On the night of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks executed a draft-night trade. The Mavericks, who had the No. 5 pick, traded up two spots to acquire Slovenian guard Luka Doncic, a player with tremendous upside
On the other side, the Hawks selected Trae Young as part of the deal and they also received a protected first-round pick. From the Mavericks’ standpoint, that may have been a steep price to pay for a player who hadn’t played an NBA game.
As it turned out, though, it appears that the deal was a win-win for both sides, as both players performed well during their respective rookie campaigns. With a record of 33-49, things didn’t go according to plan for the Mavericks this season.
However, Luka Doncic gave the Mavericks and the local fans plenty to cheer about. In 72 starts, Doncic averaged 21.2 points per contest on 42.7 shooting from the field and 32.7 percent from distance. In addition to the scoring, Doncic also averaged 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 32 minutes of action.
Furthermore, Luka Doncic finished in the top five of multiple statistical categories. He was first in points, second in assists, second in rebounds and fifth in steals. Luka Doncic is the sixth Mavericks player to be named to the All-Rookie First Team. In addition to that, Luka Doncic is first to do so since Jason Kidd accomplished the feat in 1994.
Meanwhile, Young was a bright spot for the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks. In 81 starts, he compiled averages of 19.1 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds on 41.8 percent shooting and 32.4 percent from downtown. Young was second among rookies in scoring, and first in assists. Young’s best month of the season took place in March. During that stretch, he averaged 23.4 points, 9.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds per outing.
Because of their spectacular play, both players were named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. In fact, Luka Doncic and Trae Young were the only two unanimous first-teamers, with each receiving 100 votes. Additionally, for the first time since 1984, the All-Rookie First Team includes the top-5 picks of the draft.
On the heels of their sensational rookie seasons, the future is bright for both Luka Doncic and Trae Young. And fans of both franchises are anxiously awaiting to see how well they perform next season.