Luka Doncic is carrying a Herculean load every night for the Dallas Mavericks, but coach Jason Kidd is worried about the long-term sustainability of his workload.
“For 82 games, it’s no way that he can play at this level, the usage is just way too high,” Kidd told Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill. “No one can. You know, the things that we ask him to do on the offensive end and then asked him to defend on the other end. It’s a lot.”
Doncic is leading the NBA at 33.4 points per game while also adding 8.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per night. His usage rate is third in the NBA behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid, who have both been playing much of the season without their top costars (Khris Middleton and James Harden, respectively).
It's likely Antetokounmpo and Embiid will see their usage rates lower to more sustainable levels as the regular season progresses.
Doncic? He's playing with the roster he's got.
The Mavericks have done a largely dreadful job of surrounding Doncic with talent over the course of his career. Arguably the best teammate Doncic has played with has been Jalen Brunson, a non-All-Star point guard who Dallas allowed to walk this offseason because the front office botched contract extension negotiations.
Dallas is paying Tim Hardaway Jr. $19.6 million this season to shoot 36.3 percent from the floor. Hardaway is under contract through the 2024-25 season and is owed $34.1 million over the next two years.
Dāvis Bertāns is collecting $16 million this season and has played a grand total of 64 minutes. He's also under contract through 2024-25 and is owed $33 million for the next two seasons.
Reggie Bullock is shooting 29.9 percent and making $10 million. The Mavs will have to pay him $5.5 million next season to get him off the books.
This is a 25-win roster being propped into relevance by Doncic's brilliance. It's an abject failure of the front office, one that Kidd correctly notes leaves him unable to even allow his star a quick breather.
“We got to get them help and we got to look to see how we can do that,” Kidd told Yahoo Sports. “His minutes are extremely high. You try to hold him [on the bench] but a lot of times you gotta bring him back early just to get back in the game.”
Doncic has given no indication he's unhappy at this point, but it would be fair to wonder if Dallas will be the location of the next disgruntled NBA superstar looking to find a better situation.