Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently compared Luka Doncic‘s style of play and charisma to that of one the most entertaining and successful point guards in league history — Magic Johnson.
Doncic, 21, is coming off a breakout season that saw him average 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists on 46% shooting. He also led his team to the seventh-best record in the West at 43-32, losing to the Clippers 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.
“He [Doncic] can pass the ball, see from the top, get where he wants from the court. Knows how to pass to guys on time and on target,” Cuban said in an appearance on the Danger Show (as relayed by Dan Cancian of Newsweek.com).
“Clutch player in crunch time. [He] will take on responsibility against anybody, anytime. Great teammate. Fun Kid. Magic will light things up with a smile, Luka’s the same way for the Mavs. He’s got that charisma that Magic has.”
Here are some other notes from the Southwest Division tonight:
- William Guillory of The Athletic explores how much spacing could be a concern for the Pelicans this year. New Orleans has transformed its roster ahead of the 2020/21 season, hiring head coach Stan Van Gundy and his staff, inking Brandon Ingram to a multi-year extension and acquiring Steven Adams to bolster the frontcourt. The team possesses the talent needed to reach the playoffs next season, though it remains unclear whether it has enough shooting to be a legitimate contender.
- Pelicans rookie Kira Lewis Jr. is a student of the game at just 19 years old, Christian Clark of Nola.com writes. Lewis was drafted by the team with the No. 13 pick this month, having spent the past two seasons at Alabama. “He’s a student of the game,” former AAU coach Cory Underwood said. “That’s why he’s going to find a way to succeed in the NBA somehow, someway. He’s been doing things like that since he was young. A lot of guys now, you’ll find NBA guys. The Anthony Edwards thing was a big thing. He said he doesn’t watch basketball. A lot of kids don’t watch basketball. Kira Lewis watches basketball.”
- Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News examines the five biggest issues the Mavericks will face entering training camp, beginning with a pair of questions related to Kristaps Porzingis. The team still doesn’t have a concrete timetable for Porzingis’ return from injury, with team president Donnie Nelson recently giving an early-January target range for the 25-year-old. The club must also determine whether he’ll primarily play power forward or center this season.