Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, and Jason Kidd went to a city the size of Durham, North Carolina, to show the Mavericks' commitment to their star player. This morning, Luka Dončić signed a record-setting rookie extension - five years, $207 million. In an emotional moment, Luka wanted to convey two messages. The first one was that he never had a doubt about extending with the Mavs; for him, this was a no-brainer. The second one was that there are too many people to thank, but he will make sure they all know how much they mean to him.
There were a lot of interesting questions from Slovenian media for Luka and the Mavs. One reporter asked that given the fact Goran Dragić is in Ljubljana, did they meet and possibly arrange a trade for Goran to join Luka in Dallas. Dončić smiled and said they couldn't comment because they don't want to get fined. (sapienti sat).
In a human moment, another reporter asked Luka, given that he just locked in $200 million, what would be his first purchase. Dončić opened up about the fact he's so rich at such a young age.
I never expected this moment; it's truly a lot of money. I haven't given it any thought. I'm still processing this actually happened.
Mark Cuban laughed when Luka's answer got translated and whispered "Cars, cars!" to Luka. His rookie-scale was $32 million, so Luka surely already treated himself with enough things. Personally, this is generational money that enables Luka to take care of everyone he cares about and contribute to his community in Slovenia and Texas. Professionally, it means the Mavs recognize his importance. The fact that the most important people in the Mavs organization came to the Slovenian capital to sign this deal conveys that message. Luka made sure to point out what that gesture means to him.
I think it's unbelievable. It says a lot about what kind of people they are. They are good people, and I thank them for making the trip.
Several reporters asked about Luka's Olympic experience and how the Mavericks can learn from that. Luka said he is happy with the free agency signings the Mavs did so far, pointing out that he is a firm believer in team chemistry. Slovenia may not have had the best roster on paper, but they were special because of the relationships and trust they had in each other. Mark Cuban said that was a big part of their decision-making and added they saw what team Slovenia did - surround Luka with shooters and let him play his game.
Time to see how Nico Harrison and Jason Kidd can improve the team and put Luka in a position to do what he cares most about. Win.