The youngest Euroleague MVP in history, ACB champion, and Eurobasket MVP are all one man believe it or not. Luka Doncic, the 19-year-old Slovenian sensation, was drafted at third overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks where he will start his NBA career. Listed at 6’7′” and 218 pounds, Doncic can play any position from 1-3 and possesses tremendous strength and defensive prowess. Already having three years of professional experience, the youngest Real Madrid player ever at 16 years and 61 days will be a great franchise player for Dallas. NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki was drafted from Europe at a young age and eventually took charge of the Mavericks, so it is only fitting that a young, European player come in to lead them into the future. He has only good things to say about Doncic, “I mean, he’s got all the game…it seems like, to me, for a 19-year-old [he’s] really savvy. He’s already playing a great court game.” via 105.3 The Fan’s The Ben & Skin Show. Whenever a player transitions from overseas to The League there will be a great sum of doubters, and rightfully so. Not saying that the NBA is way bigger and better than any European league, however, there is a large difference in style of play, travel wear, and scrutiny. All this being said, I truly believe that Mr. Doncic will meet and exceed the expectations set before him.
The Dallas Mavericks have quietly built up a playoff team after finally signing the ever elusive Deandre Jordan, resigning key players to short-term deals, and beefing up their backcourt. Floor general Dennis Smith Jr. is coming off of a solid rookie year averaging 15 points and 5 assists while shooting at 69% from the charity stripe, his slasher style game will lead the team’s offense. Guards Wesley Matthews and Devin Harris will provide the locker room guidance to both Smith Jr. and Doncic as well as contributing solid minutes. The Mavs have an abundance of big men and with Salah Mejri, Deandre Jordan, and Dwight Powell their defense will be one not to be reckoned with. The young guards will pair up with the bigs perfectly and head coach Rick Carlisle will most definitely explore all possible pick and roll sets. Carlisle had this to say in regards to getting both Doncic and DSJ to share the ball, “I made strides toward the end of the year playing off the ball. And I got better playing with it, too. I believe both guys can play with it and without it.” via Sportsday.dallasnews.com. Veterans Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea, both members of the 2011 championship team, will be returning to provide the guidance and mentoring in both basketball and the franchise. Nowitzki will be starting his 21st season at the age of 40 and to all basketball fans, enjoy him while he’s here as he could be gone at a moment’s notice. That being said, as long as all the pieces in play move as expected and Carlisle remains strong at the helm, the Mavericks will make some noise this year in the West. You will surely see them in the playoffs throughout the coming years.