The Dallas Mavericks gave up a future first-round draft pick to get Luka Doncic, and the expectations are high. As such, there is hope that he can be the next superstar for the team. Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t have many years left in the NBA, and there needs to be a new face of the franchise that steps up soon. The hope is that can be Doncic.

Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson knows he needs to be careful comparing the two and putting those type of expectations on Doncic because that type of pressure can have negative effects on a player.

“Dirk and I had a long talk coming in, and that’s why I wanted to remain guarded in my comments,” Nelson said via Saad Yousuf of The Athletic. “We’re obviously very excited to have him but he’s got a very tough road ahead of him.

“Yeah, literally it seemed like yesterday and obviously when you get a guy like Dirk, of his size, the comparisons of Larry Bird roll off the tongue. Dirk wasn’t done any favors in his first two years, so we’re going to steer away from any of those comparisons. Luka is his own guy, he’s got his own challenges, it’s not going to be quick; it’s going to be a process.”

Doncic and Nowitzki are similar because they are both international players. But on the court, they are very different.

Having Nowitzki on the same team is probably going to be the best thing for Doncic because he is going to be able to teach him so much about life in the NBA.