Donnie Nelson Talks Mavs’ Draft, Doncic, Trades

The Mavericks have been keeping tabs on Luka Doncic and GM Donnie Nelson believes the 19-year-old is a special player, as the executive said on KTCK 1310AM The Ticket (via SportsDay). However, Nelson doesn’t expect Doncic to come in and play at a high level immediately.

“Whether you’re Luka Doncic, or when we first drafted [Dirk Nowitzki],” Nelson explained. “Dirk was young at the time, maybe a year older, but you’re wanting to come over when you’re physically ready and when you can make an impact. Even after Dirk made his commitment in year one that’s when he was getting thrown around like a rag doll and still maturing physically.

“…It took Dirk two years and he’s arguably the greatest player to ever come over. So if he would’ve had to do it all over would he have another year to put under his belt and experience? That’s really a question for him… The 2s and the 3s in this league are killers. There definitely will be a period of adjustment.”

Nelson said “pretty much” everyone has Deandre Ayton at the top of the draft, adding that he feels there are a “number of players” well past the No. 5 spot that the Mavs feel good about. While rumors of Dallas trading their first-round pick have been circulating, it doesn’t sound like the team plans on making a move.

“I don’t think we’ll look to trade out of the draft,” Nelson said. “We’re excited about the young nucleus with Dennis Smith, and obviously Harrison [Barnes] kind of grabbing the torch and providing the leadership role that Dirk has provided over the years. We’re excited about getting another young, impact guy we can add to the mix.”

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