Luka Doncic is arguably the most proven prospect to ever have his name called in the NBA Draft. The 19-year-old Slovenian was named the MVP of EuroLeague ahead of winning the championship and Finals MVP as Real Madrid’s best player. Then, he won a Liga ACB title. He’s been playing against full-grown adults in the most competitive leagues outside of the NBA for three seasons.
Mavericks fans should be thrilled to have taken him at No. 3 after trading up with the Atlanta Hawks. He’s ready to play right now and has tons of upside.
Doncic is a do-it-all type of player. In 70 games this year in EuroLeague and Liga ACB, Doncic averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists as the catalyst who makes his team go. Those would be terrific numbers for any player in an overseas professional league, which are slower-paced than the NBA. They are incredible numbers for a 19-year-old.
The “Wonder Boy” is known for his creative passing, his court vision, shot-creating and role as a court general. Possessions feel at ease with the ball in Doncic’s hands as he keeps under control weaving through waves of defenders to find open shooters in the corners or bigs cutting to the rim. Doncic is the type of player born to make others better.
Doncic is a fantastic finisher as a 6’8 guard with a strong forward’s body, mobile enough to contort his body in any way necessary to score around the hoop. And he fits the modern NBA perfectly as an oversized ball-handler with decent three-point range and knack for quick, productive passes.
He’ll need to improve on the accuracy of his shots from distance. Only 31 percent of them went down this past year, but his 79 percent free throw shooting is good indication he’ll get there.
Doncic could be a franchise player and multiple time All-Star. Fans won’t have to wait on him. He’s ready for the league right now, and Mavericks fans should be salivating.
More SB Nation coverage of Luka Doncic
By Matt Ellentuck, Jun. 18, 2018
Not only is Doncic proven by dominating the best competition he possibly can be at 19 years old, he projects to fit the NBA’s high demands from day one. Unlike the next-best prospects available, you don’t have to imagine much with him. He has the receipts.
Luka Doncic was too busy winning championships for your silly NBA Draft workouts
By Tom Ziller, Jun. 19, 2018
Consider Doncic’s accomplishments. Last summer, he helped lead Slovenia to the EuroBasket championship, making the all-tournament team at the age of 18. This season he won EuroLeague MVP, EuroLeague Final Four MVP, EuroLeague Player of the Week four times, first-team All-League, EuroLeague Player of the Month once, and the EuroLeague Rising Star award as he led his team to championship.
By Ricky O’Donnell May 21, 2018
There’s an argument to be made that Doncic is one of the three best passers to enter the draft this decade, alongside Simmons and Lonzo Ball. That’s high praise for 6’8, 230-pound player big enough to defend NBA power forwards in some lineups. But Doncic isn’t just a passer. He can also hit shots off ball screens.
By Ricky O’Donnell, Sept. 6, 2017
Luka Doncic is no international man of mystery. At just 18 years old, the Slovenian guard has already played on some of the biggest professional stages in the world with Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. That has continued this month as Doncic takes the floor for his home country in EuroBasket alongside Miami Heat star Goran Dragic.
At an age when his American peers would be playing high school ball, Doncic has had dominant stretches against the top competition in Europe. His combination of size, skill, and production at such a young age is the reason he’ll be in the conversation for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He’s shining again at EuroBasket.
If you aren’t familiar with Doncic already, it’s time to catch up. This could be the best international NBA backcourt prospect ever. Here’s what makes him special.
By Sactown Royalty
While Dončić is a promising, developing scorer, it isn’t the skill that defines him or has given him his stardom. That is his passing game, where he shows an incredible ability to see the floor and take advantage of the smallest defensive miscues with quick, direct passes. Across all leagues this season, he‘s averaging 6.6 assists per 40 minutes and has a 31.4% assist rate.
It’ll take time for him to get on the same page with his NBA teammates, but he’s going to open up a ton of things for an NBA offense. Look how quickly he turns this corner, processes the defensive attention, and speed the pass to his open teammate. His height and vision are going to be a weapon for a decade.