In professional sports, teams are always looking for the next ________. And in no league does that statement seem to be more true than in the NBA.
The next MJ? DeShawn Stevenson.
The next Larry Bird? Adam Morrison.
The next Arvydas Sabonis? Andrea Bargnani.
The next Kobe Bryant? Brandon Roy.
The next Kevin Durant? Brandon Ingram.
I think you get my point. Anyways, the latest young star that everyone is looking to get their own version of is Luka Dončić. As a rookie, he’s coming out of the gates firing on all cylinders, and he looks to be the future of the league.
So, naturally, it’s time to look for the next Dončić.
First off, I want to point out the obvious. DeShawn Stevenson never became Kobe, Bargnani came nowhere near Sabonis, and Ingram is only capable of showing near Durant’s ability for approximately one quarter per month.
These prophecies that people give to players before they even set foot in the league always fall flat.
With that in mind, please proceed to ignore that entirely as I hype up a 14-year-old’s NBA prospects.
Urban Klavžar may just be 14, but he’s already a somewhat well-known name throughout Europe. He made headlines toward the end of last season when he managed to score 14 points in just two minutes, and very quickly after that, made his move to Real Madrid.
The obvious comparison there is being in Real Madrid’s youth academy from a young age, as a young Slovenian perimeter stud.
Klavžar plays point guard, and at 6’1″ already at his young age, could easily grow to be a very lengthy player for a guard who could end up able to use his height to his advantage.
He has a lethal jumper from all distances and is extremely quick on his feet, making him extremely hard for opponents to gameplan for defensively.
He participated in the FIBA U-16 European Championship this past summer, representing his country, and he earned plenty of attention despite his team’s struggles. Slovenia finished in a disappointing 13th place.
Klavžar scored 11.9 points per game along with dishing out 2.1 assists. He particularly impressed in a game against Montenegro in which he scored 21 points with 3-5 shooting from deep, pulling down five rebounds, assisting five times, and also picking up two steals.
This is obviously way too early to realistically claim he’s the next Luka Dončić, but he’s the guy I’m betting my stakes on at this point.