Mavs’ Doncic on extension: ‘I always wanted to sign this’

After three seasons, Luka Doncic has established himself as one of the best players in basketball, and on Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks paid him like one. The team announced that they had extended the contract of the two-time All-NBA First Team guard.

It’s a five-year deal worth $207 million, which is the largest guaranteed rookie extension in NBA history. Doncic is the first and only super-max eligible player to sign this deal based on making All-NBA First Team in two of his first three seasons.

Doncic, who gave indication back in June that he was going to sign the extension with Dallas, is happy to get his new contract.

“It’s a really special moment here,” Doncic said at a press conference in Slovenia to announce the deal. “Thank you to Dallas for offering me this. I still kind of don’t know what to say because I never imagined this happening. I was only dreaming to only play in the NBA, but now I can sign an extension with the Dallas Mavericks for five more years, which I never had a doubt about. I always wanted to sign this.”

Last season was tremendous for Doncic. He averaged a team-best 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, a team-high 8.6 assists. Doncic was even better in the playoffs as he increased his scoring average to a league-best 35.7 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds and a team-high 10.3 assists.

Doncic, 22, was the youngest player in league history to earn multiple All-NBA First Team selections. He also started his second straight All-Star Game in 2020-21, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to start multiple All-Star games before his 23rd birthday. 

Additionally, the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft had a special Olympic run. He recorded the third-ever triple-double in Olympic history and almost carried Slovenia to the gold medal game.

At this point, the Mavericks have to find ways to build around their young star. In the past two seasons, Dallas has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. With new GM Nico Harrison and a new head coach in Jason Kidd, Dallas has to get to that next level. 

They were very reliant on Doncic last season, and at times the ball stopped when it got into his hands, so they have to do a better job of diversifying the offense, including getting Kristaps Porzingis more involved.

On paper, Dallas, who re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr. and brought in Reggie Bullock, is not a championship team, but maybe they have a few more moves in the offseason that could get them to that spot. 

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