Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic entered the league in 2018 and in the eyes of many, was chosen to spearhead the NBA’s next generation of star athletes. And so far, that has come to fruition. The former lottery pick has already been selected All-NBA four times, named an All-Star four times, and led the Mavericks to a Western Conference Finals berth in 2022.
The Jordan Brand, who is Luka’s official sneaker endorser, is already counting on the international star to be the face of their brand in the years to come. Per NBA insider Marc Stein, formerly of the New York Times and ESPN, Doncic has signed an extension with the legendary brand through the 2029 NBA season.
“Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has signed a contract extension with Jordan Brand, according to industry sources,” Stein writes per his Substack account.
“The deal, sources say, will continue Doncic’s run as a leading face for the shoe powerhouse through 2029. The Slovenian has achieved All-Star and All-NBA status in each of the past four seasons with the Mavericks and became Jordan Brand’s first European born-and-raised signature athlete in 2019.”
With Doncic rapidly trending towards being the face of the league, especially with household names such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James now in the latter years of their careers, this could be a move that pays heavy dividends in the future for the Jordan Brand.
Charles Barkley Casts Doubt on Mavericks’ Stars
The Mavericks pushed all their chips to the center of the table at the 2023 trade deadline. Despite coming within two wins of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011 in 2022, the Mavericks parted ways with many of the key players on that roster to acquire All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets after a tumultuous three and a half seasons. But thus far, the risk has been far greater than the reward.
Not only did the Mavericks miss the playoffs last season, but they did not even qualify for the play-in tournament. Despite Luka and Kyrie coming into the 2024 season healthy and with a full year to get acclimated, Hall of Famer and “Insider the NBA” host Charles Barkley is not sold on the star duo making Dallas a formidable contender.
“I don’t think the Luka-Kyrie thing works together. They do not complement each other,” Barkley said of the Mavericks’ All-Star duo on the “Bill Simmons Podcast,” on August 25. “Now they’re married to each other, and I just don’t see that thing working in Dallas.”
Mavs Have Tough Hill To Climb in Loaded West
Barkley’s words may have been somewhat harsh, but it is not like the famed NBA legend is not making any valid points. When the Nets traded Irving to the Mavericks on February 6, they had a record of 29-26 and sat comfortably in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
But in the second half of the season, Irving, Doncic, and the Mavericks plummeted and not only missed the playoffs but did not even qualify for the play-in tournament.
It does not help that many of the top teams in the Western Conference have vastly improved this offseason. The Phoenix Suns added Bradley Beal to an already star-studded roster. The Golden State Warriors traded Jordan Poole for All-Star guard Chris Paul, and the Memphis Grizzlies added 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart.
If the Mavericks want to make noise in the Western Conference, they will have their work cut out for them.