Luka Doncic is making quite the first impression in the NBA.
Doncic, the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, has managed to exceed expectations thus far in his debut season with the Dallas Mavericks. The 19-year-old currently is averaging 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and five assists per game, and if the campaign ended today, he’d be a runaway choice for Rookie of the Year honors.
Prior to the Mavericks’ loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday, ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” panel played a round of “This Or That,” where Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce were tasked with choosing between two players. And when it came to Doncic vs. Jayson Tatum, Billups provided a somewhat surprising answer.
“Luka,” Billups said. “This is all right now. It’s a guard’s game. He can not only score, but he can pass and facilitate. I’m going Luka right now.”
It seems as though Billups’ answer is a product of some recent bias. Doncic currently is all the rage across the league, while Tatum isn’t stuffing the stat sheet like most expected him to in his sophomore season. But Doncic is a mere 37 games into his NBA tenure, while Tatum — 18.5 points per game over 19 playoff contests — already has proven himself on the postseason stage.
But at the end of the day, Doncic and Tatum are two of the NBA’s premier young talents, and you really can’t go wrong with either.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports