Luka Doncic and Trae Young forever linked: Timeline of their paths crossing

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Trae Young
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Trae Young / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Luka Doncic makes 1st playoff appearance and All-NBA team as Trae Young sits out

The Hawks were nowhere near the playoffs in 2020 after finishing 20-47 with the fourth-worst record in the NBA. It allowed Atlanta to add Onyeka Okonguwu to their talented roster, but Trae Young was just 49-100 through his first two NBA seasons.

Dallas finished 43-32 and seventh in the Western Conference as Luka Doncic made first-team All-NBA for the first time in his career. The Mavs were 3-5 during the bubble regular season games before facing the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The two teams split the first four games before Kawhi Leonard and company dominated two straight contests to advance to the second round.

Doncic showed that he can and will raise his game in the playoffs. Kristaps Porzingis suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the final three games of the series. In the first game without KP, Luka responded with a 43-point triple-double, including this iconic game-winning buzzer-beater to even the series.

The Mavericks superstar was quickly becoming one of the faces of the NBA, and there were questions about could Trae Young lead his team on a deep playoff run after their second season. Luka shined in the postseason, even as his team made a first-round exit, and Dallas looked like the significant winner in the trade.