It has been a long while since a European prospect was included in the discussion for the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. While Kristaps Porzingis zoomed up draft boards just a handful of years ago, the last player that the entire basketball world saw coming with a full season of play remaining before the draft was Spanish standout Ricky Rubio. The talented point guard did not land in the top overall spot in a class that included Blake Griffin and James Harden, of course, but at least part of that downturn had to do with Rubio’s inability to come to the United States immediately.
In terms of the 2018 draft class, a top-flight prospect from Europe has emerged and is a player that should be able to come to the United States right away. That prospect is Slovenian wing Luka Doncic, and if you don’t know his name, know that we are talking about someone with a legitimate case for being the best player in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Doncic, like Rubio before him, ascended to the heights of professional play in Europe at an obscenely young age. Since becoming a professional basketball player since the tender age of 13 (!), Doncic has emerged as a legitimate rotation piece in the EuroLeague by the time he reached the age of 17. Now, though, more and more American fans and pundits are having the chance to take in the full Luka Doncic experience, as Slovenia has been taking part in the FIBA EuroBasket competition.
The 18-year-old uber-prospect is not the best player on his national team, simply because long-time NBA starter Goran Dragic is in the mix for Slovenia. With that said, Doncic already appears to be the No. 2 man on the roster and that comes along with per-game averages of 13.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists during this high-end competition.
Doncic’s most recent performance came against Greece and, in short, he was tremendous.