Doncic 'humbled' by supermax deal with Mavericks

Slovenian guard Luka Doncic has established himself as one of the NBA's best players since his move from Real Madrid in 2018.
Slovenian guard Luka Doncic has established himself as one of the NBA's best players since his move from Real Madrid in 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON • National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star guard Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth US$207 million (S$281 million), multiple United States media reported on Monday.

The 22-year-old playmaker will ink a supermax extension, according to the Dallas Morning News and ESPN.

"Today is a dream come true," Doncic told ESPN.

"The game of basketball has given me so much and has taken me to so many amazing places. I am humbled and excited to remain in Dallas as part of the Mavericks.

"I am committed to the organisation and appreciate the support of my fans."

Doncic led Slovenia to fourth spot at the recent Tokyo Olympics in their maiden Games appearance, losing to Australia in the third-place play-off.

He became the youngest Most Valuable Player in Euroleague history in 2017-18, when he led Real Madrid to the title before being selected in the 2018 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

He was immediately traded by the Hawks to the Mavericks for fellow All-Star Trae Young and a future first-round pick.

Doncic averaged 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists a game during the regular season last term, shooting 47.9 per cent overall from the floor and 35 per cent from three-point range.

After winning the 2019 Rookie of the Year award despite Dallas going 33-49 that season, he has sparked the Mavericks into the play-offs the past two campaigns, only to lose to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round both times.

They have not won a play-off series since capturing the 2011 NBA Finals, falling six times in the first round and failing to qualify four times over the past 10 seasons.

But Doncic's bumper pay rise has been long overdue - he had been playing on the deal he signed after being the third overall pick - and reflects his stature as one of the league's best players.

He joins a select group of elite players to be on a US$200 million contract, including reigning Finals Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to their second championship last month, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gobert and Young.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

  • 27.7 Average points scored by Dallas star Luka Doncic during the 2020-21 NBA regular season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2021, with the headline 'Doncic 'humbled' by supermax deal with Mavericks'. Subscribe