Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic earns 16th best player ranking from ESPN

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

ESPN has ranked their top players from 50 to 11 for the upcoming season, with Dallas Mavericks soon-to-be superstar, Luka Doncic, earning the 16th spot. Is this ranking accurate and what are his chances of moving up by end of the year?

The emergence of Luka Doncic as a top talent in the NBA happened so quickly last year that non-Dallas Mavericks fans were used to his stats by the end of the season. That is part of the reason so many convinced themselves that there was an actual race for Rookie of the Year, something the voters proved was not the case.

Luka was an impressive talent long before he made it to the NBA. After years of impressing in the EuroLeague, Luka came over with some hardware in hand, including EuroLeague MVP award, Final Four MVP award, EuroLeague title, Spanish Liga ACB MVP and Liga ACB championship. Needless to say, he is considered one of the most decorated European basketball players to ever come play in the NBA.

For these reasons, it is not too surprising that ESPN has a second year player ranked 16th overall in their top 50 player rankings. Luka put up base numbers of 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in his rookie year. In NBA history, only 13 other players have hit those numbers across a full season and only one of those 13 was a rookie as well.

There are some issues that I have with the list, both with players above and below Luka in the rankings, but overall I feel like 16 is a good spot for the young Slovenian going into just his second year. He will undoubtedly be a popular pick to move up that list if the Mavs have any semblance of success this year behind Luka and Kristaps Porzingis.

Luka is ranked right in between Kemba Walker at 17 and Ben Simmons at 15. Other names and ranks from numbers 30-11 include: Trae Young (28), De’Aaron Fox (25), Pascal Siakam (22), Donovan Mitchell (20), Karl-Anthony Towns (18), CJ McCollum (13) and Russell Westbrook (12).

One key for Luka to hit this ranking and surpass it in years to come will actually be his play with Porzingis. The reason this will play so heavily into it is because the team’s success on his shoulders is going to play a part in how he is viewed around the league. Porzingis will take a little away initially, but will add a whole lot more in the long run.

Next. ESPN ranks Kristaps Porzingis as 34th best player in NBA

Dallas Mavericks basketball is less than two weeks away and the regular season starts in less than a month. We are all ready to see what Luka, Kristaps and the rest of the team have done this summer and, more importantly, what they are going to do in the upcoming NBA season. It’s time to get excited, MFFLs.