The Dallas Mavericks are out of the play-in race in the Western Conference for now, as the team is holding onto the 5-seed with a 24-21 record as of Wednesday morning. It’s required some remarkably heavy lifting by Luka Doncic that runs the risk of wearing him down by the time the postseason rolls around, and apparently, the Mavericks’ MVP candidate would like a little help.
In a piece by Tim MacMahon of ESPN about the ways that Doncic and Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young will always be connected, MacMahon reports that Doncic is trying something new as the trade deadline approaches: He’s advocating for the front office to bring in reinforcements.
Doncic has been more spectacular than ever this season, efficiently leading the league in scoring despite frequent double-teams and dragging Dallas to a 24-21 record, good enough for fifth place in the West. He’s certainly not satisfied to be in the middle of the playoff pack. Doncic is a fiery competitor with a championship pedigree, having won titles with the Slovenian national team and Real Madrid, and patience isn’t high on his list of virtues.
Sources said Doncic, who hasn’t shown a desire to be involved in personnel matters in the past, has strongly indicated he wants the Mavs to upgrade before the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
Doncic’s numbers have, unsurprisingly, been stellar this season, as he’s averaging 33.8 points, nine rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.6 steals in 37.4 minutes per game. He’s scoring and playing more than ever, while his usage percentage of 38.2 percent is also a career-high. Unfortunately for Dallas, a measure complicating any attempt to upgrade next to Doncic would require some patience from other teams, as the Mavericks’ first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft belongs to the New York Knicks.