Luka Doncic Says He’s Undecided On Moving To NBA For 2018/19

Speaking to reporters at the EuroLeague Final Four Press Conference today, Real Madrid star Luka Doncic was evasive when he was asked whether the upcoming tournament will represent the end of his EuroLeague career (link via Alex Madrid of Eurohoops.net).

“I’m not sure if these are the last two [EuroLeague] games,” Doncic said. “We have yet to make this decision. Perhaps after the season.”

Doncic has formally entered the 2018 NBA draft and certainly won’t withdraw his name from this year’s draft pool, since he appears to be a lock to be a top-three pick. However, prospects who are playing professionally in Europe at the time they’re drafted often remain overseas for one or more seasons before eventually joining their NBA team.

While Doncic seemed to leave the door open to that possibility, it’s hard to know how seriously to take his comments. As ESPN’s Jonathan Givony notes (via Twitter), today’s presser took place with Real Madrid set to vie for a title in the EuroLeague Final Four — given the timing, it probably wouldn’t have been in Doncic’s best interest to talk about leaving his current team.

On the other hand, as Givony observes (via Twitter), Doncic may also be aware that he holds some leverage in terms of his draft-day landing spot. If he doesn’t want to end up with a certain NBA team, Doncic could try to scare off that team by threatening to continue playing in Spain for another year or two. While that could just be a bluff, the NBA club in question would be forced to make a tough decision.

For now, it’s probably safe to assume that Doncic will arrive stateside later this year, but it’s worth noting that it may not be a lock.

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27 thoughts on “Luka Doncic Says He’s Undecided On Moving To NBA For 2018/19

  1. Z-A

    Is he making >6M a year? If not, he’s got some prettttty dumb people in his ear. Even if he is a bust, he’s guaranteed 13M over 2 years. Most likely pick-up the 3rd yr option regardless so 22M over 3 years.

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    • mgraub00

      It’s not all about money though. Moving to a new country regardless of the financial benefit is quite a leap.

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      • Z-A

        Is he moving to Kenya? Some 3rd world country without any comforts? Lol hes going to the USA, even if its Sacramento. The only time it’s not about the money is when you’ve already got money.

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        • hiflew

          Have you ever been to Kenya? They aren’t living in huts out on the plains with the lions. They live in cities, just like everyone else.

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          • Z-A

            Lmao. Dude educate yourself and google Kibera. Right in the most populated city of Kenya – Nairobi. I’ve been to Africa, I’ve been all over the world. Some of the crappiest areas in the US would be a considered a royal palace juxtaposed to how some people live in parts of Africa.

            But that’s off-topic. He probably doesn’t want to play for Sacramento otherwise there would be no posturing. It’s no different than John Elway saying he’d rather go play baseball for the Yankees.

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              • Z-A

                You’d win that prop bet. Been to several cities in Cali, have not found a reason to go to Sacramento yet.

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    • thegutsscrambler

      If he goes to a larger market team, like let’s say the Knicks, he becomes a bigger name and recoups that money with endorsements. Either way he wins.

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  2. tatumszn2018

    This dude looks like a bust to me. Maybe if Spurs somehow got him then ok but i dont think hes changing life for Suns, Kings, Hawks or Grizzlies.

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  3. hiflew

    This just seems like a Ricky Rubio situation to me. Rubio had the same attitude whenever he was a teenage star in the Euroleague. He stayed for a year and then came over. I anticipate that a team like the Kings or the Hawks won’t really worry about that and will draft him if they think he is the best option for their roster.

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  4. OCTraveler

    NBA needs to hold a separate draft for foreign players – too many moving pieces that impact teams and US draft eligible players.

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      • OCTraveler

        OK – let’s stop tanking simply by making it a true lottery – one team/one chance of getting the first pick regardless of record. Other option – final 4 get one ball, all others 2

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  5. No matter how good you are, if you don’t wanna come I wouldn’t pick him. Why bother entering the draft then… bad attitude.

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  6. Z-A

    Doncic and his peeps were probably right there with Michael Finley’s attitude – wanted to go up and demand a recount.

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  7. Staying in the draft, and not coming here, doesn’t make much sense, unless he’s going to wait the full 3 years (so he’s not be bound by the rookie contract rules). Rubio did that, but was extremely young, and it appeared to have a lot to do with a buyout provision. If he’s in the draft, the drafting team retains his rights forever, unless they renounce, so he really needs to withdraw if it’s about not going to a particular team.

    Doncic is the best player in this draft (not close, although I’d consider picking Ayton ahead of him), but he’ll likely be the best player in the next one too, so he really can do what he wants.

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    • Agreed. He is by far the best player in the draft.

      – Darko Milicic

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      • Silly. American HS/one and dones have a much higher 1st round bust percentage than foreign players.

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    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Marvin Bagley III is the most refined one-and-done we’ve ever seen. Day 1, he’s a Top 50 player. His ceiling is an MVP-type guy.

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      • We-? I saw Kevin Durant. Bagley is a real good player, but I think his ceiling isn’t near MVP level. I would take Jackson ahead of him, but Bagley is more developed offensively and could see him at #3 no problem.

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  8. Dodgethis

    So nobody is going to point out the obvious conspiracy? Luca claims he won’t come over, suns move down to add extra picks, and select him because everyone else is sacred off. Luca then claims he was persuaded to come over right away by his former coach, now heading up the suns.

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    • Z-A

      Or the Suns could just take him #1. I don’t see anyone really trading up in this draft except the Clippers maybe, but they are too far down to trade up to #1.

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  9. adkuchan

    If he’s as good as they say, he might actually be doing the team a favor. He stays in Europe, the team that drafts him still stinks, and they get another lottery pick to help him out. To tank correctly, you need more than one good player. If he’s awesome the team might end up in 8th seed purgatory.

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  10. waldfee

    Top-three pick means either Phoenix, Sac-Town or Atlanta.

    Yeah, I’d try to stay in Madrid as long as possible, too, before going to any of these sh*tholes.

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