By John Askounis/ email@example.com
In retrospective, Luka Doncic deserved a better spot than third in the 2018 NBA draft. He was named 2019 Rookie of the Year and is currently in the running for the 2020 MVP honors. The Dallas Mavericks secured his services from third place, the Phoenix Suns had first and the Sacramento Kings second.
Talking to The Athletic, the 20-year-old Slovenian admitted he was expecting the Kings to select him. “They came to Madrid (to see him play for Real Madrid and to share a dinner on June 5, 2018). They came with the owner. Everybody came, so I honestly thought they were going to pick me” recalled Doncic.
Asked if he ever understood why he fell to third place, he replied: “I mean, I think it’s because of Euroleague; it’s different basketball. I was averaging in Europe and in the Spanish League like 12 points (per game). And in Euroleague 14 (points per game). So it’s different basketball.”
An MVP candidate, but beyond that a player already improving his team’s fortunes and capable of leaving his mark in the NBA in the long run. Back in 2018 was also EuroLeague champion, MVP, Final Four MVP and back-to-back Rising Star.
The Kings picked up Marvin Bagley III and the Suns took Deandre Ayton, also the Atlanta Hawks actually selected Doncic but traded him for fifth place and Trae Young plus another selection in the first round. Players coming from the NCAA then earned the nod from the NBA organizations, but Doncic’s stellar play since seems to change the landscape and future priorities for good.