The Dallas Mavericks just secured Luka Doncic for the next half-decade, signing him to a 5-year, $207 million max rookie contract extension, one of the largest deals in the history of the league.
And, while they're going to be a perennial playoff team for as long as Doncic is there -especially as he continues to blossom into a superstar- it still feels like the team needs to do more to surround him with top-tier talent.
According to Stephen A. Smith, the Mavericks could risk losing him if they don't get rid of Kristaps Porzingis, claiming that he's jealous of Luka and that it'll never work out even if he's healthy:
"(He's) somebody that is ultimately going to end up incredibly dissatisfied unless Mark Cuban and Jason Kidd to a lesser degree do something about it," Smith started. "And that's getting rid of Kristaps Porzingis and get him a big-time, bonafide, dependable number 2 because that's really what this goes down to."
Smith elaborated his case by saying that the word around the league is that Porzingis has a problem with Luka being ball-dominant and the face of the franchise.
But more than that, he called out Mark Cuban for the team's inability to recruit a top-notch free agent in over a decade despite all the good things the city and the fanbase have to offer:
"When you got a talent like Luka Doncic, it's not just about to be respected, it's also to be appreciated," Smith said. (...) "If you're in the city of Dallas and you are Mark Cuban... It's a great city, it's a great state, no state income tax (...) there's simply no excuse why you haven't been able to get a free agent in a decade, it really isn't."
It's also worth noting that it could be circumstantial. Dirk Nowitzki was heading towards the sunset of his career and the Mavericks weren't exactly a powerhouse at the time, and having Doncic around may be enough to convince some stars to play for the team in the foreseeable future.
But it's also true that the Mavericks have struck out on every single free agent they've tried to recruit for quite a time, and that could frustrate an emotional player like Doncic.