Luka Doncic Says He's 'Not Sure' If He Will Leave Real Madrid for 2018 NBA Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2018

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MARCH 30: Luka Doncic of Real Madrid reacts during the 2017/2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season game between Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and Real Madrid at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall on March 30, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic, one of the top prospects in the 2018 NBA draft, said Thursday he's not sure whether he'll play in the NBA next season.

Alex Madrid of EuroHoops.net provided comments Doncic made during the EuroLeague Final Four press conference.

"Ι'm not sure if these are the last two games [in EuroLeague]," he said. "We have yet to make this decision. Perhaps after the season."

Although the remarks may raise eyebrows based on the rising star's status as one of basketball's best young players, they must be taken with a grain of salt.

First, he's still an active player for Real Madrid as the club prepares to take on CSKA Moscow in the EuroLeague semifinals Friday. Talking about his future plans before that game would be like a college basketball player openly discussing his NBA outlook right before a Final Four game in the NCAA tournament.

Second, it could be part of a plan to create bargaining power.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Doncic's "representation has some very unique leverage to steer him to a specific destination, or even nudge a trade along, should they choose."

The 19-year-old Slovenian has averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists across 59 EuroLeague and Spain's Liga ACB appearances this season.

He's viewed as a likely top-two selection in the 2018 draft alongside University of Arizona center Deandre Ayton. The Phoenix Suns own the No. 1 selection, and the Sacramento Kings are slated to pick second after Tuesday's draft lottery.

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