DALLAS — It was a long run for the Dallas Mavericks due to making it to the Western Conference Finals. Many of their key players — including Luka Doncic — had a heavy workload to make such a deep run. He followed it up by playing for Slovenia for the second consecutive offseason.
An important question surrounding the Mavericks has been: how will they handle Doncic's workload during training camp and preseason after such a busy summer?
Doncic dealt with a wrist injury toward the end of his EuroBasket run with Slovenia. During told reporters at media day that feels good and there are "no issues" with his wrist or head. He also explained that he had more time off this offseason than he did in 2021 as a participant for Slovenia in the Olympics.
"I feel good,” Doncic said. “I was probably sleeping 13-14 hours a day (this past summer), so I’m good now."
While Doncic is as competitive as they come, he acknowledged that fully participating in training camp is not a realistic outcome given the circumstances.
“I’m probably not going to do everything (in training camp). We’re still trying to figure out a plan.”
The risk of injury and added workload that comes with national team play is something that doesn't concern Doncic. He discussed the challenges that come with such a commitment, but also the importance to do so.
“When you represent your country you basically give up your summer to play for your country,” Doncic said. “I really respect everybody who does that. It’s really hard.
“At some point you have to go to practice, but you want to be on the beach somewhere. But I always enjoy every moment playing for my national team. We were basically two months together, so we practiced a lot. We were always practicing. Sometimes we practiced twice a day.”
The Mavericks started training camp on Tuesday and Doncic did not scrimmage or participate in drills during the portion open to the media. It comes as no surprise given that Kidd explained on media day that Doncic will "probably participate and be ready to go on Wednesday" and they'll "start him a little light."
After Tuesday's practice, Kidd offered an update on Doncic — revealing that he is likely to not play in "a game or two" in the preseason. On Tuesday, the Mavs superstar took part in defensive drills and "did his work" and team will evaluate how he feels tomorrow.
"He did his work then we'll see how he feels tomorrow. Do a little bit more. ... He was a great teammate. He led on all of the defensive drills today. He was Luka."
The Mavericks open their NBA preseason schedule with a matchup against the OKC Thunder on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.
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