And when the Doncic deal was sealed, it nearly was if happy days immediately began again for the Mavs.
Then, midday on draft day, Dallas and Atlanta engaged in conversations involving the third and fifth pick. Carlisle said he sees Doncic as a starter.
"Yes, he has a lot of Steve Nash in him", Cuban agreed.
Nowitzki, who was in the draft room with the Mavericks two nights after celebrating his 40th birthday, quickly greeted his fellow European on Twitter, and Doncic replied in kind.
Fresh off of a Euroleague MVP honor and championship with Real Madrid, he also led his native Slovenia to the Eurobasket championship in September. "They were so nice to me. No matter what pick you are, you need to show it on the court". Just happy to be a part of that.
In doing so he averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists in 25 minutes over 61 total games.
"I will tell about all at the right time", he said.
Whatever downside Doncic has is vastly overshadowed by his tremendous upside.
Is Dallas, which carded a disappointing 24-58 record this past season, a playoffs team in the 2017-18 season?
"I like challenges", Doncic said.
But I have a feeling Cuban will make more moves when free agency rolls along this July. Coming off a long and busy season in Spain with Real Madrid, they'd prefer not to wear him out. "I'm not sure what position he is". "He's a joyful passer is the way I would describe him".
Was LiAngelo "black-balled", pun intended, by owners and GMs who feared the circus that he comes along with given the boisterous nature of helicopter dad LaVar?
At just 19, the 6-7 combo guard became the youngest player to win the Liga ACB MVP, the EuroLeague MVP and the EuroLeague Final Four MVP.
Although there will undoubtedly be some kind of learning curve for Doncic as he adjusts to the National Basketball Association style of play, his accomplishments overseas were wildly impressive for a 19 year old. He shot 45.6 percent from the floor.
"I have a lot of ex-NBA players on my team and I play against a lot of ex-NBA players", he said.