Luka Doncic: Top 5 pick when available

Discussion in '2018 NBA Draft' started by _RTM_, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. _RTM_

    _RTM_ Member

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    I just don't realize how the hell we still don't have a thread about him.

    Luka Doncic is clearly a future star already signed by Bill Duffy

    The kid is 6'8 wing who's playing rotation minutes for Llull's Real Madrid at 16 years of age and already played 15+ minutes against Celtics in NBA preseason last fall.

    FYI Doncic was bought out from his Slovenian club at the age 12 (!), he has all the tools to become a star in the NBA.

    The most talented young player in Europe by far.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Luka-Doncic-7273/stats/
     
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  2. _RTM_

    _RTM_ Member

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    At age 16. Look at the confidence level

     
  3. Koperboy

    Koperboy Member

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    A shut out to my fellow Slovene! When Dragic retires, we will still have a player in NBA.

    He is indeed one of the top European talents.
     
  4. omgTHEpotential

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    SG Darko? :grin:
     
  5. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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  6. omgTHEpotential

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    I doubt his defense is any good. Probably an above average offensive player that's a liability on the defensive end on the NBA level.
     
  7. omgTHEpotential

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    In the above post I said he's probably 'an above average offensive player that's a liability on the defensive end on the NBA level'.

    Well, I'm not sure about the defense just yet, but I've changed my opinion on his offense. He definitely seems like an elite offensive player. He's a 17 year old kid and is clowning everyone in Euroleague. Even at 17 he would already be a solid rotational player on any playoff team. He's clutch and he's not afraid of the moment.



     
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  8. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    I've seen some recent articles on this kid and it definitely sounds like he has real star potential in the NBA.
     
  9. HayesIsBack

    HayesIsBack Member

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    That's pretty crazy for a 17 year old to be doing that for a club like Real Madrid.
     
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  10. omgTHEpotential

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  11. omgTHEpotential

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    Kid is a white Harden. Not as athletic as James, and not as long. But ridiculously crafty on the offensive end as an 18 year old. Not a particularly good defender though. Probably can't grow a beard too.


     
  12. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    Maybe superstar, maybe Batum.
     
  13. Koperboy

    Koperboy Member

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    I think even we, who follow him closely, didn't expect him to explode at Eurobasket 2017 like this. Yesterday's game against Latvia showcased all his talent, and above all, cold blooded determination. 27 points in most important game of his young carrer, with 12 of them coming in fourth quarter, all four FTs made in last 2 minutes...are you kidding me??

    His first three of last quarter was a bit lucky, but 2nd wasn't...stepback over Porzingis!



    Highlights from Greece game (group game, but a tough one for us):



    Great plays from last season:



    I agree his game is a bit like Harden's - crafty and deceptively slow. He is our leading rebounder and I believe he will have his share of triple doubles in NBA. If he continues with such play this year with his club Real Madrid, I think he should be a Top 3 pick.
     
    #13 Koperboy, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  14. Bennie Anders

    Bennie Anders Member

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    Was that his trim in the white top? Deep bow, man.
     
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  15. Normalus

    Normalus Member

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    I wonder if he can sign a contract without going through draft process? I think some teams may give him more right now, than he may guarantee signing a rookie contract (even if it's #1 pick).
     
  16. omgTHEpotential

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    Obviously they would give him more right now since his ceiling is an All-Star. And he also has a pretty high floor. I think he's already capable of being a solid rotational player for a good team (maybe even a starter on a shittier team). But everyone has to go through the draft process. The only way for him to avoid that rookie contract is maybe to go undrafted (?), which he won't.
     
  17. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member

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    Doncic and Dragic look fantastic playing together. They're driving the NT to the championship.
     
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  18. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    I like this kid, he reminds me of Harden with how easily he scores.
     
  19. tiger0330

    tiger0330 Contributing Member

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    Here's the scouting report on him by ESPN Insider. The kid may be better than Porzingis.

    Scouting Doncic: What makes him a potential No. 1 NBA draft pick

    HELSINKI, Finland -- Potential 2018 No. 1 draft pick Luka Doncic is no mystery man. The 18-year-old Slovenian sensation has been on the radar in Europe since age 12 and has proven his ability against NBA-caliber talent both with Real Madrid and the Slovenian national team.

    But how will Doncic's game translate to the NBA? After getting an extended look at Doncic during the 2017 Eurobasket, here's an in-depth breakdown of his game and how it relates to his NBA outlook:
    Athletic and physical profile

    Doncic has excellent natural size for a perimeter prospect at nearly 6-foot-8, 228 pounds with an 8-9.5 standing reach, according to data from P3 Sports Science, where Doncic spent the 2015 and 2016 summers.

    Although we don't have Doncic's official wingspan, here are a few NBA players with fairly similar measurements from a height, weight and reach standpoint:

    Joe Johnson (age 19.9): 6-8.25 in shoes, 226 pounds, 8-9 standing reach

    JR Smith (age 18.6): 6-6.75 in shoes, 227 pounds, 8-8 standing reach

    Carmelo Anthony (age 19.0): 6-7.5 in shoes, 233 pounds, 8-9.5 standing reach

    Doncic compares most favorably to a 19-year-old Joe Johnson, who has played the latter stages of his career at around 240 pounds, even mixing in a healthy amount of small-ball 4 these last few years. While Johnson may be a smidge taller, he and Doncic have similar frames and standing reaches at the same age. Doncic's wingspan appears to be on the mediocre side, which also matches up with the former Arkansas Razorback, who measured a 6-9 wingspan during the 2001 NBA pre-draft camp.

    Although he's only 18, it's fair to wonder how much physical development Doncic has ahead of him. Sporting a strong, mature frame throughout his upper and lower body, Doncic may not have the physical upside of recent late-bloomer prospects such as Brandon Ingram or Jonathan Isaac. Even so, he has great positional size and strength, with the measurements to play the 2, the 3 and even some 4 later on in his career.

    Athletically Doncic is more powerful than traditionally explosive or quick-twitch. He's a bit hunched in his upper body and could stand to improve his flexibility overall, which shows up as a half-court shot creator at times. He displays a fairly impressive blend of power and speed in the open floor, though, as he's tough to contain when he can get his body going with a head of steam. He's a solid leaper in space and added 1.5 inches to his standing vertical during the 2016 offseason, according to P3. He also ranks in the 73rd percentile among guards tested for height touched during an approach jump. With that said, Doncic isn't the most functional athlete and plays mostly below the rim in a crowd. Doncic does have good feet for his size, and is a better positional defender than he gets credit for.

    P3 data: "His slide agility times (left: 2.58 seconds, right: 2.53 seconds) straddle the NBA average for a guard. During this test, the athlete slides laterally 5 yards, then slides back -- suggesting that Luka's change of direction abilities are fairly competitive with some of his positional peers. They've also both improved by 0.25 seconds over the past year (that's a ton)."
    Transition play

    Doncic, an elite defensive rebounder for his position, loves to ignite the fast break by pushing in transition. When he's able to generate momentum in the open court, Doncic is tough to contain. He changes ends with speed and plays with a level of confidence in the open floor you don't often see from a player his age. Doncic isn't the most shifty athlete and is more impactful as an open-court facilitator than a scorer.

    He's a creative passer who mixes in no-look feeds and simple hit-aheads to open shooters. Although a precise outlet passer, Doncic is more prone to pushing with the dribble forcing defenders to check him before making a play. He's also very savvy for his age, feeling defenders on his back and stopping near mid-court to draw fouls.

    Doncic's ability to impact the game on the glass combined with his open-court facilitating allows him to turn defense into offense quickly. He's not quite as electric in the open floor but his transition play does somewhat resemble that of elite prospects like Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball before him.

    Telling stat: 11.5 rebounds per 40 minutes at Eurobasket. Finished fourth in rebounds per game, ahead of Nikola Vucevic, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Timofey Mozgov.
    Pick-and-roll impact

    Doncic comes alive when he's on the ball and is really at his best in pick-and-rolls, where he's able to use his size, tremendous pace, excellent court vision and off the dribble shooting to offer a nice blend of scoring and playmaking.

    Slovenia national team head coach and Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov used Doncic both at the point and as a pick-and-roll maestro on second-side actions after sprinting of screens. While his lack of elite burst with the ball does limit him a bit as a downhill slasher, he's a tough-shot maker and one of the most gifted ball-screen facilitators we've seen in recent memory.

    Here's a look at the different ways he impacts the game:

    Distributing

    While prospects like Simmons and Ball are special passers in their own right, Doncic is the more functional ball-screen facilitator with an incredibly advanced arsenal of one-handed darts he can deliver from anywhere on the floor. At 6-8 he doesn't need to get a piece of the paint to find open shooters, and he's particularly adept at hitting the weakside corner, especially when he's able to get going to his right hand.

    He freezes defenders with changes of pace and timely look-offs, which helps make up for his so-so quickness. Doncic has an uncanny understanding of where every player is on the floor, displaying impeccable timing and accuracy as a passer. He can make basic pocket passes or hit the roll man over the top, and does an excellent job of using his body and savvy nature to get his defender on his back, forcing the big man defender to guard him while putting the defense in a bind.

    He also mixes in behind-the back-feeds and is comfortable "snaking" ball screens to drag the big man defender away from the rim to force switches. Doncic's ability to think the game out of ball screens and pick defenses apart makes him extremely valuable as a primary or secondary facilitator. His pick-and-roll passing at 6-8 separates him from other elite prospects we've seen over the years.

    Telling stat: Pick-and-roll passes generated 1.229 points per possession. Doncic turned the ball over on only 11.1 percent of his pick-and-roll possessions, which made up 34.6 percent of his offense.
     
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  20. tiger0330

    tiger0330 Contributing Member

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    Pull-up game

    Doncic has deep range on his pick-and-roll pull-up as he's a fairly consistent threat from NBA 3 when the guard defender goes under ball screens. He can plant or hop into 3s with rhythm and shoots an easy ball with excellent rotation, even if he doesn't have the quickest release. Doncic also showed the ability to create just enough space to get his shot off, even against a big like Kristaps Porzingis, mixing in step-backs to his left or pull-back dribbles with defenders on his hip.

    Doncic also has a lot of the tricks you see from 30-year-old veterans, putting his defender "in jail" by using his body, keeping his man on his rear and then either scoring with mid-range pull-ups or floaters. He's not a traditional elevation-reliant shooter and it remains to be seen how he'll be able to create space to get to his jumper against rangier athletes, but Doncic has an excellent foundation as a pick-and-roll shot maker.

    Telling stat: 1.061 PPP on off-the-dribble jumpers (70th percentile).

    Slashing

    Doncic doesn't consistently put pressure on the rim out of pick-and-roll and is much more reliant on tough shot making. He also has a very reliable handle, knows how to use his body and has some sneaky quickness when he can get his shoulders square to the rim.

    When he's not making shots, though, Doncic struggles to get into the teeth of the defense since he's not overly shifty with the ball. Although he makes an effort to change speeds and directions, he doesn't do so with much force or quickness and can stand to improve his ability to get to the rim going left. The fact that Doncic is such a threat as a passer and pull-up shooter significantly eases the blow from his less than stellar functional athleticism, but he'll still have an adjustment to make when defended by some of the NBA's elite stoppers.

    He doesn't have overly long strides to the basket, regularly opts to stop short for runners rather than initiating contact in the paint and plays mostly below the rim in the half court. While strong with touch, Doncic will have an adjustment to make as a finisher against NBA length and athleticism. The fact that only 14 of Doncic's 89 half-court field goal attempts came at the rim speaks to some of his slashing shortcomings.

    Telling stat: Only five of his 36 pick-and-roll field goal attempts came at the rim.

    As a screener

    Kokoskov used Doncic as a screener from time to time during Eurobasket play, a creative wrinkle that could be very successful at the NBA level as well. He's a pick-and-pop threat and has the handle and playmaking ability to attack in open space and make something happen. Picking and popping Doncic, then immediately bringing him off of a ball screen, is a great way to get the defense moving and thinking.
    Isolation game

    Arguably the biggest question surrounding Doncic: Can he create enough offense in the half court, especially vs. switches, to warrant being a No. 1 option at the NBA level? There isn't much of a history of elite guard/wing prospects (especially Euros) who don't have a solid breakdown game going near the top of the draft.

    Although he has deep range on his jumper and the footwork to create some space for step-backs going to his left, his lack of wiggle with the ball really limits him as a shot-creator vs. long, athletic big men and he's often forced to settle for deep, contested 3s. Doncic did ease some of those concerns against Latvia with a step-back 3, drive and finish and floater in the paint versus Kristaps Porzingis, one of the NBA's rangiest big men.

    He is a bit stiff in his upper body, though, and at his size he might not have much traditional 1-on-1 breakdown game. However, his ability to cut angles and use his body will help him alleviate some of those worries, especially with NBA spacing. In today's NBA, players with positional size who can pass and shoot off the dribble usually have success and Doncic checks all of those boxes, even if he's not the most traditional isolation scorer.

    Scorers like Devin Booker, CJ McCollum and even Stephen Curry to some degree were never considered elite athletes in terms of quickness and burst, yet their skill base and ability to shoot and be playmakers have clearly been more than enough for them.
    Off-ball value

    Doncic is most comfortable with the ball in his hands given his tremendous passing instincts and ability to make shots with range off the dribble. With that said, he's likely best paired with a guard who can break down defenses without a ball screen and put pressure on the rim in the half court, an area where Doncic struggles.

    Doncic is a very impactful off-ball contributor. He showed excellent potential as a standstill shooter (despite only hitting 31.1 from 3 at Eurobasket), has good timing attacking closeouts and can read the floor versus a scrambling defense, often mixing in hard ball fakes to move defenders. He can stand to speed up his release a bit, but when Doncic gets a clean look he shoots a really easy ball and has range well beyond NBA 3, evident by the 2.9 3s he made per 40 minutes over the course of nine games.

    He's a quick decision-maker who almost always makes the extra swing pass or a quick post entry when he sees a mismatch. He's comfortable running off of screens if he's given space, but he's not the most dynamic shooter as he employs more of a set shot.

    Doncic doesn't have the longest strides to the rim and continuing to improve as a finisher versus length on straight line drives will be important. In addition to spot shooting and attacking closeouts, Doncic also adds some value as an offensive rebounder and cutter. He knows how to play off of stars like Sergio Llull and has done a nice job of doing the little things that impact winning both for Real Madrid and Slovenia.
    Whom does he guard?

    Doncic is probably best guarding traditional 2s and 3s at the NBA level given his size. Most questions about Doncic's on-ball defense are blown out of proportion, as he has good feet for his size, generates force fairly quickly in a lateral sense, plays very competitively and does a great job anticipating his opponent's initial move.

    He's excellent at keeping the ball pinned to the sideline in pick-and-roll situations and defends like a player who has competed in high-level games for the past few years. With that said, Doncic's size slows him down vs. point guards and shifty shooting guards, and his body type does hurt his ability to get skinny over middle ball screens. He can also do a better job of directing the ball in those situations. He does great work using his strength to recover, and works hard to get back into the play. His feel, strength and solid positional reach will certainly make him at the least an average defender vs. wings, and he has the tools to even slide up to the small-ball 4 spot for stretches.

    Off the ball, Doncic is active and competitive, bumping cutters and crashing the defensive glass with authority. He's physical and has a lot of experience for his age, which puts him far ahead of a lot of the other collegiate prospects who have developed bad habits from being the star of their AAU and high school basketball teams. He can chase opposing guards like Bogdan Bogdanovic around screens while having an impact at the rim as a weakside defender. Like any 18-year-old he does have his occasional lapses, most notably helping off of strong side corner shooters on penetration. But his elite positional rebounding helps cover up some of the athletic and length limitations that he might have, and will allow him to play a fair amount of 4 down the road.

    It's natural to question the defensive upside of European guard/wing prospects, especially given how strong and athletic those positions are in the NBA, but Doncic has proven that he has the tools and mentality to at least be adequate and more than just a one-sided player.

    Telling stat: Fourth in defensive win shares, but only 1.2 steals per 40 minutes.
    Mentality

    Growing up as a childhood prodigy, Doncic has always wanted the ball in his hands. He has very little fear late in the game and plays with the poise of a 10-year veteran. His first shot in the Eurobasket final versus Serbia? A 30-foot pull-up 3 with 18 seconds on the shot clock. Doncic certainly isn't lacking confidence.

    He doesn't get sped up versus ball pressure and is comfortable combating high-level athletes with his decision making. Although he can be a bit overly emotional on the floor, Doncic's passion is usually channeled in a positive manner.

    Given Doncic's combination of extreme confidence, positional size and skill, his floor is as high as any elite European prospect in recent memory.
    Looking forward

    If his Eurobasket performance wasn't enough, Doncic will have an excellent opportunity to further prove himself with Real Madrid next season.

    Sergio Llull will miss the season because of a torn ACL, opening the door for Doncic to have an even bigger role, playing more with the ball and being asked to score with greater volume. Doncic has a chance to become one of the most productive 18- or 19-year-old Euroleague/ACB players of all time, proving himself as the draft's most accomplished prospect.

    Players like Mohamed Bamba, DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and Michael Porter might have more upside in a traditional sense than Doncic, but none are as proven and versatile. We'll learn more about the top high school prospects in the nation as the collegiate season progresses, but Doncic showed us at Eurobasket that he can produce like a veteran, even against NBA-level talent.
     
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