Making his first comments since Sunday’s Game 7 loss to the Clippers, Mavericks star Luka Doncic discussed some of the pressing questions facing himself and the organization this summer.
The 22-year-old guard, who averaged 35 PPG, 10.3 APG and 7.9 RPG in his first round matchup with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, offered a strong, if playfully coy, hint about whether or not he plans on signing a supermax extension this summer. “I think you know the answer,” he said with a large smile, as tweeted by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
As relayed by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Doncic is set to become the first rookie in league history to sign a rookie max extension worth over $200MM. The deal, should he sign it, would begin in 2022/23 and would be worth approximately $201.5MM over five years, based on current cap projections. Marc Stein of The New York Times confirms (via Twitter) that the Mavs plan to put that offer on the table once free agency begins in August.
Doncic will officially qualify for the supermax (30% of the cap instead of 25%) once he’s formally named to this year’s All-NBA team, since he made last year’s All-NBA squad as well. Players need to make the All-NBA team in the season before the extension takes effect or in two of the previous three seasons in order to be supermax-eligible.
Doncic also reaffirmed his commitment to his partnership with Kristaps Porzingis, despite whispers that the two aren’t exactly the closest of friends. “He’s a great player. I think we’ve got to use him more, and that’s it,” Doncic said of Porzingis (Twitter link via Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).
The Latvian big man was brought in via trade in 2019 and subsequently signed to a max contract, but the last two seasons have been riddled with injuries and up-and-down play. He averaged 20 points and nearly nine rebounds per game, but his once-vaunted defense seemed to slip, resulting in a career-low blocks per game. In the playoffs this year, he averaged just 13 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 33 minutes a night.
Finally, Doncic confirmed that he will be joining the Slovenian national team soon to help lead them through the Olympic qualifying rounds. Though the team has never qualified for the Olympics before, Doncic was part of the group, along with Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic and former NBA forward Anthony Randolph, that won the 2017 EuroBasket championship. Doncic is hoping to carry that success to this year’s qualifiers, and to lead his team to the Tokyo Olympics.
“No vacation,” he said, as tweeted by Stein.