Mavericks Luka Doncic during game against the Nuggets
Mar 11, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after making a free throw during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic returned overseas amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and once the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended back on March 11. A native of Lithuania, Doncic has been training in Europe with the season on hiatus.

There’s some bad news for Mavericks fans on this front. According to Doncic’s trainer, Jure Drasklar, the sophomore wing is not in the best shape.

“Most players struggled to stay in shape. Doncic is no exception,” the trainer said, via Euro Hoops. “We understand his role in Dallas. Luka is improving every day. He puts in a lot of effort. He has completely dedicated himself to be ready.”

Resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season

The season is expected to return on July 31 at Walt Disney World in Orlando. At that point, Doncic and his Mavericks will have gone more than four months without playing a game. It’s good news for the young guard given that he was dealing with a multitude of ankle injuries prior to the season being suspended back on March 11.

Luka Doncic stats

Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign being placed on hiatus, Doncic was putting up some absolutely extraordinary numbers. The 21-year-old guard is averaging 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists on 46% shooting from the field.

Doncic’s emergence as a legitimate MVP candidate in just his second year has coincided with a vast amount of improvement from his Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks 2019-20 season

Dallas will head to Orlando boasting a 40-27 record. With eight regular-season games remaining until the playoffs, this squad is already locked into a postseason spot. It is currently seventh in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks still have an outside shot of earning a top-three seed in the conference with everything up for grabs.

NBA Western Conference standings

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: 49-14
  2. Los Angeles Clippers: 44-20
  3. Denver Nuggets: 43-22
  4. Utah Jazz: 41-23
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-24
  6. Houston Rockets: 40-24
  7. Dallas Mavericks: 40-27
  8. Memphis Grizzlies 32-33

As you can see, Dallas is four games behind Denver for a top-three spot in the conference. It is also just 2.5 back of Utah for a top-four seed.

There’s good news on this front, too. Despite indicating that Doncic is not in the best of shape right now, Drasklar is seeing improvements in this area.

“We have been working together for the last three weeks. Luka was previously in quarantine and trained individually at home,” he pointed out, “The last three weeks we have been working hard to prepare him for the resumption of the NBA season.”

Dallas will need its star guard at the top of his game in order to surprise the masses and come out of the Western Conference once the season resumes.

Vincent Frank
Editor here at Sportsnaut. Contributor at Forbes. Previous bylines include Bleacher Report, Yahoo!, SB Nation. Heard on ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Radio. Northern California native living it up in Las Vegas. The Keto lifestyle. Traveler. Reader. TV watcher. Dog daddy. Sam Malone = greatest TV character ever. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," John Keating.