At just 22 years of age, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is already one of the top players in the NBA. The 2018-2019 Rookie of the Year has also made two All-Star teams and named to two All-NBA teams. A future prominent face of the NBA, Doncic will now be in a Mavs’ uniform for at least the next five years after a $207 million contract extension.
In fact, Doncic became the first player in the league eligible for the rookie max extension due to being named first-team All-NBA twice. Doncic recognizes the honor is appreciative of what basketball has done in his life. In addition to being excited about remaining a part of the Mavericks, Doncic works hard in the community, looking on expanding the Luck Doncic Foundation. The focus of his foundation is to give back to his native Slovenia, as well as several communities in the North Texas area, which he now calls home.
Doncic also is partnering with 2K Foundations, which is providing two new basketball courts in Slovenia, upgrading those he learned his craft as a child. It will be a dream come true for the new generation of kids to play on the same courts as their hero and perhaps follow the same path to the NBA one day.
Prior to being drafted by the Hawks in with third pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Doncic led Real Madrid to the EuroLeague title in 2017-2018, earning MVP in the process. The Hawks immediately traded Doncic to the Mavs, who sent a future first-rounder and Trae Young to the Hawks.
Doncic averaged an impressive 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists during his Rookie of the Year campaign. He exploded to nearly 29 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists during the COVID-affected 2019-2020 season and 28 points, 8 rebounds and 8.4 assists this past season. Doncic has been so good that only four players had made All-NBA first team twice before the age of 23. Behind his stellar play, Doncic led Slovenia to its first Olympic basketball appearance and narrowly missing the medal podium, finishing fourth.
As for the Mavericks, they are still trying to match Doncic’s brilliance. After a 5th place finish in their conference in Doncic’s rookie season, the Mavericks have improved to a .573 and .583 winning percentage over the past two seasons. However, they have been first-round playoff casualties each time, falling to the Clippers on both occasions. Doncic has done his part, with five playoff games of over 40 points, but he needs some help.
Kristaps Porzingis averaged 20 points and nine rebounds, but was limited to 43 games. Tim Hardaway Jr added nearly 17 points on 39 percent shooting from three-point range. Jalen Brunson and Josh Richardson each added double-digits in scoring. As a team, the Mavericks need more offensive firepower behind Doncic, ranking 17th in the NBA in scoring. They have a good enough defense to make a playoff run, ranked 9th in scoring.
One thing for certain moving forward, the Mavericks will have Doncic and he should just be getting even better, as he enters the prime of his career when his five-year extension ends. That is potentially scary for the rest of the league, particularly if the Mavericks add a few key pieces around him. Deep playoff runs and an NBA title is now not out of the question and NBA point spread also does not rule this out.