Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Dončić has just made NBA history by becoming the first player to receive a rookie supermax contract extension, which sees the 22-year-old superstar earning $207 million over five years, starting with the 2022-2023 season. The young Slovenian just completed a stellar tour at the Tokyo Olympics, living up to his nickname “The Wonder Boy” and was arguably the games’ best individual player before the news broke.
“Today is a dream come true,” Dončić said Monday in a statement to ESPN. “The game of basketball has given me so much and has taken me to so many amazing places. I am humbled and excited to remain in Dallas as part of the Mavericks.” The NBA’s 2019 Rookie of the Year qualified for the extension because he also ended up being voted to the All-NBA First-team twice in his budding career so far.
Last year, Dončić led the Mavericks in minutes per game, points per game, and assists per game (with averages of 34.3 mpg, 27.7 ppg, and 8.6 APG, respectively). He also tied with Josh Richardson as the team’s leader in steals per game and was the Mavs’ No. 2 rebounder per game (8.0), behind the 7’3″ center Kristaps Porzingis (8.9 RPG).
In related news, the basketball phenom also looking to pay it forward by dedicating more energy towards the organization that bears his name, which funds and sponsors sports opportunities for underprivileged kids. “Along with this new contract,” he said, “I am also happy to announce that I am increasing my efforts and focusing on expanding The Luka Dončić Foundation. My foundation is an international non-profit that will give back to places that mean so much to me like my home country of Slovenia, as well as the communities in North Texas.”
The foundation’s newest project will pair it with 2K Foundations to develop two new basketball courts in his native country. “The opportunity for kids to play on the same courts and pursue the same dreams I had is something I’m excited about,” said Dončić.
Although the Mavs were bounced out of last year’s playoffs in the first round, Dončić’s new contract certifies that Mark Cuban sees him as the face of the franchise for a long time, even calling him “perfect” after his game at the Olympics. Furthermore, with new head coach Jason Kidd at the helm, Wonder Boy’s point guard-style of play is sure to be on great display. And Dončić sounds like he’s eager to prove he’s worth the coin with the following remark: “I can’t wait for the future both on and off the basketball court.”