Dirk Nowitzki says Luka Doncic is better than he was at 19

The Dallas Mavericks are confident that they have a future superstar on their hands in the form of Luka Doncic. 

They secured a draft night trade with the Atlanta Hawks to secure the services of the talented Slovenian, who arrives in the NBA with a huge reputation in Europe. 

Doncic’s stock rose considerably this year as he became the youngest player to win the EuroLeague MVP. 

He was also named as the EuroLeague Final Four MVP as he led Real Madrid to the title. 

The 19-year-old dominated seasoned pros and veterans in Europe and there is real anticipation for what he can produce in the NBA. 

The heir to Nowitzki

The Mavericks’ decision to draft Dirk Nowitzki in 1998 turned out to be a stroke of genius as he’s gone on to become the greatest European player in the league’s history. 

He’s also a franchise legend and the best Mavs player of all-time. 

But at the age of 40, the team needs to find an heir to Nowitzki and he believes Doncic has the ability to become a superstar. 

Nowitzki is amazed by how good he is at such a young age and admits that the point guard is better than he was at 19 years old. 

“Oh yeah. I could shoot a little bit, but I never had the court vision, the savviness and the stuff that he brings to the game,” Nowitzki said on the 105.3 The Fan’s Ben & Skin Show.

“Just the way he already reads the pick-and-roll … like Chris Paul and these guys do.

“He’s going to be fun to watch especially with a big like DeAndre [Jordan] rolling to the rim, Dwight [Powell] rolling to the rim.

“He’s going to pick some defences apart, and it should be fun to watch.”

First impressions

The German made this observation after spending the past week scrimmaging with the youngster.

He knows that Doncic will need time to adjust to the league but he described what he’s seen from him already as “unbelievable”.

“He’s scrimmaged every day, works hard. I really like what I’m seeing,” Nowitzki added.

“He’s incredible with the ball for a big guy. … He’s unbelievable in pick-and-roll play. … The court vision is already unbelievable.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw for a 19/20-year-old. Unbelievable. He’s a good shooter when he has time, and I think he’s going to be great for us for a long, long time.

“Obviously, I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, either. Coming over from a different country, I went through the same thing about 20 years ago.

“It’s tough to adjust to a lot of things. … For me, that took a full year. My first year was really, really tough.”

This will only raise the excitement levels in Dallas as their fans are crying out for another star. 

Although they’re keen to manage expectations, it’s clear that the Mavs feel they’ve got a gem on their hands. 

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