Before he entered the league in 2018, most people had doubts Luka Doncic could ever find success in the NBA. When he became a member of the Dallas Mavericks, he did everything to prove his doubters wrong and showed them that he really belongs in the NBA. In just two years of playing, Doncic accomplished plenty of achievements, like being named Rookie of the Year and earning his first All-Star recognition.
With his explosive performance almost every night, it’s no longer surprising that Doncic is catching the attention of some of the best active players in the league, including two-time champion and Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant. In a recent appearance on The Boardroom: Out of Office podcast (via Apple Podcasts), Durant shared his assessment of the Slovenian superstar.
“I think he’s built to be a star for sure,” Durant said, as transcribed by Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. “I think he understands who he is, how he wants to play, and what the future holds for him. Now what that looks like on the marketing side, I think Steve (Stoute) can answer that a little bit better, but as a talent in the NBA? He transcends a lot of things because at that age, to be that smart and to be that polished it’s just rare.”
As of now, there’s no doubt that Doncic is taking the right path to becoming a legitimate superstar in the league. Though it’s just his second season, he’s already playing like a veteran with plenty of experience. Compared to other players from his draft class, Doncic is clearly on a different level and has already shown his capability to lead a franchise.
In 61 games he played during the regular season, the 21-year-old shooting guard posted incredible numbers, averaging 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.0 steal while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. If he continues improving his performance and quickly addresses some flaws in his game, it won’t take long before he reaches or even surpasses the level of Durant.
While Durant is sidelined for the entire season due to injury, Doncic is currently leading the Mavericks in their first-round matchup against the Western Conference title favorites Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 Playoffs. After failing to secure a victory in Game 5, the Mavericks need to engage in a do-or-die game against the Clippers on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.