October 24, 2017

Who is Luka Doncic? The Slovenian stud’s stats, highlights and NBA draft potential

2017/09/25 10:48 am 10:48 am10:48 am0 0 comments

Luka Dončić is a young, 6’7” shooting guard from Slovenia. Over the past several weeks and months, Doncic has been making a lot of noise and become much more visible as his play has matured. So much so, that the 18-year old is seen by some as the potential top choice in the 2018 NBA Draft. If you’ve ever seen Doncic play, you can see why so many are so high on him.

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Doncic is eligible for the draft and will have two seasons of professional basketball under his belt for Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid by the time it comes to next year’s draft. He is rumored to have been playing basketball since he was seven months old, and is easily one of the most hyped basketball prospects to come out of Europe potentially ever. Read more about what our forum members have to say about Dončić.

Luka Doncic Background

Luka Dončić was born in 1999 to former of Slovenian National Team forward Saša Dončić.

The younger Doncic started playing basketball at an extremely young age, and his first organized league was in grade school when he was seven years old. Throughout these younger years, Luka would easily dominate his age group, so he was always brought up to play against older boys.

He would go on to sign his first contract in September 2012 at 13 years of age to play for Real Madrid for 5 years.

During the 2014-15 season, Doncic would move up to play on the Real Madrid Under-18 team, or service team. During this season he average 14.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. During 2015, Doncic won the Under-18 Ciutat de L’Hospitalet Tournament, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. He also won in the Under-18 Next Generation Tournament, where he was selected MVP.

Luka Doncic Comparison and Strengths

Luka has been compared to a number of professional players. Doncic does have superior height and hops resulting in some early comparisons to taller point guards and wings in the league today. He has most closely been compared to fellow European guard, Ricky Rubio, with regards to his early maturity and trajectory to compete in the NBA.

However, we disagree with that comparison as Doncic’s display of skills clearly show a big divide in their abilities. Luka already has a great shooting touch, his athleticism is leaps above Rubio (even at his most athletic), and Doncic can put the ball in the hoop in a variety of manners — from three pointers to aggressive and rugged drives to the basket.

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If we were to compare him to current NBA player, we’d have to find a do-it-all shooting guard/small forward; one that both rebounds and passes well, while also can reliably shoot from afar and attach the hoop. in the mold of a Paul George or Gordon Hayward. Obviously, it’s early and he has to prove himself, but that’s how high we are on Doncic’s potential.

At the time of this writing there has not been an official release or measure of Luka Doncic’s wingspan, so it’s tough to compare him exactly to other players of similar height. Based on other observations of the length of his arms, it’s expected that his wingspan would exceed his overall height.

Luka Doncic Video Highlights

As you can see from the highlights below, it’s pretty clear that Doncic has the potential to become one of those next level players — one that can pass and rebound, include his teammates, all the while being a threat from anywhere on the floor.

The young prospect still has a ways to go, but the other side of that conversation is that he’s shown a ton of potential in so many areas; so much so that the sky’s the limit.

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Luka Doncic Stats

Through 35 games in the 2016-17 season for European powerhouse Real Madrid, Luka Doncic averaged just under 20 minutes per game. In about half the duration of a Euroleague game, Doncic showed off his wide array of skills. The big man scored 7.8 points, pulled down 4.5 rebounds per game, passed out 4.2 assists per game, with just under a steal per game.

As with most young players coming into the Euroleague, no matter how talented or precocious, Doncic has had to wait his turn. If he doesn’t enter the NBA draft, look for him to have even more impressive numbers in 2018.

Will Doncic be the #1 Pick in 2018 NBA Draft?

Luka Doncic really started picking up press on the potential to be drafted #1 in the 2018 NBA Draft in the last half of 2017, esepcially with his showing during the 2017 Eurobasket tournament. As you may know, he teamed with Goran Dragic to lead his country to their first Eurobasket championship in history.

Based on his overall skill set, basketball IQ, maturity, and demonstrated abilities to not just score, shoot, rebounds and pass, its expected that Doncic will easily be a lottery pick, if not the overall #1.

There is a question of his contract. Luka Doncic has a contract with Real Madrid until 2021. The details of the required buyout and other information is not public; however, it’s expected that to entice him to stay in Europe for a few more years, Real Madrid might make him an offer of up to $3 million Euro a year.

So take that into consideration — an NBA team may have to wait up to three years, or pay the buyout for Doncic. With these type of draft predictions, time will tell — which is definitely on the side of a player like Doncic.

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