As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honour some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season. European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today we take a closer look at our 7th pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
7. Luka Doncic (current team: Dallas Mavericks) Age: 21
First of all, we’ve put Doncic at 7th in our ranking because he has only played two seasons in the NBA thus far. If Doncic would have been in the league for a longer period of time, he might have been at first place, because what he has shown us in the past two years, has probably never been seen before.
Doncic was born in Slovenia in 1999. On April 30, 2015, Doncic became the youngest player to debut with Real Madrid in the Liga ACB, at the age of 16 years. In his final season with Real Madrid, he became the Euroleague MVP and the Spanish League MVP, which is exceptional.
At the age of 19, Doncic got selected third in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. On draft night, the Hawks swapped Doncic for Trae Young, who got picked 5th by the Dallas Mavericks. Coach Rick Carlisle wanted Doncic very badly. The move would never be regretted by the Mavs, as Doncic showed off in his first year in Dallas, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2019. In his first year as an NBA player, Doncic recorded 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 6.0 APG. His second season in Dallas was even more extraordinary, averaging 28.7 PPG, 9.3 APG and 8.7 APG, making him a top 5 player in the MVP ladder.
In his first two years, Doncic has been compared to Lebron James. Statistically, Doncic has even better numbers than Lebron James. Doncic literally has everyting. He is extremely versatile, as he shoots the ball well, has great court vision and has a strong drive to the rim. Doncic made his first appearance as an NBA all-star in the 2020 season.
If Doncic plans to stay with Dallas for a long time -Luka loves where he is right now- the Mavericks have a great chance of winning an NBA Championship in the next decade. He has all the skills to follow the footsteps of All-Time Great Dirk Nowitzki.