David Blatt believes Luka Doncic should’ve been the No. 1 overall pick.
Former NBA head coach David Blatt has an extremely high opinion of Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic, and he believes the teams that passed on him this summer will live to regret it.
"“My opinion the biggest miss in the NBA draft. He was the No. 1 pick no question,” Blatt said to Eurohoops TV. “In my mind, but that’s my orientation and knowing both leagues and understanding I think that teams in many cases draft for position or maybe draft for potential, but in terms of readiness, NBA readiness. There was no player in the draft that was more NBA ready than Luka Doncic, unquestioned, hands down. Now to say that a team has to draft that guy for that reason. They don’t. You can draft whoever you want and for whatever reasons you want. But Luka is a unique talent and he’s going to have a great NBA career in my opinion.”"
The Mavericks traded up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft to take Doncic, and there are already rumblings that the Atlanta Hawks made a grave error in essentially picking Trae Young over the EuroLeague’s reigning MVP.
Dirk Nowitzki called Doncic “an incredible talent” recently after some team scrimmages, and that’s high praise from the best European player to ever make the NBA transition. If the Mavericks can integrate their rookie quickly, then we could see them return to the playoffs. It will be super important for Doncic and second-year player Dennis Smith Jr. to gel, though, because they will be the ones handling the ball the most.
Doncic is certainly making headlines in the right way lately. ESPN reported that he “has often been the best player on the court in pickup games.” The rookie also worked out with Kobe Bryant earlier this summer, which is never a bad way to improve as a player.
Blatt is currently the head coach of Olympiacos of the Greek Basket League, and so he definitely has a pulse on the basketball talent in Europe. He also has head coaching experience in the NBA. He briefly coached LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it should be noted that he only lasted a season and a half before being fired. Doncic is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year according to Vegas, and the expectations are going to be high for him from the beginning. Whether or not he lives up them remains to be seen.