The whole NBA world is in awe of Luka Dončić’s two-year campaign in the NBA. The guy is a legitimate superstar, an MVP candidate, and the future of the association. Even the most optimistic ones couldn’t foresee him becoming this good, this quick. Then there’s the other side of the spectrum – the so-called NBA experts.
Saying that their scouting reports on Luka were off is an understatement. Just check out what an NBA scout Rashad Phillips was saying about the guy.
Draft Luka Doncic between 16-25 to save your job. Draft him top 5 and be forever remembered.Rashad Phillips
Rashad was asked about what would’ve Luka averaged if he was playing in the NCAA. ‘10 points and 3 assists‘ – that was his response. So the guy who was the youngest MVP of the second-best basketball league in the world would’ve been a ‘basic player‘ playing against his peers. I don’t see the logic behind that premise.
It’s another instance of undervaluing European prospects. Phillips has said it himself, ‘we tend to over-sensationalize European basketball players.‘ Two years into Luka’s career, was he really over-sensationalized? A European is about to become the back-to-back regular-season MVP, and only the third player in the league’s history to win both the MVP and the DPOY in the same season – are we still overestimating the talent coming from overseas? I don’t think so.
The general feeling about Luka was that he lacked athletic abilities. Phillps talked about ‘his feet being slower than rush hour traffic,’ while Colin Cowherd said ‘he just doesn’t pop athletically.’ Now to be fair, that’s not far away from the truth. His lack of quickness and leaping ability puts a limit on how good the guy can be. So, he won’t be Michael Jordan, but Larry Bird is not off the table. I guess the Mavericks will have to settle for it. Poor Dallas.
Now, this is just a drop in the ocean of poor assessments of the Slovenian Wonder. But it does give you a general feeling about what were the knocks against the young prospect coming from overseas; he wasn’t physically gifted, and he was from Europe.
Both of those things are still true, and despite all of it, Luka is putting up a near 30 points triple-double on .497 shooting in his postseason debut against the two-seeded Clippers. He’s making these predictions look ridiculous.
Except for Colin Cowherd’s one. He said Luka is going to be better than Ricky Rubio, and he was spot on. So give credit where credit is due.