NBA

The Next Generational Talent

When you ask basketball fans of the modern era in regards to the best player of all time, you usually get one unanimous answer.  The majority of fans that have followed basketball since the start of the current millennium would agree that LeBron James is number one.  Now that he has reached his mid 30’s, people wondered when they would see the next generational talent. In June of 2018, the Hawks traded the draft rights of Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young and a future first round pick.  Through his 1+ years in the association, Doncic has put up numbers that are very comparable to LeBron and possibly even better. During the King’s rookie season in 2003-2004, he averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per contest, while shooting 29% from distance, 43.8% inside the arc, and 75.4% at the stripe.  Last year, Luka averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per contest, while shooting 32.7% from beyond the arc, 50.3% inside the arc, and 71.3% at the free throw line. As you can see, every single one of those statistical categories favors Doncic outside of free throw percentage. Fast forward to year two and you’ll find him making a case for most improved player of the year or even the most valuable player of the year.  Through the first 18 games of the season, Doncic is nearly posting a triple double, which includes 30.8 points (on 32.5% from 3, 62.6% from 2, and 82.6% at the stripe), 9.9 rebounds, and 9.6 assists. All of these statistics trump LeBron’s sophomore numbers outside of three point percentage. Am I trying to make the case that Doncic is currently a better player than James? Absolutely not. Am I trying to make the case that Doncic has the potential to parallel the King’s career success?  Absolutely. Only 20 years young, he still has his whole career ahead of him.  If Doncic continues to develop his three point shot, he may not have a single flaw in his game, which would be completely unfathomable.  Having a sidekick in fellow European migrant Kristaps Porzingis will only help his development. With all of this being said, will Luka Doncic have a more successful career than  LeBron James or will the king stay king?            

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