Luka Doncic has had one of the most impressive rookie seasons the NBA has ever seen and the Dallas Mavericks have been the beneficiaries to a lot of publicity for it. The thing is, Luka is just as good as advertised.
The Dallas Mavericks have been really lucky this year. Maybe luck isn’t the best word to describe what the Mavs have been able to put together. Between drafting the obvious best rookie in the class to trading for a one-of-a-kind talent to clearing enough cap space for a max contract this summer, the Mavericks have made all the right moves.
Since we are talking about the best rookie of the past decade, it is necessary that we quash the rumors that Luka Doncic has yet to outclass the rest of his rookie counterparts in the 2018 class. First off, yes, Trae Young has at least made this Rookie of the Year award interesting. If Luka did not play anymore games the rest of the year and Trae went crazy, there could be a case.
Anything short of that and Luka is the undisputed ROY. Even with that, I think he would still win by a slightly narrower margin. This should not deter you from recognizing game as game. Trae Young has had a really impressive rookie season. Any other year, he would be in the conversation and I think he would’ve won the award in at least 5 of the past 10 years.
His numbers since the beginning of the year are nothing short of impressive. He is already an elite passer and becoming one of the better scorers across the league. Obviously the main issue with his game is that Atlanta may be better off if Young never crossed onto the defensive end of the court. Based on advanced defensive statistics, Young is considered possibly the worst defender in the NBA.
Luka, on the other hand, is considered a relatively average defender by league standards, which is actually better than he was projected to be by NBA scouts. Aside from that, Luka leads Trae in most basic and advanced statistical measurements. Trae Young has had a memorable rookie season. Luka has had an unforgettable one.
Let’s jump into the big reasons that Luka Doncic should be considered the best rookie the NBA has seen in at least the last 10 years.
Next: The "Slump"