The NBA held its annual rookie survey where they polled 36 first-year players about everything under the basketball sun. One of the survey questions asked which of their peers would have the best career.
Take a look at which name is missing from this list:
You’re telling me Jerome Robinson and Troy Brown Jr. will have better NBA careers than Luka Doncic?!
Well, hold on. This actually kinda makes sense
Why do rookies think Wendell Carter Jr., then Kevin Knox, will have the best NBA careers and not Marvin Bagley III or Deandre Ayton? That’s because Carter and Knox dogged in Summer League, and while Ayton and Bagley weren’t terrible, they weren’t outstanding, either.
That’s where Luka Doncic’s stick is short: Not only did he not play in Summer League — thank international contract buyouts for that one — but he didn’t play college basketball in the United States, either. How are his counterparts supposed to vote Doncic as having the best career when many haven’t really seen him play?
That’s like ordering the only thing written in French on the menu. It probably tastes pretty damn good — it is written in a romantic language after all — but unless you’ve spent time studying the language, you have no clue what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll probably just order chicken wings and fries, or something else you’ve ordered a million times.
But zero votes is still pretty disrespectful.
You only need to watch a few YouTube highlights to understand what Doncic can do with a basketball in his hands. He’s a 6’7 forward with point guard skills. He’s played and succeeded against some of the toughest international competition. If you don’t think playing in the Euroleague is comparable to playing against NCAA competition, you’re wrong.
The Mavericks traded pick No. 5 and next year’s top-five protected first-rounder for Doncic for a reason. He could be a once-in-a-generation type of talent, one Dallas simply couldn’t pass up, and there probably isn’t a franchise better than the Mavericks to mold him into the star many project him to be.
That’s why Doncic did, in fact, receive votes from his peers that ranked him tied for third-most likely to win Rookie of the Year.
He also got votes for best playmaker:
The jury is still out on Doncic, and we’ll see exactly what the rookie is made of when the Mavericks start with their preseason schedule. We don’t know how his career will pan out, and he could be a bust. But he could also become one of the better, if not the best player in this draft class.
Only time will tell. Now, Doncic has a little fuel to add to his fire.