Luka Doncic has been picked as the best player under 25 to build around, according to 15 executives. Luka took his game to the next level this year, leading the Dallas Mavericks to have a great season, competing against one of the favorites to the title, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Michael Scotto of Hoopshype polled 15 league executives (including four general managers) to vote for the best player under 25 they'd want to build a franchise around. Doncic was the clear answer for them, earning 100% of first-place votes.
“To me, Luka is the clear No. 1,” one scout told HoopsHype. “He’s a guy who can be a lead ballhandler. He’s good enough to score and create at a high level, has the right mental makeup and is incredibly smart. He’s been a winner everywhere and will probably be a winner in the league.”
Doncic was followed by Boston’s Jayson Tatum (2nd), Phoenix Devin Booker (3rd), Ja Morant (Memphis, 4th), and a tie at fifth between Donovan Mitchell (Utah) and Bam Adebayo (Miami).
Something interesting in this list is the fact that Zion Williamson came at No. 7 in the poll. During his first season in the NBA, he left good sensations but his health will always be a topic of concern around the league.
Another thing to notice is that not even a single executive voted for Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, who was a scoring machine this season, stating that he's ready to compete, although his team isn't at the same level.
The NBA is not free of controversy and this year that notion has taken another dimension. We saw a lot of players show their talent, leading their teams to compete, and yet they were overlooked at the time of awarding the best performances of the season. It recently happened with Bradley Beal getting snubbed from the All-NBA teams and now it happened to another great talent who plays in a struggling team, Young.
Trae reacted to the poll with a single word, 'clickbait.'
The Atlanta Hawks guard has been doubted even before he made it to the league. Young has demonstrated he is the real deal and can take his team to compete. Sure, he needs help and still has to improve his defense, but with the right pieces around him, Trae's team can become a problem.