Dwyane Wade: Luka Doncic's Passing 'LeBron James-Like'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2019

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) and Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, watch free throws by the Heat in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Dwyane Wade's Miami Heat notched a 112-101 victory over Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the veteran from coming away impressed by the rookie's game.

"Quote me right where I say this—it's LeBron James-like from the standpoint of how he's able to rope that pass to shooters in corners, getting blitzed," Wade said of Doncic's passing ability, per Tim Cato of The Athletic. "There's not many guys who can do that and put it right there. He does an amazing job of it."

Any comparison to James is notably high praise given the King's status in the league as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

If anyone knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of James' passes, it's Wade. The two friends spent four years together on the Heat, reaching the NBA Finals all four seasons and winning two championships. Wade, who scored 22 points in Wednesday's win, was frequently on the receiving end of lobs and full-court passes from James.

Doncic finished one assist shy of a triple-double against the Heat with 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine dimes, continuing his impressive play in his rookie campaign.

His vision and instincts are clearly a step above those of a typical rookie following his time playing professionally in the Euroleague, and he uses them to beat defenders and find open teammates when doubles come his way.

He is averaging 20.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game and appears well on his way to a Rookie of the Year award.

The future is bright in Dallas with Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, who has yet to play for the team after it acquired him from the New York Knicks via trade as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. While living up to the James-Wade combination may be too much to ask, at least one of them already has similar passing skills.