A few weeks ago, Luka Doncic being one of the first two players chosen in the 2018 NBA Draft seemed like a no-brainer. But with Deandre Ayton almost certain to be a lock as the first pick by Phoenix and a couple of other teams reportedly showing no interest in Doncic, the Mavs might have a shot at landing the most hyped Euro since Kristaps Porzingis.
Standing at 6’8” and weighing 225, Doncic has the size to play the three but has the ability to score off the dribble and shoot anywhere on the floor, making him a candidate to play in the backcourt with DSJ. His defense isn’t too shabby either, as he averaged over a steal a game in Liga ACB.
The Slovenian got his start in professional ball for Real Madrid at 16. Playing with the Spanish club, arguably the best team not in the NBA, has allowed Doncic to mature and test his game in a league that’s the equivalent to baseball’s Triple A. Last season, Doncic led the team to a EuroLeague championship, winning both the EuroLeague and Final Four MVP honors. Not bad for a 19-year-old.
Scouts also have been raving about Doncic’s vision on the court. If you have a few hours to spare, go get lost in a rabbit hole of Doncic highlight videos on Youtube. There you will find clips of him finding teammates in various spots on the floor while he’s going through traffic, leading to some gnarly assists.
But like all prospects, Doncic does have his share of cons. The most notable of which is his lack of explosiveness. He’s going to get wrecked on defense if he gets stuck in isolation against quicker guards like Russell Westbrook.
Then there’s the question of the level of competition that Doncic faced in Europe. Even though he reigned supreme on the other side of the Atlantic, there will still be folks who doubt his accolades because of the lack of competition. While theres been plenty of examples of Euro players coming over and finding success (Hey Dirk), the stigma still exists and is something that Doncic will deal with.
I’m a huge sucker for is player comparisions. Even though you should take them with a grain a salt, I feel like it gives you somewhat of an idea of what the player might be like. So when I saw some scouts say Doncic fits the mold of Toni Kukoc/Hedu Turkoglu, it didn’t excite me at all. While Kukoc and Turkoglu were good players in the league, I feel like with the fifth overall pick you should get as close to a franchise player as possible, not a role player like those guys.
If the Mavericks ended up with Doncic though, I’d be at peace with the pick. It wouldn’t excite me as much as getting a big man like Mo Bamba or Marvin Bagley, but you could talk me into the DSJ/Doncic duo being an offensive juggernaut.
How about you all? If the Mavs ended up with Doncic, would you be thrilled that the Mavs possibly nabbed the second best player in the draft or would you rather them go a different route?
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