Could Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar, suit up for the Utah Jazz some time in the future, near or distant?
It is something that Jazz brass is reportedly keen on.
Per The Athletic’s John Hollinger, “Utah in particular is keeping a very interested eye on Doncic’s situation.”
Hollinger reported that the Jazz, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder, have the requisite assets needed to swing a trade for Doncic — both teams can essentially outbid the other 27 teams who could try to trade for Doncic, due to a hoard of first-round draft picks — in the event that he becomes disenchanted with his situation in Dallas.
A year ago, prying Doncic from Dallas would have been viewed as a nonstarter, but the 2022-23 NBA season was a disappointment for the Mavericks.
First, the team failed to resign free agent point guard Jalen Brunson, who has since gone on to star for the New York Knicks (he may end up leading the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year in the Big Apple).
Then, after a middling first half of the year, Dallas traded for Kyrie Irving, sending out one of Doncic’s closest friends on the team in Dorian Finney-Smith in the process, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Callie Caplan.
The move didn’t pay off either, as Dallas struggled mightily to end the regular season, losing 12 of its last 16 games, and failed to qualify for even the play-in tournament, let alone the playoffs themselves, and that after having made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2022.
The Miami Heat advancing to the second round of this year’s Eastern Conference playoffs only heightens the Mavericks’ late season failure, as the Heat did so after making the play-in tournament.
Doncic currently has four years remaining on a five-year, $215,159,700 contract, per Spotrac, but he has a player option on the final year of his deal in 2026-27.
And, as current happenings around the league have shown — Kevin Durant getting out of Brooklyn at the trade deadline for instance — superstar players have the influence to force their way out of undesirable situations, regardless of the length and size of their contract.