Luka Doncic just made Mark Cuban’s life a lot more difficult

Luka Doncic, Mark Cuban, Mavs


Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks made the All-NBA First Team on Tuesday. This achievement was obviously deserved and clearly expected, but it nevertheless makes life a lot more complicated for the Mavs and owner Mark Cuban.

Luka Doncic has earned All-NBA honors for a second consecutive season and is eligible to sign a rookie max extension this offseason for 30% of the salary cap in 2022-23. The extension is projected to be $201.5M.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 16, 2021

The reality of needing to shell out more than $200 million for one player is the kind of thing an NBA team will certainly not ignore. The Mavs will naturally give Luka Doncic the max extension. It’s a no-brainer to make this investment. Yet, this expenditure will put the pressure on the Mavericks to rework the rest of their roster in a smart and clever way.
Mark Cuban and his team have to thread the needle in rearranging their supporting cast to better fit Doncic. Given the failure of Kristaps Porzingis to live up to his potential with the Mavs, the Dallas organization would seem to be in a position where it will need another NBA team to take the bait and gamble on Porzingis’s potential. If Cuban and the Mavericks can’t get a particularly good offer for Porzingis, they will have to resort to the bargain bin and get cheap new pieces they can put around Doncic.
That is not the route the Mavs wanted to take, but depending on how they handle Porzingis, it is a route they might have to travel this offseason.
All of these complexities emerge at a time when the Mavs’ office culture — a consistent problem under Cuban — remains a subject of gossip and discomfort.

Bob Voulgaris has been the most influential voice in the Mavs’ front office since being hired: initiating transactions, dictating rotations, and even frustrating Luka. There are internal fears how it could affect Luka’s future.
with @sam_amick:
— tim cato (@tim_cato) June 14, 2021

Dallas lacks a solid, stable management structure at a time when Doncic is surely paying attention to how Cuban and team executives will adjust to recent playoff failures. If the Mavs don’t make better decisions and can’t clean up their office culture, Doncic will leave at the next available opportunity. He will receive this upcoming max extension, and he will give it a go in Dallas in the next few seasons, but beyond that, who knows if a superstar will remain loyal… or become a maverick of a different kind?
Mark Cuban knew as soon as the Mavs were eliminated in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Clippers that he would face a hugely important offseason this summer. Now, Luka Doncic’s All-NBA honors make it even more apparent how much of a tightrope the Mavericks’ owner will have to walk in the coming months.


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