Mac Engel

The Mavs want Luka Doncic, sources say. To get him, they'll need to pay a hefty price

Multiple sources confirmed the Dallas Mavericks have their man in mind for the 2018 NBA draft, and there is almost zero chance they can select Luka Doncic without giving up something.

Something as in their 2019 first-round pick.

Doncic makes sense for the Mavs, mostly because he's European and no NBA executive has ever loved Euros more than Donnie Nelson Jr., including his dad.

Kinda makes you wonder why they passed on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2013 draft. He's from Greece. Greece, despite its crippling debt, is still part of the EU. But I'm not bitter.

Moving forward ... the Mavs should do what it takes to bag their desired choice, and include not only their '19 first round pick but add whomever else not named Dirk or initialed DSJ in the deal, too.

That means Wesley Matthews. Harrison Barnes. Dwight Powell.

With the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, which is Thursday night in Brooklyn, the Mavs will draft a good player. Provided they don't blow it, which ... considering this team's history should be considered.

Doncic, however, is not dropping to five. Not without some sort of act of God.

Luka Doncic is regarded as one of the top three players in the draft, along with DeAndre Ayton of Arizona and Marvin Bagley III of Duke.

When I spoke to ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla, he agreed the top three are Ayton, Bagley and Doncic.

Depending on which lie masquerading as a report you believe the most these days, the Atlanta Hawks like Doncic.

To get him away from Atlanta would require the Mavs dealing their 2019 No. 1 pick, and then likely taking something off Atlanta's books. The most likely candidate for Atlanta to dump would be forward Miles Plumlee, who is due $12.5 million in each of the next two seasons.

If Atlanta prefers, say Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State and Doncic is on the board at four, that would leave the Mavs to deal with Memphis.

Memphis has one player it would love to evict, Mark Cuban's BFF, Chandler Parsons. Parsons is due $24 and $25 million in each of the next two seasons, respectively. Great guy. Good player. Can't stay healthy. He has been limited to 34 and 36 games in each of the last two seasons.

The only way this works for the Mavs without giving up something is if the Hawks like Mohamed Bamba, or Jackson over Doncic. The same for Memphis.

Then the Mavs grab the 6-foot-6 scorer without having to surrender anything.

Don't bet on that occurring. If the Mavs like Doncic that much, they should move whomever to grab him.

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