The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a blockbuster trade during the 2018 NBA Draft that forever changed the course of their franchise. They were tied for the third-worst record in the league with the Atlanta Hawks, but Dallas won a tiebreaker before the lottery to have the third-best odds. It turned out that Atlanta jumped to third on lottery night, and Dallas fell to fifth. The Mavs had their eye on Luka Doncic, and they were willing to do whatever it took to acquire the teenage superstar.
Dallas had to trade up to third to select Doncic. The Hawks dropped back two spots, picked up a lottery pick in 2019, and drafted Trae Young with the fifth pick. Fans will remember the draft night photos of Luka wearing a Hawks hat. He was always headed to Dallas, but the NBA does not allow trades to be finalized until after draft night, so technically, the Mavericks selected Trae Young.
The trade forever bonds Doncic and Young, and they both quickly became superstars. After four NBA seasons, both have reached the conference finals and made multiple All-Star appearances. With their next matchup ahead, here is a timeline of Luka and Trae crossing paths.
Dallas Mavericks trading up on draft night forever bonds Luka Doncic and Trae Young
The trade is the start of this story. Doncic played for Real Madrid in Europe, and Young grew up in Oklahoma. The Hawks star was a late bloomer that was ranked 20th coming out of high school, but it took just one dominant year in college for Young to become a top-five pick.
Both play point guard and are known for their offensive ability. They are two of the best passers in the NBA and each struggles on the defensive end of the floor.
Luka Doncic and Trae Young are the two best players from their draft class so far, and the trade is just the first thing that linked the young superstars. It was clear from their rookie seasons that both would be special.