The Mavericks finally got their ‘guy’ in Luka Doncic, and certainly, things are about to get interesting in the Dallas camp.
Dallas essentially traded up for Doncic who was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks at pick number three. The Mavs selected Trae Young at fifth and shipped him to Atlanta for the 19-year-old Slovenian along with a future first-rounder.
Doncic is arguably the best player in the draft, and while the “European stigma” affected his stock, what he has shown so far will undoubtedly have Dallas fans stoked.
As the rookie prepares to take on the NBA, here’s what every basketball junkie can look forward to when he suits up for Dallas.
What Dallas got in Doncic is more than just a top-pick quality player—they also got a proven winner. In fact, just a couple of days ago, the Ljubljana native helped Real Madrid win the Spanish League championship.
The Mavs certainly need someone like that after finishing the 2017-18 NBA campaign with the third-worst record.
Doncic also led Slovenia to a gold medal finish in the EuroBasket before powering Madrid to a title run in the Euroleague, widely considered as the second-best basketball competition in the world.
For what it’s worth, the Slovenian star won the Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP, becoming the youngest player in tournament history to achieve the feat.
As Doncic head to the big league, his goal in his first year with Dallas is pretty clear.
“I’m really happy to be a part of the NBA, and I think I want to make the playoffs with the Dallas Mavericks,” Doncic said in a Cisco video conference call after the draft.
Partnership with DSJ
One of the biggest concerns about Doncic is his lack of elite athleticism, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem when he plays alongside Dennis Smith Jr.—the Mavs’ high-flying point guard who was drafted No.9 in last year’s rookie selection.
Basically, the two players complement and cover each others’ weaknesses. Smith is an incredible athlete who can break down defenses off the dribble, while Luka has a more polished game and outside shooting.
The two, indeed, have all the makings of a superstar backcourt, and it’s up to Rick Carlisle and Dallas to utilize DSJ and Doncic to their full potential.
“I’ve been watching him [Smith Jr.] a lot. He’s a great player and I think we will make a great duo,” Doncic added.
Passing the torch
Dallas is no longer new to European players. After all, they have the best European player of all time in Dirk Nowitzki.
Sure enough, with Nowitzki at the tail end of his career and probably entering his last season, it’s only fitting for the Mavs to draft another guy from Europe to carry the torch.
Doncic has the skills to become the next face of the franchise, and he can surely learn from the best.
“It’s amazing,” Doncic said on the thought that he will be playing alongside Dallas icon Dirk Nowitzki.
“He’s a legend everywhere. He’s just an amazing player and I’m really really happy to be part of his career. I think I can learn so much stuff about him, and he’s going to be a great mentor.”