Luka Doncic Sending Strong Signal to Mavs Front Office: Report

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks have had a bumpy season thus far, and it’s likely not exactly what they imagined after their impressive run to the Western Conference Finals last season. They lost Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks this summer, and while they did manage to add Christian Wood, it didn’t spur much improvement.

As things stand, the Mavericks sit at 24-21 on the season, good for fifth place in the West standings. Luka Doncic is doing everything for Dallas, and according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, he wants the team to make moves to improve ahead of the trade deadline.

“Sources said Doncic, who hasn’t shown a desire to be involved in personnel matters in the past, has strongly indicated he wants the Mavs to upgrade before the Feb. 9 trade deadline,” MacMahon wrote.

As MacMahon noted, Doncic hasn’t taken a huge interest in team personnel matters in recent years, as it’s been stated that he mostly keeps to himself during the offseason instead of trying to recruit other players to Dallas.

But now, after a run to the West Finals, it seems as though Doncic has the urge to improve. Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Tim Hardaway Jr. have emerged as quality rotational pieces in Dallas, but it’s clear that they are still a piece or two away from truly contending for a championship.

And right now, Doncic is taking on an extremely heavy workload. He’s appeared in 40 of the team’s 45 games this year and is playing 37.4 minutes per contest. The Slovenian superstar is averaging 33.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game on 49.8% shooting from the field and 35.1% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Damian Lillard Acknowledges Luka Doncic’s Greatness

The Mavericks have been struggling as of late, having lost five of their last seven games, including two in a row to the Portland Trail Blazers. Doncic didn’t play in the second of the two games, but it was still a crushing blow for Dallas to drop both of them.

After the first game, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard heaped praise onto Doncic, noting that guarding him isn’t a one-man job.

“That’s not a one-man job. Luka is a great player,” Lillard explained in an interview with Brooke Olzendam of the Trail Blazers. “He does the same thing to everybody. He’s going to come out, you know, he had a 60-point triple-double this year, he scores 40 seems like every night, so it’s important that we make it a team effort. We gave him a lot of attention. We sent two guys on him all night. That can be exhausting. To have two guys in your face and you gotta be willing to trust your teammates, and I think we would lose to other guys hitting shots than lose to him. They couldn’t sustain it tonight, but tomorrow is a different story. We’ve just got to look at what we did well tonight and repeat it tomorrow and just know that they’re going to come harder.”

Mavericks Linked to Nerlens Noel Trade

While Doncic wants the team to improve, there are ways to do that other than trading for a star. According to James L. Edwards of The Athletic, the Mavericks are among the “most engaged” in trade talks for Detroit Pistons big man Nerlens Noel.

“Per league sources, the teams most engaged in talks with the Pistons about Noel to date are the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks,” Edwards III wrote.

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