The NBA is a league of trades, and the next big one could be on the horizon. The trade deadline was just last week and several players were moved around the league – including Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.
The bradley beal trade is a rumor that has been floating around the NBA for a while. It was reported by ESPN’s Zach Lowe and it was confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
For a long time, the NBA superstar trade rumor mill has been spinning. Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have just arrived in Los Angeles. Prior to then, Anthony Davis, Paul George, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard were the most recent in a line that dates back to Kareem Abdul-time Jabbar’s as Lew Alcindor. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards are the latest superstars believed to be on the market. But it’s possible that Luka Doncic may leave Dallas first, before Lillard or Beal.
Lillard has denied reports that he has requested a trade out of Portland, while Beal has said repeatedly that he has no desire to leave Washington at this time. Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers is expected to be traded sooner rather than later, but he isn’t a star on par with Lillard or Beal. Pascal Siakam of Toronto, whose name has recently emerged, is in the same boat.
But someone has to come next, right? Since selecting the Slovenian in 2018, the Mavericks have failed to have any meaningful postseason success. Despite having recently completed his third season in the NBA, Doncic may be looking for a new home.
Doncic has the potential to be the NBA’s next dissatisfied superstar.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, speaks during a news conference with Luka Doncic. | Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Doncic just received a $207 million rookie supermax contract. This binds him to the city of Dallas until 2027.
Lillard agreed to a four-year, $48.7 million contract with Portland in 2024-25, when he would be 34 years old. Beal just agreed to remain in Washington for another two years. Both players are genuine NBA stars, but none has the same potential as Doncic. At the age of 19, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year. The next two seasons, he was named to the NBA’s first team. Last season, the 6-foot-7 point guard finished in the top five in both points and assists. On 45.7 percent shooting, he has career averages of 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 8.6 assists.
Lillard and Beal are two of the NBA’s top players. Neither is better than Doncic right now, despite the fact that he is just 22 years old.
Doncic isn’t going to want to carry Dallas for the rest of his career.
Kristaps Porzingis is by far the greatest player the Mavericks have had during Doncic’s tenure, but the 7-foot-3 big can’t remain on the court. With his first season in New York, he appeared in 72 games and 66 the next year. But he hasn’t appeared in more than 57 games since then, and he only suited up 43 times last season.
During Doncic’s first season, Dallas had Harrison Barnes. His most talented teammates have been Tim Hardaway Jr., Seth Curry, and Maxi Kleber. Despite this, the Mavs have reached the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, pushing George and Leonard to the verge of elimination in the first round both times. Luka is almost averaging a triple-double in the playoffs, with 33.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game. Last year, Hardaway Jr. came closest to Doncic in playoff scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game, just over half of what Doncic averaged. Porzingis averaged 23.7 points per game in 2019-20, while Doncic averaged 31.0.
The Mavericks are also basically reverting to last season’s lineup. Doncic got a contract extension, Hardaway Jr. resigned, Boban Marjanovic resigned, and Dallas added wing depth in Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. This isn’t motivating. Porzingis, a big center with a history of foot problems (not ideal) on a max contract that pays him more than $30 million per year through 2023-24, is the team’s greatest trade asset.
Could Luka Doncic be the next big name to leave a company?
The Mavericks’ disorganized offseason certainly didn’t help things. Long-time head coach Rick Carlisle was dismissed by Dallas, and reports circulated that he and Doncic didn’t get along. Jason Kidd, a former franchise superstar, was called in to take his position. Kidd’s track record as a coach is shaky at best. The Mavericks also had some front-office turmoil, with The Athletic reporting that “Mark Cuban’s shadow GM is creating a split with Luka Doncic within the Mavericks front office.” That can’t possibly be good.
Doncic did, in fact, sign his rookie max deal. However, as we’ve seen more and more over the last decade, NBA superstars are in charge of their own fates. If Luka determines that Dallas isn’t placing him in a winning environment, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be the next player to seek a trade and be sent out of town.
Basketball-Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract information.