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Mavs eyeing European guard to backup Luka Doncic – but it’s the wrong one

Luka Doncic Mavs Goran Dragic Frank Ntilikina

The Dallas Mavericks are in the market for some backcourt support behind Luka Doncic – and looks like they’ve zoned in on their target.

The Mavs have been linked to former New York Knicks lottery pick Frank Ntilikina, as reported by NBA insider Marc Stein.

Frankie Smokes seems like a good fit alongside Doncic or Tim Hardaway Jr., both highly potent offensive weapons who could use Ntilikina’s defensive prowess on the other end.

However, it feels like quite the letdown compared to the original rumors of Goran Dragic coming by way of buyout. Doncic’s Slovenian mentor felt like the perfect fit to join the Mavs, who desperately need playmaking to take the pressure off of their franchise player at times.

But the Raptors eventually reneged those reports, stating that they had not intention of buying out the veteran guard that they acquired following the Kyle Lowry trade. Dragic may already be 35 but he’s still very much an asset on the court, which is probably what their GM Masai Ujiri is thinking.

Dragic posted 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 50 games last season for the Heat. Ntilikina on the other hand had averages of 2.7 points and just 1.5 rebounds and assists combined. He played in just 33 games for New York.

The fact that a defensive specialist like Ntilikina couldn’t get on the court for the Knicks, who were an elite defensive team, is definitely concerning. But Mavs fans can only hope that a change of scenery sparks a career resurgence in Dallas.