With Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks have the backbone of their roster.
In just three seasons, Luka has cemented himself as one of the game's greatest players. With career averages of 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game in the NBA, it's clear the young star is exactly the kind of player to build a team around.
While Dallas has made a few moves in an effort to get better, they've come up surprisingly empty-handed in free agency. All-in-all, the Mavericks have barely improved as a team since Luka's initial breakout season, and it has not gone unnoticed.
On ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith called out the Mavericks for their apparent inability to attract free agents.
"If you're in the city of Dallas and you're Marc Cuban and these guys, it's like wait a minute here, woah, woah. I know what a great sports town it is. I know what a great fanbase they have.
It's a great city, it's a great state, no income tax. It's a metropolis. So when you look at what they have going on, there's really no excuse why you haven't been able to get a free agent in a decade. There really isn't."
If you stand back and take a look at the Mavs, there is a lot they have going for them. They have an enthusiastic owner, a young superstar at the helm, and a great home city that loves their team.
Somehow, though, that still hasn't been enough to land them a game-changing free agent -- and it's no wonder why guys like Stephen A. are questioning why.
This offseason, the organization went through a number of changes, starting with the departure of GM Donnie Nelson and then head coach Rick Carlisle.
Amid those changes, a story was released essentially exposing the toxic culture within the organization's brass, which is a rather troubling place to be for a franchise that should be finding some stability.
Whatever is going on in Dallas, the pressure is already mounting for them to build a contender around Luka. And while trade deals might be the best way to go, for now, becoming the sort of team that every player wants to join is going to have to be the next step in their process.
Clearly, they still have a ways to go.