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Luka Dončić – 6’8” Point Guard, Slovenia, 19 Years Old
Luka Dončić enters the NBA Draft as a serious contender to be the No.1 overall pick. Joining Spanish side Real Madrid in 2015, Dončić became the youngest player in Madrid’s history to represent the team in the Liga ACB. He would go on to play in the EuroLeague, making a name for himself on the continent. Still a teenager, Dončić was raising eyebrows with his well-rounded game and impressive maturity for someone so young. Playing against grown men, Dončić would become a standout talent in Europe. This led to the Slovenian representing his country in the 2017 EuroBasket. Slovenia, led by Goran Dragic, went on to win the tournament, with Dončić playing a key role.
In his final year with Real Madrid, Dončić averaged 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, whilst shooting 46 percent from the field. Playing 124 games in his final two seasons in Spain, Dončić was a key contributor, leading to 19-year-old winning the EuroLeague Rising Star award in 2017. Dončić will hope his well-rounded game and résumé in Europe will be enough to make him the No.1 overall pick come June 21st.
The son of a former Basketball player, Dončić brings elite play-making skills to the table. A point guard in a small forwards body, Dončić is an ideal fit for today’s NBA, as the game moves closer towards positionless Basketball. Capable of playing multiple positions, he can create from almost anywhere.
A good leader, Dončić is mature enough to lead at the NBA level. He also has the physical tools to compete in the NBA. Standing at 6’8” without shoes, Dončić will more than hold his own in his 225-pound frame.
His passing will be a serious weapon in the NBA. Accuracy, IQ, and timing will help him, especially in pick & roll situations. Similar to Ben Simmons, his size and vision should be a deadly combo. Dončić could develop into a true floor general, a primary ball handler, an elite playmaker.
Defensively, Dončić doesn’t struggle, but he doesn’t thrive either. An area where he needs to improve, this should be the main focus in his rookie year. One of the main causes for his defensive limitations is his quickness. Not the best athlete in the world, Dončić relies on instinct to help him at both ends. Whether it’s beating his man at one end or sticking with his matchup at the other, he must find a way to improve to truly be consistent in the NBA.
Not a natural athlete, Dončić finds other ways to succeed on the court. However, in the NBA, being naturally athletic helps at either guard spot. With Dončić lacking in this area, scoring and guarding longer players will be tough to start with. But as a player who is improving rapidly, it’s not hard to see him finding a way to deal with his lack of natural gifts.
Expected to be a top-five pick, Dončić has franchise player potential. If he develops a reliable three-ball, he can be the face of a franchise. Entering with All-Star potential, Dončić could develop into a truly dominant player. A starter from day one, Dončić will be making an impact from Summer League on. Possessing most of the tools and skills to succeed in the NBA, Dončić should have a productive career.
NBA Player Comparison
Comparisons can be tricky for players like Dončić. When your body type doesn’t necessarily match your play style, some strange ones can emerge. Some have compared Dončić to a taller Ricky Rubio, which seems far-fetched. The most sensible and reasonable is Ben Simmons. His mix of size and playmaking ability could lead Dončić to make a Simmons like impact on whichever team drafts him. Both have All-Star potential and similar play styles, we could be looking at two of the games future superstars.
Look for Luka Dončić to go in the top-five on draft night, and be sure to stay updated with our complete coverage of the 2018 NBA Draft!
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