Eagle: Teams That Passed On Doncic "Screwed Up"

The Suns, Kings and Hawks all made mistakes with Luka Doncic in 2018, Ian Eagle says, and "there's just no getting around it"

The DA Show
August 20, 2020 - 10:32 am

After scoring 42 points against the Clippers in Game 1 – the most in a playoff debut in NBA history – Luka Doncic followed with 28 points in Game 2 of the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series. Only this time Dallas got the win, beating Los Angeles 127-114 on Wednesday.

The Mavs may be a 7-seed, but they believe they can beat the Clippers – and Doncic is the main reason why.

“He carries himself like a 10-time All-Star, and he’s 21,” NBA on TNT broadcaster Ian Eagle said on The DA Show. “His physical attributes, he’s bigger than people may believe. He’s stronger than people may believe. He’s actually faster – it doesn’t look like he’s going fast; it looks like sometimes it’s slow-motion. But his understanding of angles and using his body – he can get to the spots that he needs to. Maybe it’s not quickness, but there’s something there that allows him to do exactly what it is that he wants to do. He’s a generational talent. I’m not trying to just toss out hyperbole.”

Which is why Phoenix, Sacramento, and Atlanta have to regret their draft-day decisions in 2018. The Suns took Deandre Ayton first, the Kings took Marvin Bagley III second, and the Hawks took Doncic third – and traded him to Dallas for Trae Young and a protected future first-rounder.

“Look, Deandre Ayton might turn out to be a really nice player, and Trae Young could have a whole bunch of highlights in his career,” Eagle said. “They’re not going to be this guy. Phoenix and Atlanta screwed up. There’s just no getting around it. That’ll be proven in five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years. When we talk about that draft, it’s going to be the teams that didn’t follow through and didn’t take Luka Doncic. He’s that good.”

Doncic averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists this season. He is already one of the best players in basketball.

“He has the respect of the other players around the NBA,” Eagle said. “That usually takes a long time to get to that point. He’s already got it. Guys acknowledge and know that he’s a top-five player. He’s probably going to average a triple-double at some point in this league. Russell Westbrook did it multiple times; we were blown away that could be done. He’s going to do it.”