Luka Doncic looks like one of the best young talents in the league, and his production certainly backs the eye test up. Over the course of the 2020-21 season, Luka Doncic put up amazing numbers, averaging 27.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 8.6 APG. While there are certain things that the young superstar can improve on, there's no question that he is at the very least a top-10 player in the NBA.
While one would expect a talent like Luka Doncic to go as the No. 1 pick in the draft, there are two teams that ended up passing on him, the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings.
When speaking on an episode of the "Getcha Popcorn Ready With T.O. and Hatch" podcast, Jerry West revealed his shock at the fact that teams ended up missing out on a generational talent like Luka Doncic. West compared teams passing on Luka Doncic to when teams passed on Kobe Bryant. (1:50)
With him (Kobe), his skill level at 18 years of age was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Everyone wants to credit me: they don't need to credit me. The other people in the league, I cannot believe to this day that they would pass on a talent like that. I cannot.
We see it happen. Luka Doncic, what was he, the 5th player in the draft? Oh my god. I can't believe that someone let him go. I can't. He was a unique kid at 15 years of age. He was competing against men in Europe... but not competing, excelling.
There's no question that Luka Doncic is a premier talent, and that he was definitely deserving of being the No. 1 pick. It's still early in Luka Doncic's career, and things could potentially change, but as of now, he certainly looks like a "can't miss" type of player.
Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has previously stated that Luka Doncic at 22 was better than him in his prime. If that is the case, then the Dallas Mavericks are certainly in luck. Dirk Nowitzki was the leading superstar on a championship team, and if Luka Doncic is already better than him then he's truly a "unique kid" just like Jerry West has said.