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Western Conference Executive Believes Luka Doncic's MVP Chances Have Been Boosted By Jalen Brunson Leaving: "His Numbers Will Be Super High, Christian Wood Will Help, And They're Going To Win 50-Plus Games."

Western Conference Executive Believes Luka Doncic's MVP Chances Have Been Boosted By Jalen Brunson Leaving: "His Numbers Will Be Super High, Christian Wood Will Help, And They're Going To Win 50-Plus Games."

The Dallas Mavericks have had a confusing offseason where they saw their secondary ball-handler Jalen Brunson leave for nothing and go to the New York Knicks, with the Mavs failing to sign Goran Dragic as a replacement and focusing on adding bigs like Christian Wood and JaVale McGee.

The confusion around the offseason in Dallas has led to many questioning whether the Mavs have enough to repeat their heroics from last season. It's hard to build on a Western Conference Finals run when the second-best player from that run has left and no replacement has arrived. However, when a team has Luka Doncic, anything is possible.

Doncic has widely been considered one of the favorites for MVP this season. The same was reflected in ESPN's 2022 GM Survey, in which executives around the league are asked about the upcoming season. While the executives believed the Mavericks had the worst offseason in the NBA, they also believe that this will lead to Doncic taking a bigger role and strengthening his case for MVP, as one Western Conference told ESPN.  

"This is as wide open of a field as you could possibly have, because Giannis and Curry are back in the equation," said a Western Conference executive. "But I'll take Luka. His numbers will be super high, [Christian] Wood will help, they're going to win 50-plus games ... losing Jalen Brunson stinks [but] whatever [Doncic's] usage was last year, which was already off the charts, it will only boost his chances." (h/t ESPN)

Luka averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in 35 minutes of play while playing 65 games in the season. Brunson's departure and his entering the season in shape should lead to Doncic's minutes increasing. 

What will definitely increase with just him and Spencer Dinwiddie as ball-handlers on the roster is his usage rate. His usage rate for 2021-22 was a whopping 37.3 percent, already the highest in the league. With that number expected to jump, Luka may put up an incredible statistical season that will be hard for anyone to overlook when it comes time for MVP voting, provided he stays healthy, and the Mavs have a good record.