Since there’s absolutely nothing happening in basketball these days, Tim Bontemps of ESPN did a wonderful thing and asked 20 coaches, executives, and scouts to rank Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, Trae Young, and Ja Morant in terms of who they’d like to build a franchise around. And then a few of them gave anonymous commentary on their thoughts.
It’s basically peak quarantine content designed for us to argue and debate the finer points.
But idea ran into a wall when 17 of the 20 executives listed Luka Doncic as the clear choice at the moment in terms of who they’d build a team around. Zion came in second, garnering the most second place votes, though Ja Morant wasn’t far behind. Trae Young did not get a first or second place vote.
Both Eastern and Western conference people polled had glowing things to say about Doncic’s place in the NBA, but one Eastern conference contributor had a comment which will stick with me for some time, it’s so off-base:
“I don’t know if Luka can be any better than he is,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “He’s really good. But I think this might be who he is — which is very good.
Ah yes, the guy who is already a top 15 (and maybe higher) “might be who he is”. It implies the guy with 126 NBA games under his belt and just turned 21 won’t get better in any way. That the executive said it in defense of his pick of Morant is interesting, since Morant could be a generational talent as well.
But considering what Doncic has done (he was fourth in ESPN’s last MVP straw poll) compared to what Morant could do, this isn’t much of a debate. That’s why Doncic won the exercise with ease.
Yet despite the obviousness of the outcome, we’re grateful for it all the same. Luka Doncic is an awesome, once-in-a-generation talent. We should talk about it and rejoice in it as often as possible.