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Luka Doncic reportedly wants Mavs to make NBA trade deadline moves, but denies report

Reports say Luka Doncic wants the Dallas Mavericks to make roster upgrades but he and Mark Cuban deny the reports, why?

DALLAS — Recent reports from ESPN suggest All-NBA guard Luka Doncic is changing his views toward the Dallas Mavericks’ front office decision-making, actively making it known he wants to see the Mavs make moves before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.

The Mavs currently sit at 24-22 on the year, fifth in the West. Doncic is averaging an NBA-best and career-high 33.7 points per game.

In the Thursday episode of the Locked On NBA podcast, hosts Nick Angstadt (also of Locked On Mavericks) and Pat Morenzoni discussed Doncic’s wishes, team governor Mark Cuban’s response, and Doncic denying the report after Wednesday night’s loss to Atlanta.

“At the end of the day, we 100% know what these guys are trying to do on the back end, because guess what? They understand that there’s a finite time for them to win, and they want to have the best opportunity to win that they can,” Morenzoni said. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Luka Doncic was like, ‘hey, help me.’”

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A recent mural outside downtown Dallas depicted Doncic with a sign that read “Send Help,” and Doncic’s reps asked the artist to remove the painting. 

Angstadt explained that Doncic may hope for reinforcements, but he wants to avoid putting his teammates “on blast,” and even if he may want the team to improve, he’s likely not giving the Mavs an ultimatum about the future of their partnership.

After the upcoming NBA Draft, the Mavs will finally have flexibility to trade first-round picks, and Dallas has several mid-level salary players that could help facilitate a big trade.

“You’re at a minimum hoping that Luka Doncic is going to be a part of this team for a long time,” Morenzoni said. “So I think then you might want to even focus more so (on) moving some of these veteran pieces to see if you can find some of these young pieces around the NBA that are overflowing with young pieces. Start calling OKC, start calling Houston, Orlando, some of those teams.”

Dallas has always pursued a co-star for Doncic, and that will still be their gameplan, said Angstadt.

“They didn’t think they were a championship-level team even during their Western Conference Finals run,” he said on Thursday’s Locked On NBA. “They knew that they needed to make roster upgrades, and they’ve been waiting on this.”

To keep Doncic happy and elevate the ceiling of the team, the Mavs need to find that co-star and pounce this summer to add a great player that Doncic does not need to “pull the best out of,” Angstadt added.

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