NBA Draft Rumors: Mavericks Have 'Targeted' Luka Doncic with No. 5 Pick

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2018

Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso gives instructions to Real Madrid's Luka Doncic during their Final Four Euroleague final basketball match between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, May 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks reportedly have their eyes on Slovenian prospect Luka Doncic as Thursday’s NBA draft approaches. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on the network’s draft coverage and said of Doncic and the Mavericks "that is the guy they have targeted," via Rob Lopez of Def Pen Hoops. Wojnarowski went on to say the question now is whether Doncic will still be available at No. 5 when Dallas picks or if the team will have to trade up to land him.

Wojnarowski noted the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies are "taking a lot of calls" for the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 picks, respectively, so the Mavericks figure to have some competition if they look to trade up.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Doncic as the No. 4 overall pick to the Grizzlies in his latest mock draft and pointed to his potential fit alongside Mike Conley as a "secondary playmaker" in the backcourt.

That would mean multiple teams passed on Doncic and the Mavericks didn’t move up to select him, which would be a mistake if the prospect has anything to say about it.

"I can see who made a mistake not drafting me," he told Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. "After my rookie season, I will see who made a mistake."

Wasserman and Charania each acknowledged there are questions about Doncic’s athleticism as he enters the NBA, but he was the EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP as an impressive playmaker who can impact the game in a number of ways.

His versatility allows him to play point guard, shooting guard or small forward, and he can work in pick-and-rolls with the ball in his hands as a facilitator, attack the basket off the bounce or even spot up if needed.

The Mavericks missed the playoffs the last two seasons and are looking for some star power to take the torch from Dirk Nowitzki considering the future Hall of Famer will be 40 years old during the 2018-19 campaign. They need young and talented playmakers to accelerate the rebuild after falling from the list of Western Conference contenders and apparently see Doncic fitting the bill.

It just may take a trade to ensure he ends up in Dallas moving forward.

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