Saturday, October 20, 2018
Slovenian Phenom Luka Dončić is Heavy Favorite as Top Pick in 2018 NBA Draft
12/18/2017 9:14:19 AM
Arthur J. Villasanta - Fourth Estate Contributor

New York City, NY, United States (4E) - The odds are good that Slovenian pro basketball phenom Luka Dončić, who's only 18, will wind-up as the First Overall Pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

On the other hand, the odds are even that Dončić might either become the next LeBron James (First Overall Pick in the 2003 draft) or a disappointment like the last Caucasian to become first overall (in 2006), Andrea Bargnani, who began his NBA career with the Toronto Raptors.

Dončić stands 2.01 meters tall and plays for the European club Real Madrid as Point guard/Shooting Guard/Small Forward in the Liga ACB (the top tier Spanish League) and EuroLeague.

He'll be 19 when the 2018 NBA draft kicks-off on June 21, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The draft lottery will take place during the playoffs on May 15.

This early, Dončić is considered one of the most promising young talents in European basketball, and one of the best international players of his generation.

He's known to many in Europe as "Wonder Boy." Among the wonder shots of his budding career is an incredible full-court heave with 0.03 of a second to go that gave his team a 68-52 lead in the third quarter against FCB Lassa on Dec. 14.

Real Madrid went on to win this one, 87-75. In this game, Dončić played 26 minutes; scored 16 points; hauled down 6 rebounds; dished out 7 assists and had 1 steal for a Performance Index Rating (PIR) of 26.

On April 30, 2015, Dončić became the youngest player to debut with Real Madrid in the Liga ACB at the age of 16 years, 2 months and 2 days.

Dončić jersey number at Real Madrid is 7. Dončić has also played for the Slovenian senior national team.

He turns 19 on Feb. 28.

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