LUKA DONCIC

BIRTHDATE: 2/28/99

POSITION: Basketball Player

HEIGHT: 6'8"

WEIGHT: 220 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Real Madrid (Spain)

NATIONALITY: Slovenian

STRENGTHS

Excellent feel for the game - Extremely High IQ for a teenager

Versatility - Can play up to 4 positions on and off the ball; Triple double threat

Good shooter - Has an effortless high arching stroke with NBA shooting range

Court Vision - Makes every pass and sees the entire floor

Active Motor - Plays hard and with a passion

Attacks glass - Loves to rebound and push the ball ahead

Can lead or finish fast breaks - Displays good end to end speed in open court, 

Strong frame - Physically mature for his age, has broad shoulders and is not afraid of contact

Crafty scorer - Can score on 3 levels, long range, mid range and at him. Also has taken classes from Sergio Llul school of craftiness

Plays with great pace - Plays with a great pace, poise and patience. Especially in P&R

Star Quality - Has a flare and flash to his game that will make him a big star

Toughness - Does not back down from competition.

Confidence- Very confident in his abilities and fearless. He KNOWS he belongs on the floor despite his age

Advanced Ball handling - Shifty ball handler, who understands how to use his dribble to create space on shot or to get to rim

Mid Range Game - Can shoot the mid range pull up jumper or floater depending what the defense gives

WEAKNESSES

Athleticism- Good, but not elite level NBA athlete, this is just nitpicking and not a major concern

Finishing at rim vs NBA rim protectors -  Will he be able to finish in traffic at NBA level?

Defending quicker, more athletic players - Many question his foot speed and ability to defend elite level wings

Turnovers - Has a tendency to get sloppy with the ball from time to time by forcing passes

Shot selection - His big time self confidence can sometimes lead to taking tough contested step back 3's

First Step - Lacks great bursts on his first step

SUMMARY

I'm a big fan of Doncic's game and his upside as a triple double threat on the NBA level. I was impressed with him last year playing as a 17 year old in the EuroLeague, but I've been even more impressed with his play this summer at EuroBasket2017. He's showing scouts why he should be considered for the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft with his shooting, versatility and toughness. Donic is simply a basketball player, with his jack of all trades skillset,  it's unfair to label him by a position such guard or forward. I believe he can play positions 1-4 but would be most dangerous closing games as a small ball 4 that spreads the floor and pushes the ball ahead for transition opportunities on missed shots.

 

Despite his age, he plays with the poise and patience of a crafty 10 year veteran. Whether its putting the defender in jail on pick & rolls, knowing when to attack a big man in foul trouble or making the right reads, Doncic always seems to be making the right plays the lead to winning games.

 

Offensively, he's a weapon in transition, spotting up, mid range, in ball screens and creating off the dribble. It's clearly obvious he's studied at the Goran Dragic and Sergio Llul's point guard school of attacking defenders and has implemented pieces of their games to his arsenal. His downhill, fast pace, physical and attacking style of play will be a tough cover for smaller guards and slower bigs who have switched on ball screens. One of the things I've noticed is Doncic has been getting really "dancy and shifty" with the ball lately, using his advanced handle to create space to get his shot off or to get to the rim.

On the defensive end he competes and makes good efforts, especially to crash the glass where he likes to grab rebounds and go. Because he fights so hard on the glass he has a tendency to be out of position or leave shooters open but he seems to have a good understanding of how to defend since he's been playing with experienced pros opposed to AAU games. There are some questions about his foot speed and ability to defend elite level athletes, but I feel he makes up for it with his effort.

 

It's really difficult to point out Doncic's best attribute because he's good in so many areas. You can make a case and say his IQ, instincts, feel for the game and passing are better than his ability to put the ball in the basket. On the other hand you can say his potential as a shooter and floor spacer could be his best weapon going forward in today's NBA. If you're a team owner you love his competitive fire, highlight reel passes and the thousands of Doncic jerseys in your team colors that will be sold in Slovenia and across Europe.

RAFAEL BARLOWE - SEPTEMBER 13, 2017