Talk about going to worst to… even worst? The Dallas Mavericks hit rock bottom in a season full of lows when they rested their starters in a must-win game against the Chicago Bulls. They even went so far as to limit Luka Doncic to just one quarter, after the star expressed his determination to drag the Mavs to the Play-In Tournament. Almost immediately, fans were wondering if this would be enough to drive Doncic over the edge. As it turns out, even people in the team are worried about a potential trade request from Luka Doncic, per Tim MacMahon's report.

“(Mavs) Team sources have acknowledged to ESPN that fear exists that (Luka) Doncic, who publicly and privately expressed extreme frustration this season, could consider requesting a trade as soon as the summer of 2024 if Dallas doesn't make significant progress by then.”

One can easily argue that the Mavs have done a horrible job building a supporting cast around Luka Doncic. The failed Kristaps Porzingis experiment. All their trades over the last few years. Their decision to completely ignore the defense and big man woes. And finally, the Jalen Brunson catastrophe. Doncic would be validated if he ever did ask for a trade.

Will the Mavs' front office finally learn their lesson and give Luka Doncic the help he needs? Dallas' rebounding and defensive woes date back to their successful playoff campaign that ended in the WCF. You'd think that getting outrebounded by Kevon Looney and Andrew Wiggins would spur Dallas to, you know, actually get serviceable big men? They signed Christian Wood… but then proceeded to make him ride the pine. It's baffling, to say the least, and Mavs fans hope that Cuban has learned his lesson.

Perhaps it's come a little too late for the Mavs, though. Luka Doncic made it clear that he wanted to play as long as a playoff berth was on the line. He'd drag this flawed roster to the Play-In, come hell or high water. Instead, Dallas all but waved the white flag despite having a legitimate shot of making the playoffs. That might've pissed off the uber-competitive Doncic, and could've possibly built some mistrust with the front office.