Luka Doncic has yet to play a single game on American soil after missing the entirety of the Summer League, but the Dallas Mavs rookie is quickly becoming the best player in pickup games at the team's practice facility, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
While his resume says so very clearly, Doncic was far and away the most NBA-ready player this 2018 NBA Draft had to offer, having played three seasons as a professional in Spain and becoming the most decorated player to ever come out of the EuroLeague, even at the ripe age of 19.
The word out of Dallas is that Doncic has often been the best player on the court in pickup games at the Mavs' facility despite not being in great shape by NBA standards,” said MacMahon, who covers the Mavs throughout the NBA season. “And before you make a crack about the Mavs' talent or lack thereof, these games have included local products like LaMarcus Aldridge. Doncic, a special passer, is the most accomplished Euro teen ever and has a huge advantage over other rookies because he arrives in the NBA as a seasoned pro.
While his age is on par with other freshmen talent like DeAndre Ayton, Trae Young, and Jaren Jackson Jr., Doncic has been playing professionally since age 16, banging bodies with seasoned veterans who weigh plenty more and have fully developed their musculature.
Not only did Doncic play, but he also thrived at the pro level, leading Slovenia to its first international basketball title by taking down Euro monsters like France, Spain, and Serbia.
Doncic could have nearly missed the NBA Draft, but it wasn't due to any dull excuse, but he was rather busy becoming the youngest EuroLeague MVP after leading Real Madrid to the title.
While the point forward will need to make a few adjustments with the pace of the league, it's no surprise that he's already equipped with the right mentality of a professional.