Luka Doncic has the basketball world buzzing thanks to his Euroleague exploits for the Slovenian national team—momentum that could, it seems, vault him atop the NBA’s draft boards.
The 6’7″ 18-year-old is already considered a top-five prospect, but following his detonation against Kristaps Porzingis and the Latvian national team, one league executive told Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman that Doncic could feasibly end up usurping No. 1 candidates like Michael Porter and Marvin Bagley:
Doncic, who went for 27 points and nine rebounds against Latvia, is building confidence in scouts and momentum in the debate as the No. 1 overall draft pick for 2018.
“Yes, 100 percent,” said the executive when asked if Doncic could go first. “His game is leap years above anyone. Continues to shine and impress.”
Rolling with Doncic over Porter specifically would be weird—a patented risk. As many have pointed out ad nauseam, Doncic doesn’t blow you away with lightning-quick speed or explosion. He is brains and craftiness and hustle. Porter, right now, looks like the more dare-to-be-great prospect.
Still, the notion is not ridiculous. Doncic is a 6’7″ wing who can shoot, bring the ball up the floor and even make some noise on the glass. As the positionless movement at the pro level reaches its apex, commodities like him are the ideal acquisitions. And while there will be those who are concerned about his defense, he’s shown he can hang with opposing wings in Euroleague using anticipation and space to his advantage. Translating that to the NBA is a whole different undertaking, but when you look at his guaranteed offensive pizzazz, and then take stock of the league’s direction, it’s not hard to see why Doncic is generating this kind of fanfare.