Coach Rick Carlisle is telling Dallas fans that they’ve got something special in rookie Luka Doncic, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The Mavericks have been thrilled about the 19-year-old’s potential ever since they were able to engineer a deal with the Hawks to acquire the No. 3 pick. That excitement grew last week as Doncic was in town to play pickup games with a few of his teammates.
“Off of what I’ve seen over the last two days,” Carlisle said, “anybody who doesn’t jump on season tickets now is going to sorely regret it later, that’s all I’ll say.”
Doncic was among the most celebrated players in Europe before entering this year’s draft, being named EuroLeague Most Valuable Player and winning the league’s Final Four MVP honors last season. J.J. Barea, who was among the players at the pickup sessions, came away impressed with his new partner in the Mavericks’ backcourt.
“He’s not quick, but he’s going to play at a good pace, always under control,” Barea said. “He’s tall and can pass over people. He’s a great passer. And he can shoot it, too, so you’ve got to guard him.”
There’s more tonight from Dallas:
- The Mavericks gave second-round pick Ray Spalding a four-year contract, but he’ll probably have to prove himself in the G League this season, Sefko writes in a player profile. The 56th player selected, Spalding will be stuck behind free agent addition DeAndre Jordan and a host of veteran big men on the Mavericks’ depth chart.
- Two-way player Kostas Antetokounmpo has a long way to go to catch up with his famous brother, Sefko notes in another profile. He will be limited to 45 days in the NBA if he remains on the two-way deal. Like Giannis, Kostas possesses tremendous athleticism, but Sefko states that he will have to get stronger and improve his offense to become an effective NBA player.
- Dallas thinks Jalen Brunson might be the steal of the second round, but playing time could be an issue, Sefko adds in a separate piece. The reigning Wooden Award winner is stuck behind Doncic and Dennis Smith as the starting backcourt and will compete for minutes with Barea and Wesley Matthews.