It’s no secret that Luka has taken the NBA by storm. This 6’7 Slovenian Guard came into the league as the most hyped up Euro League player ever, and so far he’s lived up to it. Though some questioned how his game would translate to the NBA, it clearly has. The Euro prodigy hasn’t missed a beat, and here is why.
In the past 25 years, only 10 players have averaged 20 PPG or better in their rookie season. 7 of those 10 have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers. Luka Doncic is currently just .8 PPG behind that mark while also posting 6.8 RPG and 4.1 APG. Those numbers are good enough to lead his team in scoring and ranking him 2nd in RPG and APG. On step-back threes, this season Luka Doncic on his own is currently tied for 8th when you compare him to entire teams. He ties the entire Jazz roster with 11 step-back threes per game, one of the things he excelled at in Europe. Not only is Luka leading his team in scoring, but he also leads all rookies while ranking 2nd in assists behind only Trae Young. He’s been the 2nd most efficient rookie posting an EFF rating of 18.1, ranking him behind only Ayton. While Doncic has been a star on the offensive end, there are some issues that seem to stand out.
Two glaring issues with Doncic have been his Defense and problems with ball security. While his 3.9 TOV is a red flag, the fact that he is a rookie and leading the Mavericks in USG% makes that statistic a little less of an issue. For all the categories Doncic has ranked so highly in amongst rookies, being 2nd in TOV is not a good one to be leading in. While Doncic is currently 5th in steals amongst rookies at .8 SPG, his defense has been lackluster. His length at his position at times makes up for his lack of lateral quickness yet he still noticeably gets beat by quicker players.
Overall Dallas should be ecstatic about the drafting of this Euro prodigy. While he needs to work on his defense and overall efficiency, his knack for the ball and high basketball IQ more than make up for it. Doncic is currently on pace to win ROY this season and be an all-star for years to come. Dallas has clearly struck gold with this pick and this situation is great for him. If you haven’t already jumped on the Luka Doncic bandwagon, now is the time.