NBA Trade Rumors: 3 ways the Mavs could find Luka Doncic his ‘robin’

DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Luka Doncic
NBA Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: Three trade ideas that could help the Dallas Mavericks find Luka Doncic’s “robin.”

Luka Doncic is having an MVP-caliber season.

In what has been, so far, the best year of his career, he is averaging 32.9 points (first in the NBA), 8.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists (fourth in the league) per game. He is shooting 50% from the field and 34% from three and is getting to the free throw line about 7-10 times a game.

Luka has been an unstoppable force giving opposing coaching staffs and defenders alike nightmares the night before and bewilderment during the game on how to stop the superstar from Slovenia.

There’s just one problem.

You would think that a dazzling Doncic on a Dallas Mavericks team that made the Western Conference Finals the year before would be firmly planted in the top half of a wide-open West this season.

Instead, they have an underwhelming 13-13 record and are tied for the 8th seed in the West. If the season ended today, they would have to play their way into the playoffs.

It’s been a weird year.

So, what’s wrong with the Mavericks? While the team has plenty of issues, the most pressing one is the lack of a secondary scorer.

Doncic has always had a high usage rate but he is up to a 37.5% USG this season according to StatMuse. It’s not a huge jump from last year as he had a 37.3% USG in 2021-22, but he also had the man who signed a massive contract with the New York Knicks last offseason who had been the unsung hero of the Mavs’ offense.

Jalen Brunson had a 21.9% USG last season and while Luka still got his touches, Brunson was able to do so much to alleviate some of the pressure off Luka’s back and allow him not to wear himself out the entire game. Brunson was also scary efficient, especially come playoff time.

The Mavs have tried to replicate Brunson’s production with Christian Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Tim Hardaway Jr. by giving them similar usage but it simply hasn’t been the same. Wood has been spectacular when on the floor but he is too much of a liability on the defensive end to play big minutes and as we saw with Kristaps Porzingis, Luka doesn’t gel as well with a big as his No. 2. Dinwiddie and Hardaway Jr. have been fine but they’re not as consistent as Brunson was and are better as No. 3 options.

The Mavericks are in desperate need to find Luka another “Robin.” They can dwell all they want about the old one leaving the nest to become a No. 1 option of his own, but the Mavericks will not seriously contend for a championship if they can’t pair him up with another great (maybe all-star?) guard.

Mavericks General Manager Nico Harrison even said as such on a local Dallas radio show.

So who are those options?

Dallas does not have a ton of cap space at the moment, but could easily clear up some space by moving on from Davis Bertan’s bad contract and (maybe?) Tim Hardaway Jr.

If they do?

They must make a move.

Let’s break down who some of those options could be.