Now that the regular season has come to a close, it’s safe to say that this year has been an absolute failure for the Dallas Mavericks. Just one year after making an incredible run to the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks failed to even make the Play-In Tournament this season.
Heading into the summer, there will be some serious questions surrounding the team. However, the one bright spot about their failures this season is that they will likely have a top-10 pick in the draft. According to Marc Stein of The Stein Line newsletter, the Mavericks will likely explore trade opportunities using the pick.
“Retaining this June’s pick would provide a crucial potential path to a quality player for a club low on trade chips or the salary-cap flexibility to make significant changes around [Luka] Doncic and [Kyrie] Irving,” Stein wrote. “Sources say that the Mavericks plan to explore trade prospects with the pick if they retain it to potentially seek more win-now talent.”
With how poorly their season has gone, serious changes are needed as soon as possible. Their trade for Irving never truly got the chance to work out, but it was still an utter failure. In the 20 games he played with the Mavericks, they went just 8-12.
There’s still a chance that Irving re-joins the team on a new contract this offseason, but even then, more adjustments would be needed. Their high-value first-round pick could be the ticket to improvement around both him and Doncic.
Luka Doncic Discusses Mavericks Future
Amid the chaos of the Mavericks’ season, reports of Doncic’s dissatisfaction began to surface. He even stated how frustrated he’s been with the poor play of his team this season.
With their failure to make the playoffs, a report surfaced that he could potentially request a trade as soon as the summer of 2024. However, after the Mavericks’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their final game of the season, Doncic cleared things up. He said that he has no immediate plans to leave Dallas and that the reports were false.
“I saw the report. I don’t know who, somebody said that I was going to request a trade. It was funny because I didn’t know that was true. I didn’t say it.” What if things don’t improve?: “I’m happy here. There’s nothing to worry [about],” Doncic said via Sports Illustrated’s Grant Afseth.
Uncertain Futures Amid Mavericks Chaos
But while Doncic may be content with his position in Dallas, or at least willing to state that he is for the sake of the press, the Mavericks have some other, more urgent situations to deal with.
According to Stein, it is unlikely that Christian Wood will return next season, and the futures of Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee remain in question, too.
“Prime among current Mavericks who face uncertain futures are JaVale McGee (who failed to live up to the three-year, $17.2 million contract he commanded last summer), fan favorite Christian Wood (my up-to-minute sense is that the free agent-to-be will not be asked back after a Wood contract extension was raised as a possibility before the Irving trade) and Hardaway (who has two seasons and $34.1 million left on his contract and was shopped without success at the last trade deadline in February.),” Stein wrote