basketball

Luka Doncic: 5 things to know about the NBA's potential no. 1 draft pick

Along with Arizona's Deandre Ayton and Duke's Marvin Bagley, the Real Madrid wunderkind appears to be a potential generation star. We will break down the versatile guard/forward.


Kahron Spearman


In what's likely to be a deep and talented draft, there are two sure bets: Deandre Ayton from Arizona, and Luke Doncic of Liga ACB's Real Madrid who's breaking all sort of projection marks at just 19 years old. 

 

Here are five things to know about the Slovenian star.

 

He's warping all sorts of projections:

Per ESPN's Kevin Pelton, Doncic has the highest wins above replacement player (WARP) projection of any European prospect since data became available in 2006. His WARP projection is the highest projection on record, even topper a young Anthony Davis coming off a national championship at Kentucky.

 

He's doing it all, against adults, at just 19 years old:

Turning 19 just 40 days ago, Doncic is currently the best overall talent in Europe, and he started young. He signed with Real Madrid at age 13 and made his top-flight EuroLeague debut at 16. Now, at 19 years old, he is averaging 21.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists per 36 minutes (through April 9.)

He's almost a lock to go in the top three in the 2018 NBA Draft:

Barring any hiccups, the Slovenian will become the first European player to do so since Italian sharpshooter Andrea Bargnani was picked first in 2006 by the Toronto Raptors. 

 

He's the prototypical point forward:

The Ben Simmons comparisons are warranted. Though he likely to fill out more with age, he's already a sturdy six-foot-eight and weighs 230 lbs. He's a gifted passer and surehanded just two turnovers a game. With his height and anticipation, Doncic has shown the ability to put a pass over the defenses, and into the shooting pockets of open shooters. 

[Comparing himself to Ben Simmons] I think we are, like, similar, you know? He can play point guard, he can play forward. He can play a lot of stuff, like LeBron.

Luka Doncic
G/F, Real Madrid

His shooting will set him apart from Ben Simmons:

Though Simmons is a bigger player, more athletic, and equally talented as a passer, Doncic's shooting will create situations that Simmons can only dream of. Most of the time Simmons can get downhill in a hurry because teams haven't located a way to punish him for his awful outside shooting touch. 

 

Doncic, however, will have no such issue, and could almost unguardable within the NBA's wide-open game and rule set.

SOU  RCES