Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic will run back their championship partnership in a few weeks.
And give the Mavericks a taste of what they might miss this season.
Veteran point guard Dragic will play for the Slovenian national team in the 2022 EuroBasket tournament next month, he announced Friday on social media.
Dragic had retired from the national team after Slovenia won its first-ever EuroBasket title in 2017, but returned to the squad earlier this summer for two FIBA World Cup qualifying matches to make a home-court farewell in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.
In a postgame speech to fans, Dragic left open the possibility he’d also “un-retire” to join Doncic and high-scoring, perpetual underdog Slovenia in the national team’s EuroBasket title defense.
The prestigious European championship tournament starts Sept. 1 with Slovenia in Group B, playing five round-robin matches in Cologne, Germany. The top two teams from each of the four group-stage locations will advance to the knockout rounds in Berlin.
With Doncic and Nuggets reserve Vlatko Cancar as its NBA leaders, Slovenia came one blocked layup from making the gold-medal game in last summer’s Tokyo Olympics and finished fourth in the country’s men’s basketball debut at the Games.
Since Doncic joined the Mavericks in 2018 — less than a year after his last EuroBasket tournament — Dragic has been open about his desire to play again with Doncic, whom he’s known as a mentee and close friend for more than 15 years.
But Dragic signed with the Chicago Bulls in free agency this summer after he said Dallas wouldn’t offer him a consistent role in the rotation despite Jalen Brunson’s departure leaving the Mavericks with just Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie as regular ball-handlers.
The Mavericks start training camp in September less than a week after the EuroBasket championship game (Sept. 18) — when Doncic and Dragic hope to give a final reminder of their one-two connection on the international stage.