Luka Doncic is thought to be one of the top prospects in this year’s NBA draft. But while the 19-year-old is expected to be selected with one of the first three selections, he apparently might slide if he isn’t taken No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported Sunday that NBA “decision-makers” believe the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, who own the No. 2 and No. 3 pick, respectively, would pass on Doncic if he fell to them.
“The growing consensus among NBA decision-makers in attendance at Stark Arena in Belgrade is that the teams drafting behind the Phoenix Suns at No. 1, the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are likely to pass on European prodigy in favor of American frontcourt players,” Givony writes.
The 2018 draft class is loaded with talent, and the Suns will have their pick from center Deandre Ayton, forwards Marvin Bagley III and Jaren Jackson, as well as Doncic atop the draft.
Phoenix hired head coach Igor Kokoskov, who coached Doncic for Slovenia’s national team, so there is reason to believe the Suns will take Doncic to slot in as the point guard next to star shooting guard Devin Booker.
The Kings took point guard De’Aaron Fox with the No. 5 selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, so it would make sense for them to take one of the star frontcourt players in the draft.
As for the Hawks, their roster is pretty bereft of elite NBA talent so it might behoove them to take whoever is the best player on their board, regardless of position.
Doncic has yet to make a decision on whether or not to come to the NBA this year, so all this discussion could be for naught if he elects to stay overseas.