Over the past few days, everyone on Twitter has been going bananas over 2018 NBA Draft prospect Luka Doncic. Doncic is currently playing overseas for Real Madrid and is just 18 years old. Scouts are absolutely losing it over his skill set and measurables. I’ve heard some people describe him as Ben Simmons with a jump shot, which would be interesting. I even saw one guy go as far as saying that he has “no doubt” that Doncic will be an All-Star after either his second or third season. Many people expect him to be the top pick in next years draft.
There is some seriously high praise for the kid, but I think we should pump the brakes just a bit. The idea of him being Ben Simmons with a jump shot makes no sense to me because Doncic is nowhere near as athletic as Simmons. The kid definitely has vision and size comparable to Simmons, and he can shoot, but that’s about it. Some of the passes he can make are tremendous, but nothing else he does makes me feel like he’s worthy of being picked number one. The Euro-league makes Jimmer Fredette look like a basketball savant for crying out loud, it isn’t exactly what I’d consider top tier talent he’s going up against, which is something he would be seeing in the NBA.
With guys like Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley, Deandre Ayton, and Mo Bamba also projected to be in this draft class, I think it’d be a big risk to pass up on any of them for Doncic, who hasn’t really proved anything yet.
Another reason I don’t feel all that confident about Doncic might not be that fair to him, but I’m going to go with it anyways. In recent drafts, how often have we actually seen European talent actually pan out to their max potential? Other than Kristaps Porzingas, I can’t really say European talent has been working out well recently. Mario Hezonja and Dragan Bender are examples of some of the over-hyped European talents that haven’t really done much in their NBA careers. That’s not saying Luka can’t break this trend, but the odds aren’t exactly in his favor.
If I’m wrong (which is usually the case) and he turns out to be a stud, feel free to expose me by bringing this blog back up and shoving it in my face. I’ll probably deserve it.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)