‘We have a guy named Luka Doncic,’ Dallas Mavericks owner on targeting LeBron James
LeBron James was rumoured to join Dallas Mavericks in the off-season
LeBron James is all set to enter his 22nd season in the NBA. The next season will mark LeBron’s sixth campaign on the trot as a Lakers player. LeBron’s future did not seem quite certain even two months back. With an aim of reuniting with LeBron after their successful stint at Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving had reportedly requested Dallas Mavericks to explore the chances of trading for the four-time NBA champion in the off-season. According to media reports, the Mavericks were also interested in acquiring LeBron. Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban has now quashed possibilities of roping in LeBron. Cuban made the comment on Bobbi Althoff's 'The Really Good Podcast'.
“Is [LeBron James] in the Mavericks' plans,” was Althoff’s question. Cuban replied promptly by saying, “No, he's not.” Althoff did not stop there as she asked again, “Are they trying to sign him?” Responding to this, Cuban said, “No, we have a guy named Luka Doncic.”
Luka Doncic is currently busy training with the Slovenian side for exhibition games, ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Slovenia coach Aleksander Sekulic recently revealed how much his side depend on Doncic. “As long as we have Luka, we have high goals. We want to compete for the medals, but a big number of teams want to do the same, and they have the quality to make it. We have high hopes,” Sekulic was quoted as saying.
The 2022-23 season was not memorable for the Dallas Mavericks who failed to reach the playoffs. Though Luka Doncic had another impressive season in terms of individual performance. The 24-year-old recorded 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.4 steals in 36.2 minutes per game in 66 regular-season appearances.
Doncic was selected by the Atlanta Hawks as the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was later traded to Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Trae Young and a future first-round selection.
Doncic kicked off his NBA career with incredible performances in the first two seasons. He won the Rookie of the Year in the 2018-19 season. Next year, he finished with the second-highest scoring average -- 24.2 points per game -- by a player before his 21st birthday in NBA history. At the age of 21, Doncic made it to the All-NBA First Team in 2019-20. He joined Dirk Nowitzki as the only Mavericks player to be a part of All-NBA First Team.