Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Jones, Roster, Cuban

In the wake of the Mavericks‘ disastrous finish to the 2022/23 season, there was plenty of speculation a year ago about Luka Doncic‘s future in Dallas, with some media members suggesting the team would have to make real strides within the next year or two in order to secure the star guard’s long-term commitment.

Following an NBA Finals run this spring, that no longer seems like a concern, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who says all indications are that Doncic will be willing to sign a super-max extension in July 2025 once he has the necessary seven years of NBA service. The 25-year-old said after Monday’s season-ending loss that he feels “great” about the Mavs’ future.

“We did some great (personnel) moves,” Doncic said. “I would say we’ve been together for five months. I’m proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches, all the people behind (the scenes). Obviously, we didn’t win Finals, but we did have a hell of a season.”

Doncic’s enthusiasm about the franchise’s direction is shared by his backcourt partner Kyrie Irving, who is under contract in Dallas for at least the next two seasons.

“I just feel like the sky’s the limit,” Irving said, per MacMahon. “I have an opportunity to be on a special team that can be one of the teams that dominates in this era. That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out the past few years, of how to be on a great team, be in an organization where I’m trusted, and also we’re able to succeed and fail together, and doing it in a way where we still have each other’s backs, and no one is giving up on the dream or the goal. Our goal is still to win a championship.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Based on their current salary projections, Dallas won’t be able to offer more than the taxpayer mid-level exception (about $5.2MM) to free agent forward Derrick Jones, though the team could potentially open up some or all of the non-taxpayer MLE ($12.9MM) with some tweaks to the roster, MacMahon writes. Mavs general manager Nico Harrison wants to find a way to bring back Jones. “He’s a part of our core going forward, so hopefully we can figure that out,” Harrison told ESPN.
  • Regarding the rest of the roster, Harrison said he likes where it stands but acknowledged that there’s always room for improvements. “I think we have a really good core and really good complementary pieces,” Harrison told MacMahon. “Having said that, I mean, I’ve been here for two years and so I think my reputation is starting to (form). If there’s an opportunity to make it better, I’m going to do that for sure.”
  • Former Mavericks majority owner Mark Cuban no longer has control of the team’s basketball operations, MacMahon confirms. Still, as Howard Beck of The Ringer writes, Cuban – now a minority stakeholder – can take credit for three risky moves that set up the club for this year’s success: hiring Harrison as GM; hiring Jason Kidd as head coach; and trading for Irving. Harrison had worked at Nike rather than for an NBA team, Kidd had been fired from two previous head coaching jobs, and Irving’s value had fallen due to injury issues and off-court controversies. “For sure, they were risks,” Cuban told Beck. “I mean, there were a lot of people who just like rolled their eyes at me. But each of them brought a unique set of skills to the table that I didn’t have, that the organization hadn’t had, and I thought were valuable and important.”
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) previews the offseason in Dallas, writing that the Mavericks have some trade assets available – including its 2025 and 2031 first-round picks and Tim Hardaway‘s expiring contract – and suggesting they could use another play-making guard, perimeter depth, and a floor-spacing big man.
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