Luka Doncic 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY IN SLOVENIA
WEIGHT: 220 POUNDS
POSITION: SHOOTING GUARD/SMALL FORWARD
CLASS: NO GRADE/ NOT IN COLLEGE
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: TOP 5 PICK (HAS A CHANCE TO GO NUMBER 1 OVERALL)
There’s a good reason why Slovenian-born forward Luka Doncic, who currently plays for Real Madrid in Spain, might be the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. In fact, there’s a lot more than just one good reason.
At 6’7″, Doncic is the perfect wing player in today’s NBA, exhibiting an elite basketball IQ, the ability to score from anywhere he wants on the floor, and the court vision to set up his teammates. What makes all of this even more intriguing is the fact that he’ll only be 19 years old on draft day, meaning he has an almost immeasurable upside of talent that can still be developed. But despite his young age, and contrary to what we often see from European prospects, Doncic actually has an NBA-ready body. He’s got a wide frame with a sculpted upper and lower body that actually belies the fact that he’s barely an adult.
In fact, Doncic’s entire game belies his youth. Playing for Real Madrid, he’s already shown a rare level of polish to his game, demonstrating pro-ready moves and the body control to generate his shot from a variety of trajectory points. At this age, he already shows flashes of being able to score via mid-range jump shots, three point shots, layups, floaters, and other crafty moves that simply generate buckets.
But as mentioned, it’s his general play-making ability that has scouts buzzing over what he is, and what he could become. When he’s not creating for himself, he showcases great court vision and ball-handling skills, either setting up teammates in traffic, or breaking down a defense with his drive and kick the ball out to the open shooter. He’s often used as the primary ball handler by Real Madrid, and for good reason.
Fairly or not, European players also garner a reputation for being soft, or lacking proficiency on the defensive end of the floor. Again, Doncic bucks the trend here. Not only is he a capable defenders, showing quick hands and the instincts to jump into passing lanes to make plays, but more importantly, he shows a willingness to mix it up on that side of the floor. When it comes to defense, you can teach technique, but it’s much more difficult to teach the motivation. Doncic shows plenty of both.
The really fascinating part of Doncic’s game is that the biggest weaknesses he has as a prospect are easily fixable with coaching and more basketball experience in general. He’s still somewhat inconsistent in his mechanics when he’s taking his shots, since he’s been so used to being the primary offensive weapon. In a similar vein, because he’s so much more skilled than many of the opponents he’s played against, he has a little bit of a habit of coasting against inferior talent. Again, both of those can be rectified once he’s placed within the confines of an NBA franchise.
For all the incredibly talented prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft, there’s a reason why Doncic might be the best among this group. Or, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons.
PRO’S AND CON’S OF LUKA DONCIC’S OVERALL GAME
Prototypical size for SG/SF
Excellent basketball IQ
Tremendous passer and court vision
Is a winning and unselfish player
Good but not an elite athlete
Foot speed is a question mark
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS ARE LUKA DONCIC
Which current NBA player do you compare Luka Doncic to?
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