Dirk Nowitzki lauds Luka Doncic, but not enough to be picked No. 1 by Suns
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has seen his fair share of European talent throughout his 20-year career in the NBA, and among them, stands the new heir to this generation of Euro-phenoms in Slovenian prodigy Luka Doncic.
The 19-year-old made headlines around the world last year by winning the EuroBasket tournament, taking out powerhouses like France, Spain, and Serbia en route to the country’s first gold, showing a plethora of skill at the pro level.
Nowitzki, who hasn’t met or seen very much of Doncic, has got at least some perception on his future based on the highlight reels he’s seen over time.
“All I’ve seen was the little clips. I haven’t really seen one whole game. It seems like, to me, for a 19-year-old is really savvy. He’s already playing a great court game,” said Nowitzki according to The Ticket Sports Radio.
The German international gave his take as far as fit is concerned for a player his age, now bound to be drafted as a top-two prospect in this year’s NBA Draft.
“He’s going to be a little challenged, I think, athletically if he plays the 1. He’s got enough size to play the 2, especially now with everybody going small anyways,” said Nowitzki. “I think he’d be okay. I mean, he’s got all the game. He’s got all the mid-range. He’s got the pull-ups. He’s got the step backs. He’s great with the ball. He can run pick-and-rolls – which would suit him great here now since it’s a pick-and-roll league now anyway. I think he’s going to be great.
“But it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up, how this whole draft is going to shake out. I guess everything – besides [DeAndre] Ayton, who I think is going to go No. 1 – I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.”
There are plenty of NBA executives salivating at the possibility of drafting Doncic, yet it’s still unclear if the Suns will opt to take him or address their needs at center with Ayton. As far as Nowitzki is concerned — it is clear as water.