The Dallas Mavericks are about to embark on a monumentally important offseason this summer. After reaching the Western Conference finals a season ago, the Mavericks failed to reach the playoffs this year, and when the odds were stacked against them to earn a play-in spot the team opted to tank the final two games of the season in hopes of retaining their first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. It's a rare occurrence that a team with as talented of a superstar as Luka Doncic would miss the mark this badly on the season, and there are now even more reports that the
So to say a lot is riding on Dallas' ability to course correct its failure of a season would be a massive understatement. But while the Mavericks will be trying to build a roster capable of at least earning a playoff spot in the always-crowded Western Conference, there are going to be several teams around the league hoping they stumble, which could trigger a trade request from Doncic. One team that is already reportedly watching from a distance is the Utah Jazz, per The Athletic's John Hollinger, who says the Jazz are "keeping a very interested eye" on Doncic's situation in Dallas.
While that's not exactly groundbreaking news, as every team in the league is likely keeping tabs on what could happen if the Mavericks fumble the bag, the Jazz are in a unique position because they have the assets that could pry Doncic out of Mark Cuban's hands. Due to the trades of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, as well as taking on Russell Westbrook at this year's trade deadline before buying him out, the Jazz have nine future first-round draft picks over the next six years.
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If Doncic requested a trade next summer, or even the one after that, the package to get him from Dallas would probably be unlike anything we've ever seen. He would be either 24 or 25 years old, and every team in the league, not just the Jazz, would be working the phones to try and get him on their team. Doncic has already proven to be at the least a top 10 player in the league, and players of that talent level, and at the age that he is, rarely become available via trade.
With rival teams already perking up their ears at the mere thought of Doncic forcing his way out of Dallas, it should motivate the Mavericks to ensure they don't lose him. It's going to take a lot to fix all of Dallas' issues in just one summer, but the looming threat of Doncic requesting a trade should force Cuban, Nico Harrison and the rest of the Mavericks brass to right this ship.