Despite reports to the contrary, and their horrific finish, Luka Dončić apparently has no desire to get out of Dallas.
The Mavericks star, speaking after their season-ending 138-117 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, insisted that he is still committed to the franchise long term.
“I’m happy here, so there’s nothing to worry [about],” he said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
The Mavericks finished the season 38-44, their first losing season since Dončić’s first with the team, and officially missed the playoffs. They went an awful 7-25 in the last two months of the season despite their acquisition of Kyrie Irving just before the trade deadline.
Dončić sounded incredibly frustrated near the end of the season, too, and said he wasn’t having fun out on the court anymore — though blamed that largely on off-court issues in his personal life. With the struggles, it’s easy to wonder how long Dončić will be content to stay in Dallas. ESPN reported earlier this week that there was fear internally that Doncic was going to request a trade as soon as next summer.
“It was funny, you know, because I didn’t know that was true. I didn’t say it,” Dončić said Sunday, via ESPN.
Dončić finished the season with a career-high average of 32.4 points as well as 8.6 rebounds and eight assists. The 24-year-old just finished the first year of a five-year, $215 million deal.
Even though he’s reaffirmed his commitment to the franchise, Dončić isn’t content to just keep moving forward after the finish they had this spring.
“Something’s gotta change, for sure,” Dončić said, via ESPN. “I mean, last year we went to Western Conference finals. We were having fun. I always talk about the chemistry we had. It was great. But something’s gotta change for sure.”
Kyrie Irving declines to meet with media
While Dončić wants to remain in Dallas, it’s unclear how Irving feels.
Irving, after Dallas’ loss Sunday, declined to participate in exit interviews with reporters. He is set to be a free agent this summer, and said when he first got to Dallas that he wouldn’t talk about his future until after the season ends.
Irving is eligible for a four-year, $220.6 million extension this summer. He could sign with the Mavericks for up to $272 million over five years. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that re-signing Irving was the team’s top priority this summer.
Irving and Dončić, however, didn’t mesh well. The Mavericks were just 5-11 in games that the two played together, which is the worst winning percentage for a pair of All-Star teammates since the merger, per ESPN.
Yet Dončić was right with Cuban when it came to Irving’s future.
“I think it’s a great fit,” Dončić said, via ESPN. “Obviously people are gonna say no [and] look at the results we are having, but like I said, chemistry and relationships takes time. I wish he can still be here.”