The Dallas Mavericks entered last season as a respected but easily written-off foe. Rick Carlisle departed in the offseason, and Jason Kidd took over as head coach. It was Kidd’s third opportunity, and he wore out his welcome quickly in his previous two stops. The Mavs had Luka Doncic, but the rest of their roster was not intimidating and nobody expected them to reach the conference finals.
It is why fans should never doubt Doncic. He was incredible in his first two postseason appearances, including averaging 35.7 points, 10.3 assists, and 7.9 rebounds against arguably the best perimeter defense in the league in the 2021 LA Clippers. Luka almost single-handedly knocked out Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but LA had just enough firepower in the end to win in seven games.
Winning two series, including knocking off the top-seeded Suns with a 33-point destruction in a Game 7 that was never in doubt raised Doncic’s profile among fans. Is he the best player in the world? Luka made his case and Mavs owner Mark Cuban was not shy about where he thinks Doncic ranks among the league’s elite.
Is Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic the best player in the NBA right now?
Cuban was on the Full Send podcast that dropped on July 14 where he talked about where he would rank Doncic among the NBA’s best.
"Top one or two. He's a beast. He's so good, and he's adding stuff to his game this summer. I mean, he's going to come back even better."
Luka has made first-team All-NBA for three straight years, so it is impossible to not have him in the top five, but most fans would not have him as the best. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, and Nikola Jokic are all in the running, but Luka just proved he deserves the top spot, and here is a look at why.