Even though he joined the Dallas Mavericks a bit late in comparison to other rookies, Luka Doncic is already making a strong statement to get inserted into the starting lineup next season.
His teammates were impressed with how he looked in some of the recent practices with the team. ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon spoke to sources who said: “Doncic has often been the best player on the court in pickup games at the Mavs’ facility despite not being in great shape by NBA standards.”
Doncic wasn’t able to showcase his skills during the NBA Las Vegas Summer League because his contract with the Mavericks still wasn’t official at that time. There were some concerns about his ability to adapt to the NBA, which is something totally different than what he experienced so far as a young player.
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) 14 September 2018
Despite all that, the 19-year-old star from Slovenia helped Real Madrid win the 2018 Euroleague, during which he was named the MVP of the regular season. He averaged 14.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists and showcased he could be an all-around playmaker with a lot of potential in his game.
The Mavericks signed DeAndre Jordan to a one-year,$22.8 million deal and have high expectations for the upcoming season. Doncic will have a lot of opportunities to display his playmaking abilities and it’s in Dallas primary focus to develop chemistry between a young back-court of Dennis Smith Jr. and Doncic.
The Mavericks aren’t quite in full-on tank mode since they signed DeAndre Jordan to a one-year, $22.8 million deal, but Doncic should have every opportunity to see big playing time in 2018-19. Dallas’ primary focus has to be on the long-term as it develops the pair of Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr.
It will be interesting to see if these pickup games with his Mavs teammates will help Doncic adapt for the beginning of the regular season, simply because there are still a lot of question marks surrounding him. Only the sky is the limit for this 6’8″ playmaker who could be the next big thing in the NBA.