Still so young, but Luka Doncic is proving to be a world-class talent. In his first 55 games, the Slovenian small forward is averaging 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steal on 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 34.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
He’s the far-and-away favorite to win Rookie of The Year and is almost single-handedly leading the Mavericks to a respectable record in the West.
The Hawks had the chance to select him this past summer but instead chose to swap him for Trae Young. Most would be regretting that decision, but the Hawks did it for a reason, as explained by Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk in a recent appearance on The Woj Pod.
“Not a lot of people know this…if we stayed at 3, we would have taken Luka. We had worked with his agent, he did a physical with us that morning in New York…but then Dallas came in an hour or so before the draft. I told them all along that it would take another lottery pick for us to slide back, and that’s when the conversations got started,” Schlenk said.
Ultimately, it was that extra 2020 pick that sold the Hawks on making the deal. Thing is, that pick is Top-5 protected. So, with Dallas holding the ninth worst record in the West, it’ll likely go to Atlanta, but it won’t be very high.
It’ll be interesting to see who the Hawks take if they end up with the pick and if it’ll be enough to validate their decision to give up Luka.