Doncic the front-runner in the Rookie of the Year race


What is the best way to describe Luka Doncic? He is a point guard with a shooting guard’s soul who starts at power forward, the Dallas Mavericks player has already demonstrated that he belongs in the NBA by starting the season on a hot scoring streak.

His game is not limited to just scoring, he is a fine facilitator as well and his ball-handling skills and his vision have made him an instant hit in Dallas. Doncic runs the Dallas offense well and he has shown great chemistry with his teammates so early in the season.

He can be put in multiple situations and still be productive, he is effective as a wing player with his shooting ability, he can dish out lobbed passes in tight situations and he is also comfortable finishing at the rim, at the moment he can do no wrong.

The Slovenian player is currently leading all rookies in scoring with an average of 20.2 points per game, he is also dishing out dimes at a rate of 4.2 per game as well as 6.5 rebounds per game. His 40.3% rate from 3-point range and 47.9% from the field are an indication of his great shooting ability and the youngster is showing signs of being the Mavs’ long sought-after heir to Dirk Nowitzki.

Doncic has already recorded five 20-plus points games so far, and one 30-plus points game to go along with double figure point tallies in all 11 games so far. He has slowly developed into the outright favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award given his consistency and the fact that he is standing out in a tough conference. Many other rookies have been excelling in the 2018-19 season so far but Doncic has set the bar high.

Other noteworthy rookies to watch

Trae Young: The Atlanta Hawks guard is a joy to watch and he is the closest challenger to Doncic. At one point he led all rookies in scoring and assists. He is currently averaging 19 points per game and he has recorded double digit points in all games so far. Young is the fifth best player in terms of assists in the league, he is tallying 8.1 dimes per game. He has the abilities to sustain his challenge for the Rookie of the Year award.

Marvin Bagley III: He is the only player who is not a starter in the list but he has been a menace off the bench, Bagley III is a useful option for the Sacramento Kings and he is displaying qualities of a starter, his numbers are better than those of most starters in the league. The young Kings player is averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds off the bench, he has recorded double digit points in all but two games so far this season.

DeAndre Ayton: The walking double-double machine has been steady in the last few games but he has already shown what he is capable of in his first month in the league. Ayton is tallying 15.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Once he rediscovers his pre-season and early season form he could be unstoppable, he has found a way to be effective despite not being at his peak form.

Jaren Jackson Jr: The Memphis Grizzlies player had a great Summer League and he has started the season pretty well with an average of 12.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. His 20-point performance against the Denver Nuggets was a demonstration that he is capable of being aggressive and stamping his authority in game, something he needs to do more. He is the fourth-best scoring option for the Grizzlies but he has all the right tools to lead the team in scoring in the near future.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, WNBA its clubs or Kwesé Sports.

Next entry: The good, the bad and the ugly of the Bulls’ season