two Mavericks who haven’t lived up to top billing yet this season.

In ten games this season, Bullock is averaging a meager 4.8 points per game on 30.2 percent shooting from deep and 29 percent from the field. And Hardaway’s numbers aren’t that much better: 31 percent from the floor and from three, good enough for 10.8 points per game.

To say the Heat are starved for shooting would be an understatement. Miami is 20th in three-point percentage and an even worse 25th in field goal percentage. That’s not going to be good enough for a team that has perennial Finals aspirations. Do Hardaway and Bullock immediately solve that problem? No. But both players could grow and evolve into valuable contributors. And at the very least, it opens up Miami’s coffers to make a run at another star via trade or free agency next summer.

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