After he was selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Luka Doncic immediately made his presence felt in the league. After winning the Rookie of the Year award last year, Doncic continues to step up his game in his sophomore season where he is currently averaging 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 46.1 percent shooting the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc. Though he’s still not viewed on the same level as other 2020 MVP candidates like LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, it could already be a huge accomplishment for the 21-year-old Slovenian superstar to be in the conversation to win the prestigious award.
However, it may only be a matter of time before Doncic earns his first Most Valuable Player award. Recently, ESPN NBA insiders discussed several topics, including who they believe would be the “next first-time winner” of the Most Valuable Player Award. Unsurprisingly, the five ESPN insiders all mentioned Doncic’s name.
“At the risk of being accused of local bias: Luka Doncic,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said. “Not that it’s a controversial pick. The kid couldn’t even legally buy a beer in the United States until February, and he’s already flirting with averaging a triple-double for a playoff team. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, particularly with his 3-point shot (31.8%) and continued chemistry development with co-star Kristaps Porzingis, and the Mavericks might be a piece or two away from being bona fide contenders.”
Aside from the continuous improvement with his performance on both ends of the floor, Doncic could further strengthen his chance of winning the Most Valuable Player award if he carries the Mavericks to the NBA Finals and ends their years of title drought. However, as MacMahon noted, the Mavericks should also do their part in turning the team into a legitimate title contender by surrounding Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis with more star power.
Meanwhile, three of the five ESPN NBA insiders also named Anthony Davis as a potential candidate to become the “next first-time MVP winner.” Like Doncic, Davis also continues to establish an incredible performance on both ends of the floor, and as of now, his current team, the Lakers, are one of the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps believes that Doncic still has the upper hand over Davis. While Doncic is currently the main man and the face of the franchise in Dallas, most people only view Davis as the Lakers’ second-best player next to James.