On draft night before the 2018 season, the Atlanta Hawks agreed to trade their third overall pick to the Dallas Mavericks, in exchange for the Mavericks’ fifth overall pick. Luka Doncic (third pick) was traded for Trae Young (fifth pick), a move that has undoubtedly altered both franchises, as both players have already ascended to all-star caliber in just their second year.
Young is a fantastic player for the Hawks, but he may not be the generational talent that we see in Doncic. Doncic finished his first season with 98/100 first place votes to win the Rookie of the Year award. Young finished with 97 second place votes. In regards to Luka being the most talented player in the draft, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “It wasn’t even close.”
One of the most compelling storylines of this season has been the outstanding performance of Luka’s sophomore season. Doncic is averaging close to a triple-double with 29.9 points, 9.7 assists, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals through 15 games this season, leading the league in triple-doubles with seven and his team in all four statistical categories. Luka is second in the NBA in PPG (points per game), and assists, 12th in rebounds. and fourth in three-pointers made.
Thanks to his smooth and confident play, the 20-year-old Slovenian native is the youngest player to record consecutive 35-point triple-doubles. He is also one of only two players under age 21 to record a 40 point triple-double. The other is LeBron James.
Doncic is the fastest to achieve a 30 point triple-double in a game in league history. In just 26 minutes against the Warriors, he scored 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Luka’s excellent passing ability allows him to play either guard position and small forward for Dallas.
From a fantasy basketball perspective, Doncic is tied for second most points overall and is only behind reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
If Doncic can keep up this level of play, he will be a definite MVP candidate this season. If he were to win the award, he would become the youngest MVP ever, which would break Derrick Rose’s record set in 2010-2011 at the age of 22. Either way, Doncic will be a future MVP and potentially an NBA champion.