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Report: Mavs fear Doncic could ask out in 2024

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Dallas Mavericks fear superstar Luka Doncic may consider requesting a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if they don't make significant progress by then, team sources told ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

Doncic is finishing the first season of a five-year, $215-million super-max contract with a player option for the final season.

"He'd like to be here the whole time," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said earlier this week. "But we've got to earn that."

The Mavericks' 2022-23 campaign is coming to a disappointing close. They sat key players - including Doncic following the first quarter - in Friday's 115-112 loss to the Chicago Bulls, which officially eliminated them from contention for the play-in tournament.

Dallas will keep its 2023 first-round pick if it falls in the top 10. If not, it will send the pick to the New York Knicks as part of the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis trade.

The Mavericks went 52-30 and reached the Western Conference finals last season, losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in five games. Following its postseason run, Dallas' second-leading scorer, Jalen Brunson, left in free agency to join the Knicks.

After taking on a larger offensive workload to begin the season, Doncic pushed for the Mavericks to upgrade their roster, sources told MacMahon. They acquired Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline from the Brooklyn Nets for a package that included starters Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, as well as a first-round pick.

Since Irving made his debut for the Mavericks on Feb. 8, the team is 9-17, including a 5-11 record with both him and Doncic in the lineup. Dallas has a bottom-five defensive rating in that span.

Irving, starting center Dwight Powell, and third-leading scorer Christian Wood will be free agents this summer.

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