LOS ANGELES – Luka Dončić rejoined the Mavericks Wednesday and appears close to returning to action, pending a Friday workout in Sacramento, Jason Kidd said before the Mavericks-Clippers game.
Dončić missed his third consecutive game with a right heel contusion.
“I can update you that he’s been doing some work and treatment back in Dallas,” Kidd said. “Everything’s going well. He’s been on the court. We’ll see if we can get him some work tomorrow (Friday) night and then talk about if he can go Friday or Saturday.”
Later, Kidd gave a clue that Dončić could play Friday in Sacramento in the first of back-to-back games there.
Asked about adjustments that will have to be made on the fly, Kidd said: “There’s going to be a couple adjustments here. Tonight will be one (in Irving’s debut). Actually for Ky it’s a great dress rehearsal for him to be able to get one in before LD and then be able to make that adjustment with LD.”
Kidd said that everything is on the table when it comes to how Dončić and Irving will be utilized.
“We’re going to give different rotations, different lineups,” Kidd said. “It’s a dress rehearsal. Our record will be what it is. Hopefully it’ll be a high enough seed that we’re not in a play-in game.
“But we have to find out the answers to the test before we take it in April. Being able to have those two on the floor and having Luka go the whole (first) quarter and Ky coming out early and then Ky running the second group. We’re going to have to talk to Luka at some point and maybe getting him out early and flipping it and letting Ky go. These are just different things that we’ll discuss.”
And the role of everybody else not named Luka or Kyrie will be critical too, Kidd said.
“The guys in the locker room who are going to be on the floor with those two, those are the ones that are going to have to make the adjustments,” he said. “You look at the shots they get with just LD on the floor, wide-open. There’s going to be quite a few wide-open shots with those two on the floor.”
LeBron reaction: Kidd and the Mavericks weren’t in the Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday when LeBron James broke the NBA’s all-time scoring mark.
He did it with a fadeaway off of one leg that had a touch of Dirk Nowitzki’s prime tucked into it.
“LeBron did an incredible job,” Kidd said. “To be able to do that with that type of atmosphere was incredible. It’s well-deserved. To come in the league as a pass-first guy to now be the all-time scoring leader in the NBA is something we’ll probably never see again, because he’s going to play until he’s 50.”
As for the shot that broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s mark?
“The fadeaway is kind of cool,” Kidd said. “I thought he was going to do it in the post. But Oklahoma City did a good job of tilting and not letting him post up so he found another way to do it.”
Clippers’ assistant coach Brian Shaw, who was standing in for head coach Ty Lue who was under the weather, paid homage to Abdul-Jabbar’s legacy: “Tremendous accomplishment. I think most people concentrated on the points, passing Kareem. But when I look at what Kareem did on and off the court and compare that to a lot of the things LeBron’s done on and off the court, that doesn’t happen without Kareem making sacrifices and going through the things he did, especially early in his career. The game’s come a long way.”
Finally, deadline will pass: The NBA trade deadline will pass at 2 p.m., Dallas time on Thursday.
The Mavericks made their big splash on Monday with Kyrie Irving. But as always, there remains lots of talk around the league.
It definitely will be an exhale moment for everyone when the deadline passes.
“Throughout the league, this is the hardest part because of the trade deadline,” Kidd said. “It used to be because of the All-Star break. Everybody was planning their trips to Cabo or Hawaii. So right now, everybody’s looking at Twitter, waiting (something to happen).
“Come tomorrow at noon, we’ll be excited that we can move forward. But that’s just the nature of this business. There’s no easy way around it. You can only put your best foot forward for the team you work for until you’re told otherwise.”