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Mavs’ Donnie Nelson likens Luka Doncic’s basketball DNA to Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson

Donnie Nelson, Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson

With Dallas Mavericks reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic set to enter what is highly expected to be another tremendous campaign with the Mavs, team general manager Donnie Nelson has described exactly why he considers the 19-year-old to be such a special player.

According to the high-ranking executive, Doncic has the makings of some of the greatest playmakers the league has ever seen. This is via Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

Nelson said Doncic has DNA like [Jason] Kidd or Magic Johnson because of his blend of vision and mind-set. Doncic is a transcendent playmaker who manipulates defenders with his eyes and body, and then delivers passes in every direction all over the court with precision. There’s a Larry Bird–like quality to him: He’s not overly athletic, but his passing skills and instincts are already elite and could someday reach an all-time level.

That’s some extremely high praise right there, and for Doncic, it is an absolute honor to be named in the same breath as these Hall of Famers.

Nelson went on to say that Doncic has the innate ability to lift the level of play of everyone around him — something that the Mavs consider to be one of his greatest assets.

“That’s why we’re so excited about him,” Nelson continued. “The ability to make his teammates better is not only his greatest strength but also where he gets his greatest joy.”

In what was nothing short of an historic rookie campaign, Doncic averaged 21.2 points (on 42.7 percent shooting), 7.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.1 steals, while also knocking down 2.3 three-pointers per ballgame on a 32.7-percent clip. More of the same is expected of the Slovenian national this season, and with the returning Kristaps Porzingis playing alongside him, the future is indeed bright for Dallas.