The Dallas Mavericks understand how lucky they are to have a player like Luka Doncic. The opportunity to have another superstar take over just after Dirk Nowitzki decided to call it a day is a rare feat of continuity that most NBA teams wish could have.
However, the Mavs’ front office is struggling to consistently surround their star player with the right pieces to win games in an uber-competitive Western Conference. While they had the right ideas with their most recent personnel moves, even the most casual OKBET player knows something is missing from their current roster.
They cannot expect Luka to keep on carrying the team if they want to become NBA champions. Let’s look into the primary causes of the team’s up-and-down season. We’ll also look into possible trades that could help the team improve on their Western Conference Finals finish last year.
Before the season started, many thought the Mavericks would be making another deep playoff after an active offseason. While Dallas did lose Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks, they got Christian Wood and JaVale McGee to shore up their holes in the frontcourt. They also signed Kemba Walker early in the season to address some of their playmaking issues.
However, it’s clear to everyone watching Mavericks games that the team is still only a one-man show. Luka Doncic is having an MVP season, averaging 33.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 8.8 APG while playing 37 minutes every night. He’s also doing all this while shooting 50% on the field.
So far, the biggest highlight of the season for Luka Doncic and Mavs fans has to be Luka Magic’s historic 60-21-10 triple-double against the Knicks. The last players with similar stat lines are all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor.
His all-around performance during the game is something rarely seen in the league’s 76-year history. Players and fans all over the league can’t help but respect Luka Magic for his out-of-this-world showing.
While the win was a fantastic spectacle to the neutral fan, it’s a worrying trend for Jason Kidd and the rest of Dallas’ coaching staff. The burden of keeping the Mavs in the game was laid squarely on Doncic’s shoulders. While the rest of the starting lineup was able to help push the Mavs toward the W in the overtime duel, the bench wasn’t able to chip in.
Moreover, the Slovenian superstar has been doing most of the heavy lifting this season. Fourteen of his 24 30-point games saw him bag at least 35 points. It’s impossible to expect Luka to be well-rested enough if he has to take on most of the team’s scoring every night.
Where would the team be in that Knicks game if Doncic was out due to injury? Where would they even be in the West if he’s not playing at his current level? These are terrifying questions that the entire Mavs organization would rather not learn the answers to.
The biggest issue Dallas has with their team is their rebounding. Wood is the only player other than Doncic averaging at least eight rebounds a night. The team’s 39.1 rebounds per game are dead last in the league.
They also feel the Brunson-shaped hole in their offense as they also suffer from a lack of ball movement. While Kemba Walker is still a great player, his 2.9 assists per game leave much to be desired. The Mavericks are ranked 29th in the NBA with 22 assists a game.
Finally, the lack of an excellent second option hurts the Mavericks’ chances of winning. With no clear co-star to demand attention, opposing defenses can focus on shutting down Luka Doncic. Spencer Dinwiddie is a great baller, but he’s more suitable as the third option in a contender.
The Mavericks must explore the trade market if they want to make a deep run in this year’s playoffs. They can target three suitable players to address the team’s biggest issues and turn them into a perennial contender.
John Collins will provide Luka something he hasn’t had in his career: an athletic rim runner who can catch and slam whatever balls he lobs into the air. The Mavs have been long interested in him, and they have a real shot at getting him after the Atlanta Hawks made him available for trade.
The power forward averages 12.3 points and 7.7 rebounds on 50% shooting this season. He can take over Maxi Kleber’s role as a more athletic and mobile big who can make his presence felt on the frontcourt.
Another great fit for the struggling Dallas Mavericks is Myles Turner. He’s a solid interior presence with experience playing at power forward during his time with Domantas Sabonis. He’s averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds on 54% shooting. The fact that Dallas is less than 30 minutes away from his hometown of Bedford should also make a possible trade more attractive.
However, recent reports from the Indiana Pacers reveal that they’re considering extending Turner’s stay with the team. They will miss out on a solid defensive presence if they don’t find a suitable trade package to convince Indiana to offload him.
Things are collapsing in the Windy City as the Chicago Bulls are still short of the lofty expectations they set for themselves before this season started. Zach LaVine is frustrated with how things are being run at the Bulls, and the Mavericks are looking for the perfect opportunity to sweep him up.
LaVine will be a fantastic running mate for Doncic as a potent three-way finisher. He has career averages of 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists on 46% shooting. His athletic tools will also make him a reliable defender, making the team’s defensive game plan easier.
Make no mistake: Luka Doncic is a generational player. However, he may become tired of the situation if everything stays the same. If you look at the precedent, teams that failed to surround their star players with the right supporting cast will see them leave with nothing to show.
The Mavericks need to get their superstar guard reinforcements if they want him to stay and win with them. They know that it’s only a matter of time before Luka Doncic grows frustrated with the team, so getting fantastic players that will be a fantastic fit is critical. However, it is an entirely different question whether they find the perfect player this season.