1. Luka Doncic
The Mavericks are off to a disappointing 2-5 start, but they have to be happy with what Doncic is giving them. He’s taken on the role of lead creator in Rick Carlisle’s offensive scheme and is transitioning effectively to the NBA game.
When you watch Doncic play it’s obvious that he’s a passing wizard. He uses his body to draw the defense to him which allows him to move the ball to open teammates. He’s going to be a high assist guy for a long time.
The question is whether or not he can score enough to keep defenses honest. The fact that he already looks so comfortable taking threes at this point in his career bodes really well for his chances to become a quality scorer. He isn’t making a ton of shots yet, but his 3-point attempt rate of 45 percent is a great sign for Mavericks fans.
For Doncic to hold off Ayton’s recent charge in the long haul, he’s going to have to be better on the defensive end of the floor. His lack of elite athleticism means he needs to be a smart defender. Right now, his instincts just don’t look great on that end of the floor. Fortunately for Doncic, he’s playing for a great defensive tactician. Carlisle should be able to help his young rookie a lot as the season progresses.