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Mavs Talk: Lakers’ Westbrook Situation, Mitchell Trade & ‘Blue Hookah’ Luka

On the latest episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast, we discuss the Donovan Mitchell trade saga, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook situation, Luka Doncic hosting Shaq in Europe and much more.

The Dallas Mavericks’ offseason has slowed to a craw over the last month since they traded for Christian Wood. Aside from drafting Jaden Hardy, then signing JaVale McGee and Theo Pinson, the Mavs haven’t done anything else despite having a need for more playmaking off the bench.

On this episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast, we talk about why the Minnesota Timberwolves trading for Rudy Gobert could be the biggest reason why nothing else has happened yet this summer. However, that doesn’t mean things can’t get rolling again before the new season starts.

Here’s a rundown of all the topics we discussed in this one:

After Mitchell Trade, Do Mavs Really Want To Deal With Danny Ainge For Jazz Vets?

Finding a way to land any combination of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley, or even Patrick Beverley would help the Mavs out next season, but focusing on Conley and draft compensation could be the better move for trade flexibility going forward. Here’s what we’re thinking:

Knicks receive: Donovan Mitchell

Jazz receive: Julius Randle, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, three NYK first-round picks (2025, 2027, 2029), two pick swaps (2026, 2028)

Mavs receive: Mike Conley, 2023 first-round pick from Knicks (originally traded from DAL to NYK in the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis deal)

Should Mavs Be Interested In Westbrook Buyout?

At this point in the offseason, aside from an unforeseen trade opportunity popping up, what better secondary playmaker could the Mavs potentially add than a guy who averages 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game?

Maybe Russell Westbrook wouldn’t be able to fit alongside Luka Doncic, but if that’s the case, the Mavs could simply thank Westbrook for his time, waive him, and move on with the same roster they currently have — that is, if he’s brought in after a buyout and not a trade. It would be a low-risk, potentially high-reward move, and it’s one the Mavs should be ok with making given their limited routes to roster improvement.

Mavs As NBA Finals Sleepers… Even Without Brunson?

"For me, I think even [after] losing Jalen [Brunson], I think it's Dallas," said Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso on The Old Man and Three podcast when asked who his NBA Finals sleeper is for the 2022-23 season. His respect for his former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coaches is one big reason for his bold prediction.

"I don't even know if they count as a sleeper pick, but I just know how [Jason] Kidd operates. I know how [Jared Dudley] operates. I know Greg St. Jean is one of the best basketball minds in the game. He doesn't get a lot of attention and recognition because he was behind the bench in L.A. with us, but I know how those guys operate mentally."

Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic Getting On NBA Peers’ Nerves?

In a recent interview, newly-signed Chicago Bulls point guard Goran Dragic, who is Doncic’s Slovenian ‘big brother,’ explained why he believes the dominance of some European players — mainly Jokic and Doncic, who don’t necessarily have world-class athleticism — annoys other players in the league.

“His [Jokic] IQ is such that he’s messing with them there,” Dragic told Sportal. “Americans are pushing their way forward through marketing, and that’s all normal, but when you put everything on the floor, it’s a different story.

“Jokic is not fast, he doesn’t jump and that gets up their noses. How can a man play like this? They [NBA players] are all in good shape, you need to have six percent body fat, you need to jump… And I think it gets on their nerves, how can Jokic and Luka play like this?”

Why Mavs Fans Shouldn’t Be Worried About ‘Blue Hookah’ Luka

Luka Doncic made media waves last week when he was seen partying on stage with Goran Dragic and Shaquille O’Neal in Croatia. O’Neal was visiting Europe on a small party tour as “DJ Diesel.” Now, Shaq is spilling the details of the trip on his podcast.

"Shoutout to Luka," O'Neal said on The Big Shaqstrumental. "When I arrived in Luka’s town some people picked me up, they drove me to a mansion that Luka had set up for me. I had the pizza there, I had the hookah there, I had the fruit, they escorted me to the show.

"I got there and Luka said we know you’re staying at a hotel, but we want you to stay at some place that he had for me,” said O’Neal. “It was right there on the water, four-bedroom villa, he had that blue mist hookah."

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You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg

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