Get to Know: Luka Doncic
“It will be nice to have him, but you never know. He might go No. 1.”
These are the words of Bogan Bogdanovic, according to David Pick. Bogi was on hand, along with many Kings scouts, to watch Luka Doncic win the EuroLeague title with Real Madrid, take home the EuroLeague MVP and be crowned Final Four MVP.
— EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) May 20, 2018
The 6’6” combo guard out of Slovenia is the hottest name in the 2018 NBA Draft. As with most high-profile European players, scouts are split on whether he’ll truly be a transcendent talent at the next level.
Some claim he’s the best prospect ever to come out of Europe. A unique combination of playmaking ability, basketball IQ and maturity proves he’s the most accomplished prospect in the draft. However, it’s his lack of athleticism and NBA speed that has many questioning how high his ceiling truly is.
He finished his last EuroLeague season averaging 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 45.6 percent shooting. He’s not a true deep threat either, shooting merely 30.9 percent from beyond the arc.
We’ve heard of position-less big men, but Doncic qualifies as a position-less guard. He can handle, but he’s not a point guard. He can play shooting guard, but his shooting form leaves a lot to be desired. Most see him as a small forward in the NBA, but doesn’t possess the ideal physical attributes to defend most at the position.
Even so, he has one of the highest ceilings in the draft due to the aforementioned skill-set and basketball IQ. His instincts and feel for the game is far beyond what 19-year-old prospects possess at that age. He’s played top-notch European competition, succeeding and winning at an unprecedented level.
He’s the most polarizing player in the draft, and there’s still debate as to whether he’s selected with the top pick from the Phoenix Suns. His career will be watched closer than anybody’s as the season begins.
“We call him wunderkind,” former Slovenian and current Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov said. “He’s an upcoming, rising star. Luka is a very talented player. His ability to pass, that’s the hardest part of the game, the most difficult part to teach. To be a good passer you have to understand the game. It’s basketball IQ. He’s really unique and special at that age to understand the game well and to be a team player. He’s not necessarily playing point guard but he’s a playmaker who makes everybody else better on the court.”