When the Dallas Mavericks acquired Luka Doncic from the Atlanta Hawks for Trae Young on draft night in 2018, they knew they were getting a special talent. However, no one could have predicted him being a possible once-in-a-generation player like LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
Doncic has taken the NBA by storm in Dallas and is one of the best players in the league at 22. Although he hasn’t won a playoff series yet, Luka Legend has made NBA history by entering an exclusive group that includes LeBron and Magic.
Luka Doncic joins LeBron James, Magic Johnson in triple-double club
Doncic and the Mavericks snapped the Memphis Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak on January 14 to improve to 23-19 on the season. The do-it-all point-forward finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists while shooting 12-of-22 from the field.
Doncic now has 40 triple-doubles in his career. He’s the youngest player in NBA history to record 40 career triple-doubles and one of 11 players to rack up 40 triple-doubles, joining Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson, Magic, Jason Kidd, LeBron, Wilt Chamberlain, James Harden, Nikola Jokic, Larry Bird, and Fat Lever.
Magic and Robertson were big guards who could score, rebound and pass at a high level. LeBron is arguably the greatest all-around player ever since he’s the only player in NBA history to rank top-10 all-time in points and assists. Doncic’s game is very similar to the three icons mentioned above, and if he remains healthy, he will undoubtedly join them in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame one day.
Luka Doncic is already building a Hall of Fame résumé
Doncic has career averages of 25.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 7.8 assists. He won the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Award and has made two All-Star and two All-NBA teams.
The Mavericks are fortunate Doncic is their new franchise player in the post-Dirk Nowitzki era. The Wonder Boy is the only player in NBA history with over 20 triple-doubles at the age of 21 or younger. He’s also been lethal in the 13 postseason games he’s appeared in, averaging 33.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.3 assists.
Despite Doncic being a superstar, the Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series with him. Although he plays like LeBron and Magic, Doncic has a long way to go before we can put him in the same class as LBJ and Magic, two of the greatest players of all time who achieved individual and team success.
The good news is that Doncic is only in his fourth season. While Magic was fortunate enough to win a championship as a rookie, it’s worth mentioning that LeBron didn’t capture his first title until his ninth season.
However, the Mavericks need to surround Doncic with more talent so they don’t lose him like the Cleveland Cavaliers lost LeBron in 2010.
Clock is ticking on the Mavericks to avoid another LeBron James situation
LeBron left the Cavaliers in the summer of 2010 to play with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat. He won his first two championships in South Beach after never having a proper supporting cast in Cleveland.
While Doncic does have Kristaps Porzingis, the All-Star big man isn’t a superstar, and in today’s NBA, you need at least two superstars on one team to contend for a championship. With that said, the Mavericks need another star on the roster next to Doncic and Porzingis to seriously contend for a title.
Otherwise, they run the risk of losing Doncic once his current contract ends in 2017, just like how the Cavaliers lost LeBron in 2010.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference