2018 NBA Draft Profile: Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the 2018 NBA Draft. He is the best European player to enter the NBA draft, ever. There is no debate he has skill. The only debate lies in whether his game will translate to the fast-paced NBA. In Spain, Luka Doncic averaged 22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block per 36 minutes. That is, by any standard, incredible. And while it's easy to say that Marvin Bagley or DeAndre Ayton put up better numbers at their respective colleges, that very statement is very closeminded.
As previously mentioned, Luka Doncic plays for the Spanish Club Real Madrid in the Euroleague. For those who are not familiar with Euroleague or do not follow the NBA draft religiously, it is much more difficult for players to put up staggering numbers. Assists and rebounds are not given away as generously as in the NBA. The European game is much slower than America's, which makes it harder to accumulate a large number of points.
Looking back on history, Ricky Rubio was often regarded as one of the best European prospects ever. He only averaged six points and four assists. Doncic averages three times the amount of points and almost double the number of assists Rubio had.
Weight: 218 lbs
DOB: February 19, 1998 (19 years old)
Ceiling: NBA Superstar
Middle Ground: 2nd-3rd option on a playoff team
Floor: Inconsistent Starter
Luka Doncic has the ability to make any pass you want him to. He can take charge of an offense in a hurry. His offensive game is very versatile. He can score from anywhere on the floor. While he is not the best at iso-situations, his craftiness does allow him to find other ways to attack the basket. Doncic can play from 1-3 depending on what a team needs. He would probably most benefit a team by playing the primary ball-handler role as a point-guard. Doncic has also proven that he does have the clutch factor. With a fluid jumper, Doncic's long-range shot can only improve.
Where Doncic struggles is where scouts are so divided. His athletism is sub-par, and his defense, especially in isolation, could definitely use some work. He isn't explosive by any means which can affect his transition game in the NBA.
Luka Doncic is the most coveted and most intriguing European player to ever declare for the draft. While he should be the number one pick due to his playmaking and shot-making ability, he will likely be the second or third pick on draft day depending on who is picking where. Whoever Doncic is drafted by will be getting a pro-ready player who also has some developmental traits that could potentially make him a superstar for years to come.
Projection: Top Three Overall Pick
Grade: First Overall Pick/Generational Talent