Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic should not just win ROY, it should be unanimous

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Trae Young (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Trae Young (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

With the NBA Awards Show taking place tonight, people have been revisiting the Rookie of the Year “race” between the Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. Yes, they are still calling it a race.

The thing is, Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the NBA. When the Dallas Mavericks drafted him, they knew they were investing in a player that could be the future face of the team. They saw success from his time in the EuroLeague and there were clear signs that he could be great.

Not many truly expected his success to hit so hard and so fast. Luka was very nearly an NBA All-Star this year and plenty of experts made an argument that he probably could have been. It didn’t happen this year, but very few can see a future where Luka is not a perennial All-Star.

This post is not meant to be a slight towards Trae Young or even towards Deandre Ayton. Both rookies had really good years and could be in the conversation in a normal year where the best rookie isn’t a generational talent. Young and Ayton both have what appear to be great careers ahead of them. But Luka is on another level still.

This was one of the better rookie classes the NBA has had in a little while. From Luka, Trae and Ayton to Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Landry Shamet and Collin Sexton, the class is looking awfully good going forward.

The issue is, Luka came into the league understanding professional basketball. You can see it in a lot of his decision making, his shot selection, his IQ and his overall flow of the game. He does not let other people dictate his pace and he knows how to get where he wants to go without being supremely athletic. There is a fair argument that Luka is not a true rookie, but I think at 19 most of the season, he deserves to win the award.

In many races, I think you can make an argument for multiple different guys to win the award. Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like the best player in the league, but James Harden put together a full season of offense that hasn’t been matched in nearly 15 years. The only players that have scored more points in a single season than Harden did this year are Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo.

This race isn’t close like that one is. Luka outclassed Trae in nearly every statistical measurement. Aside from assists and free throw percentage, Trae really doesn’t have anything else to point to that could give him the edge over Luka.

Next. NBA Awards Show: How to watch, award nominess, etc.

This award should be won unanimously for Luka. Voters shouldn’t feel bad about it because Young has a great career ahead of him, but if this is going to be some kind of rivalry going forward, round one is definitely going to Luka Doncic. The official verdict will be out later tonight.