It’s undeniable at this point. Luka Doncic is simply playing at another level and has clearly separated himself from the rest of the 2018 NBA Draft Class. He’s a once-in-a-generation kind of player, racking new professional milestones and setting NBA records in recent games.
On January 21st, the 19-year-old Slovenian Sensation became the second-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double when he posted 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. He accomplished the feat at 19 years and 327 days. Markelle Fultz holds the distinction as the youngest player, doing recording the special stat line at 19 years and 317 days. Still, it’s impressive nonetheless.
While he’s enthralling NBA fans with his amazing basketball skills, Europe has already had a preview of this superstar when he recorded his first career triple-double when he recorded 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Real Madrid in the Spanish ACB last season.
Just when we thought we’ve seen everything that Doncic has to offer in his already amazing rookie campaign, he decides to kick things up another level. In a tightly contested 123-120 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday, Doncic scored a fresh career-high 35 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists to be the first teenager in NBA history to record a triple-double with 30 points. He’s only the fourth rookie to accomplish this feat, joining a list of NBA Legends – Stephen Curry, Jason Kidd
Now that it’s crystal clear Doncic has the makings of a future Hall-of-Famer, even at this insanely young age, it is incumbent on the Dallas Mavericks to nurture him, focus on his development and build around him as a centerpiece pillar for their future in years to come. Another legendary European, Dirk Nowitzki gave them their first NBA title in 2011. Will Doncic be able to help carry this franchise to another trip to the podium 10 years later? At the moment, the Mavericks still need to rid themselves of the last vestiges of that Nowitzki-era. Expect them to be active in both the trade market and NBA free agency in the coming seasons to surround Doncic with the necessary manpower to be a contender in the post-Golden-State-Warriors dynasty. Frankly, the Mavs struck gold when the Hawks traded down to go after Trae Young, who has been nothing short of underwhelming this season, in the draft. How will the Mavericks build their 19-year-old crown jewel? We will see. What we do know, however, is that they have a superstar on their hands and is a player whom they lay their hopes on to retake them back to their former glory.