There’s been lots of scuttlebutt around the NBA Draft as we near Thursday night, but not a ton of chatter has been involving the Mavericks, aside from that weird Jaylen Brown stuff. On Monday night, the NBA’s most trusted insider dropped this spicy bit of news:
The Mavericks have picked European star Luka Doncic as their guy in the 2018 NBA Draft and are currently deciding whether they can draft him at five or if they need to move up.
“That is the guy they have targeted for the Mavericks,” he said.
Here’s the clip in question:
Woj says the Mavs have their targets set on Luka Doncic pic.twitter.com/P1sSCRyg6q— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) June 18, 2018
Doncic has been sliding down a lot of mock drafts lately, as NBA teams are getting queasy about if his athleticism will translate to the NBA level and whether he could reach superstar status like some of his fellow prospects.
Of course, even with those doubts, Doncic is a no-brainer prospect. He’s probably the most accomplished NBA draft prospect...ever? There has never been someone at Doncic’s age that has accomplished as much as he has (EuroLeague champion, EuroLeague Final Four MVP, EuroLeague MVP) at a professional level. He’s been fairly dominant as an 18-year-old in the second best basketball league in the world. He’s also doing it as basically a 6’8 point guard, which should be salivating as the NBA has become such a wing-heavy league.
Doncic has the chops to run an offense like a point guard at 6’8, play off-the-ball as a decent shooter and attack scattered defenses on secondary actions (hello, Dennis Smith Jr.!). The idea of someone with Doncic’s basketball IQ and ability inside of Rick Carlisle’s read-and-react flowing offense is really a dream come true, even if the question marks about Doncic’s so-so athleticism and somewhat party persona come to light.
It’s nice to know that the Mavericks, after the disappointing “fall” from three to five in the lottery aren’t sitting on their hands. Of course, we knew they weren’t doing anything and we’ve heard whispers and hints, but still, it’s fun that the NBA’s most respected insider is giving us a glimmer of hope. There’s no telling whether Doncic will actually be there at five, or if any of the teams from two through four will be willing to deal. This is still fun though.
Let’s all get our hopes up and in no way, shape or form get them crushed on Thursday night.