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Best Young NBA Player to Build Around: Where Does Mavs' Luka Doncic Rank?

With Luka Doncic, do the Dallas Mavericks have the top young NBA player to build around?

The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a playoff run until the Western Conference Finals, with Luka Doncic leading the way with his outstanding play.

Last season, Doncic averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists, earning his third All-NBA First Team nomination. He achieved this level of production at just 23.

Bleacher Report used six NBA experts to rank 20 of the biggest names from the last five drafts while excluding the 2022 class. The beginning of the classes included in the exercise was the 2017 class featuring Jayson Tatum. 

Each selection made by the NBA experts was averaged to create a consensus top 10 rankings. Doncic led all players by being ranked first on the list, and his status was unanimously selected. 

The unique nature of Doncic's statistical output at such a young age was vital in his ranking:

He’s the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 26 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. And those are likely to go up as he approaches his prime.

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The sentiment regarding Doncic's trajectory is that while his jump shooting still "has room to improve" throughout his career, that defense is his "only real weakness right now."

Between Doncic's step-back jumper and elite playmaking ability, the defense doesn't ever seem capable of speeding him up. He's gotten the job done under the brightest of lights early in his NBA career. 

With how much Doncic has already achieved so early on, it's fascinating to think about where his ceiling ultimately will be. For the Mavericks, the goal will be to win multiple championships as the superstar realizes his full potential. 


You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.

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