After a spectacular rookie season, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic should carry that momentum into the 2019-20 campaign.
The Slovenian prodigy completely exceeded expectations after being drafted third by the Atlanta Hawks and immediately traded to Dallas for Trae Young.
During the season, Doncic averaged 21.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 6.0 assists per game. Those numbers place Doncic in an elite category of rookies to achieve the 20-5-5 benchmark. Doncic became the fifth player to achieve those numbers, placing him with the likes of Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Tyreke Evans.
Next season, Doncic should be even better because he will have an offseason to work on his game and develop chemistry with his teammates. Kristaps Porzingis, the Latvian big man acquired from the New York Knicks, will finally be healthy to begin the season which gives Doncic an All-Star caliber player to play with.
Porzingis is both a shooter and shot blocker. In the 2017-18 season Kristaps averaged 22.7 points per game and 2.4 blocks per game. The pair is capable of forming an elite pick-and-roll tandem with Doncic’s spectacular court vision and Porzingis’s ability to knock down the jumper or drive to the basket. Although team record isn’t always the main factor when considering players for the All-Star team, Doncic will have a better team around him just with the healthy Porzingis alone.
Besides Porzingis, the Mavericks will have enough cap space to add another star or solid role player during the offseason. One potential option could be fellow European Nikola Vucevic, who made the All-Star team this season and led the Orlando Magic to the playoffs. If the Mavericks can provide Doncic with a solid supporting cast, he will see his numbers and field goal percentage increase due to a decreased workload and better teammates to pass to. He won’t be as fatigued during the season and can contribute more to the win column.
Since the fans contribute to 50 percent of the All-Star voting process, Luka Doncic will have no problem garnering the fan vote. Doncic received over 4.2 million fan votes largely due to his popularity in his native Slovenia and his experience playing for Real Madrid in Spain. His 4.2 million votes placed him third in total voting ahead of players like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis. With a full Mavericks squad and a full offseason to prepare, Doncic should have no problem securing the fan vote portion once again.
It usually takes at least three or four seasons for players to achieve their first All-Star nod but Doncic should be receiving the honor in his sophomore year. His Mavericks should be improved from last season and may even make the playoffs. His new teammate will help him carry the burden which will lead to an increase in statistical numbers and efficiency. It is only a matter of time before Luka Doncic is among the elite of the NBA and achieving his first All-Star appearance will be the next step to greatness.