In the coming weeks, after the NBA Draft Combine later in may, news of workouts — what potential draftees are working out for what teams — will become news. It gives us an idea of who teams are considering, and what range particular players are likely to fall into.
Just don’t expect to hear the name Luka Doncic in that mix.
The 6’6″ point guard out of Slovenia is playing for Real Madrid this season, and playing well. The 19-year-old is averaging 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game going against grown men in the highest levels of European basketball.
Which is why you’re not going to hear about him working out for teams — his commitment to Real Madrid will tie him up until about the draft. That’s not going to keep teams away, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
“I don’t think that will be an issue,” Bill Duffy, Doncic’s agent, told Sporting News on Tuesday. “Playing in the Euroleague speaks for itself. What he has been able to do, it speaks to both the talent and preparedness for Luka. He has had a different level of experience than most of his peers. Euroleague is the next step to playing in the NBA.”
As one general manager told Sporting News, “With the video we have these days, I know what I need to know from looking at (Doncic) against other top players. Anyone who wants to pick him is going to want to talk to him, but the workout is not something that is going to keep you from picking him. I am not sure I need reels and reels more tape here.”
Doncic is a lock top five, likely top three pick in the NBA Draft this June. He is a gifted passer and playmaker who comes in having played at a higher level and being more NBA ready than the other top picks. The only question teams choosing near the top will face is how high Doncic’s ceiling is — he’s not an explosive athlete by NBA standards, he might not have the same upside as Marvin Bagley III or Mohamed Bamba, but Doncic also has a much-higher floor — he’s not going to be a bust, he’s going to be a good NBA player. The only question is how good?
Teams will have to determine that watching the tape — and seeing him in person — playing at the highest levels of Europe.