Tag: Luka Dončić

Ja Morant And The Phoenix Suns Are A Match Made In Heaven

The Phoenix Suns have been abysmal halfway through the NBA season. They rank dead last in the Western Conference with an 11-48 record.

The young Suns are still learning how to win as a team. With the core of Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, the Suns should be a competitive team in the next couple of years. Unfortunately, they are still missing some pieces to turn them into a championship contending team.

With their projected top 5 pick in the upcoming draft, the Suns should do anything by any means necessary to acquire Ja Morant, the Murray State point guard that is dominating college basketball.

At 6’3, 175 pounds, Ja Morant is going to be the next promising young point guard in the NBA.

Morant is a physically gifted, and all around polished player. His playmaking ability, athleticism along with his ability to create his own offense will complement Devin Booker in the backcourt and make scoring at the basket easier for Deandre Ayton.

The Suns have been looking for a point guard to help lead the team to championship contention ever since the departure of Steve Nash. The Suns need a dynamic point guard, someone who is going to score the basketball and be a playmaker.

At one point, the Suns had 3 point guards on the team that was all-star caliber players in Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas but the Suns eventually traded these players away. This created a hole at the point guard spot that they have been trying to fill ever since.

Ja Morant is everything they need in a young point guard to complete their core. Ja has soared up the draft boards this year and is leading a lower tier school in Murray State to a 20-4 record. Morant is heavily compared to the likes of De’Aaron Fox and Russell Westbrook.

With a playmaker being their biggest need, it just so happens that the best playmaker in this draft, Ja Morant, may fall into their laps. A Morant-Booker-Ayton duo would be an interesting big 3 to watch for years.

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The Dallas Mavericks Won The Trade Deadline

No one expected the Dallas Mavericks to make a bunch of moves during the trade deadline. But Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and the Dallas Mavericks organization were extremely active and made some blockbuster trades that have turned their franchise around.

Also to mention the trade that brought Luka Doncic to Dallas last June in the draft. This was a callback to the 1998 NBA Draft where the Mavericks traded Robert Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki.

Now Luka has emerged as the star of the Dallas Mavericks franchise. As each day goes by, the Mavericks are looking like geniuses for making that trade with Atlanta.

The Mavericks have taken big risks and were able to turn expiring contracts and aging players into a young core plus cap space to spend in free agency.

Dallas-Sacramento Trade Details:

Dallas Receives:
Justin Jackson
Zach Randolph

Sacramento Receives:
Harrison Barnes

The Mavericks are now able to sign a big-time free agent this summer. After the Porzingis deal, one of the concerning factors was Dallas’ cap space going into free agency. After getting rid of Harrison Barnes’ contract, the Mavericks are now in contention to sign at least one big time free agent with around $30 million in cap space.

Possible free agent targets being Nikola Vucevic, Demarcus Cousins or Klay Thompson. The Mavericks are a dark horse team to sign one of these guys. Now that they have a core of Luka and Kristaps, Dallas may be a more attractive destination for free agents.

The Mavericks showed that they are geared towards free agency and could care less about how the season plays out now. The future looks bright in Dallas but there is still more work to be done. It will interesting to see how the Mavericks play their cards this free agency.

The Endgame For The Knicks/Mavericks Rebuild

With the recent blockbuster trade that was announced earlier today between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, the two teams took franchise-altering deals that can either boom in their favor or blow up right in their faces.

The two franchises are in the midst of rebuilding and trying to contend in the near future. The 2019 NBA free agency will dictate the future of each franchise.

The question arises of how does this deal benefit each team in the long run?

Just a recap for the trade here are the full details:

Dallas Mavericks Receive

Kristaps Porzingis
Courtney Lee
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Trey Bure

New York Knicks Receive

Dennis Smith Jr.
Wesley Matthews
DeAndre Jordan
Two future First Round Picks (one unprotected, one protected)

Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and the Dallas Mavericks are known to be major risk takers and this trade is a prime example of the Mavericks being a risk-taking franchise. The Mavericks will pair Kristaps Porzingis with Luka Doncic and they will be the core star players going into the future.

The Mavericks have had eyes on Porzingis for years and with the connections of Dirk Nowitzki and Luka to him, Porzingis to Dallas seemed very likely in the future. Porzingis looked up to Dirk growing up and also spent time working out over the summer in 2017. Also, Porzingis and Luka are close friends, both playing against each other while they were overseas.

Luka is now going to be the point guard for this team with Dennis Smith Jr. gone and now the Mavericks have some serious pieces around them to contend in the future.

The Mavericks will now look to free agency to chase Demarcus Cousins or Klay Thompson and that will be the end of the rebuild for the Mavericks.

Some sleepers the Mavericks may also have eyes on are that of Willie Cauley-Stein and Goran Dragic.

On the other side of this trade, The Knicks were able to secure a young developing guard in Dennis Smith Jr. along with two future picks and reliving cap space. This will put the Knicks in play to sign 2 max free agents and also draft a player such as Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

The Knicks are confident they can land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant along with a top 3 Pick in the draft. If they succeed in this, their rebuild will be complete and now you have a scary core of Dennis Smith Jr., Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kevin Knox and either Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

If the Knicks do not succeed in this trade then another year of mediocrity and losing will be in play next season. The Knicks are banking heavily that a top free agent will come, but the possibility of them landing no one is an unfortunate possible outcome.

This trade took a lot of guts for each side to pull off and it was impressive on how they got it done in a short amount of time. For a Mavericks fan, you are happy with the Luka/Porzingis duo. For a Knicks fan, you are hopeful all the cards fall into your favor in free agency.

Will Luka Doncic make the 2019 NBA All-Star game?

This past Thursday, January 23rd, the starters for the 2019 NBA All-Star game were announced. The NBA All-Star game will take place on Sunday, February 17th, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.

Starters from the West: Lebron James (Captain), Kevin Durant, Paul George, Steph Curry, and James Harden.

Starters from the East: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Captain), Kawahi Leonard, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker.

After the starters being announced on Thursday, many fans were shocked to see the rookie Luka Doncic not being named to the starting lineup. Doncic had received more fan votes than Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Anthony Davis.

But we have to remember that the starters are named through player votes and media votes. Kevin Durant and PG13 had more votes between the three categories than Doncic to be named as All-Star starters. 

This Thursday, January 31st, the reserves for the 2019 All-Star game will be announced on TNT before the matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors. The reserves for the all-star team will be decided by the head coach of every single team in the NBA.


Many people are probably thinking as of now, will the coaches vote the rookie Luka Doncic to the All-Star team? 

Yes, a rookie has played in an All-Star game before. The last rookie to do so was Blake Griffin back in 2011. Griffin averaged a total of 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game during his rookie campaign.

As of now, Luka Doncic is averaging 20.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He recently dropped 32 points and got the win this past Friday against Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons.

Doncic has been playing like an All-Star caliber this season and caught the attention of many fans around the world. With a lot of amazing and talented players in the west who are also averaging 20+ points per game, it is hard to tell whether or not Doncic will make the team.

With the announcement of the reserves right around the corner, we will see if the coaches believe in the young and uprising star in Luka Doncic.

The Houston Rockets Championship window is closing

With the Golden State Warriors era of basketball running amuck on the league, the difficulty to win a championship for any team is tough especially for the Houston Rockets.

Winning against a team with 5 all-stars, in a 7-game series, is not only a daunting task but an impossible one for many teams. With Demarcus Cousins set to return on Friday against the Clippers, The Warriors now have 6 all-stars playing on their team.

Organizations around the league were forced to adapt to playing against Golden State’s brand of basketball. The three-point shot has evolved, becoming the most valuable way of scoring in today’s era of basketball. Post ups and Mid-range shooting are a thing of the past.

The Houston Rockets were one of the organizations who had to adopt a new style of basketball centered around 3 point shooting. Houston’s offense is the closest to the Warriors and even the Rockets couldn’t beat them in the Western Conference finals.

Last year, the Houston Rockets were only one game away from reaching the NBA Finals. But when Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury, all hope was lost for the Rockets.

Chris Paul has been plagued with injuries playing in only 26 games this season. With the recent news that Clint Capela is out for 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury, James Harden is forced to carry the load for this team.

Chris Paul and Clint Capela are key pieces to the Rockets’ success. This team will go far as these two players go. If they can’t stay healthy or consistent, the Rockets will not be in contention for winning the championship this year.

The best shot the Rockets had to win a title was last season. It seems that the Rockets hasn’t mentally recovered from the western conference finals and free agency.

Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger and there are signs showing that father time is catching up to him. The Rockets are a struggling team this season. They had stretches where they were extremely bad, then they played good, and then bad again.

This team simply can’t stay consistent. If you can’t stay consistent in a Western Conference of the Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets, and Trail Blazers, you are bound to end up at the bottom of the pack.

 

With last night’s loss to the Nets, James Harden scored 58 points and the team attempted an unbelievable 70 three-pointers only making 23 of them. This raises concerns of if this team is even on the same page as they were up against the Nets late in the fourth quarter until giving up three straight 3 pointers from Spencer Dinwiddie to force overtime.

We have seen this same situation a couple weeks back against the Dallas Mavericks as rookie Luka Doncic capped off a comeback scoring 11 points in the final minutes of the game to defeat the Rockets.

Urban Klavžar: The Next Luka Dončić

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.