Luka Doncic gets real on European connection after Mavericks add Nicolo Melli
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks got a new European addition to their line-up right before the trade deadline expired in Nicolo Melli. The stretch big man from Italy was part of the move that brought sharpshooter JJ Redick to the Mavericks in exchange for James Johnson and Wes Iwundu.
Doncic, who hails from Slovenia, is more than happy to have another teammate from the other side of the world (via Callie Caplan of Dallas News).
Luka on new teammate Nicolo Melli: "I know Europeans connect better, but he's a good person for the locker room."
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) March 30, 2021
If Doncic’s statement is indeed true, then the Mavericks should expect a ton of these good connections on the floor now that they have a handful of European stars on the squad. Aside from Doncic and Melli, the Mavericks also have a Latvian in Kristaps Porzingis, a German in Maxi Kleber, and their go-to Serbian in Boban Marjanovic. Now that’s one lengthy five-man crew.
Melli spent his first one and a half seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, serving as a reserve who can stretch the floor with his long-range shooting. Though his career hasn’t really soared in the NBA, the top scorer of the 2018 EuroLeague Finals is looking forward to joining his fellow Europeans and make an impact for coach Rick Carlisle as the Mavericks try to book a trip back to the NBA Playoffs.
The 30-year-old Melli made his debut for the Mavericks on Monday as they visited the Oklahoma City Thunder. He came off the bench and logged in 11 minutes, finishing with six points and three rebounds in their 127-106 blowout win. Luka Doncic, meanwhile, had 25 points, three boards, and seven assists, as they improved to 24-21.