By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallas Mavericks point forward Luka Doncic was showered by questions during the media availability of the All-Star Weekend that takes places in Charlotte. And not all of them were about Slovenian player’s rookie season in the NBA or his participation in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Doncic played in EuroLeague for three years prior to signing with the Mavericks and actually left Europe as the reigning season MVP, Final Four MVP, Rising Star and champion of the competition. So he had a thought or two regarding which EuroLeague players could not only join an NBA team but also become starters.
“Sergio Llull… I would say, Anthony Randolph. And Nick Calathes,” Doncic answered when asked to name three players that could start on an NBA team.
Doncic picked two former teammates, Llull and Randolph, plus Panathinaikos guard Calathes. He faced the latter numerous times in EuroLeague, including the 2018 playoffs. That postseason battle between Real and Panathinaikos was also considered to be an “informal” MVP showdown between Doncic and Calathes. After all, the team that would advance to the Final Four would also determine who would win the MVP honor between the two.
While Randolph and Calathes have had NBA stints, Llull, whose rights are owned by the Houston Rockets, has yet to play in the league. Still, the Spanish star is the one that NBA GMs consider to be the “best international player outside the NBA” right now.