Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic is only 19 years old, but he’s already one of the more impressive young scorers in the league.
Doncic is currently averaging 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists with 2.5 three-pointers per game while shooting nearly 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. But perhaps his most impressive skill has been his ability to find his own looks rather than relying on teammates to set him up for shots.
Even before he was drafted, analysts like Jackson Hoy believed that the Slovenian prospect would be phenomenal at creating his own shot (via The Stepien):
“He’s an elite shot creator with generational basketball IQ and an incredible overall skill level for a player his size. He projects to add a ton of value right away in the NBA, and with athletic improvement and consistent three-point shooting could become one of the top players in the world.”
That means that the rookie has already made 79 field goal attempts without an assist. For comparison, Golden State’s Klay Thompson has the fourth-most shots made this season — but only 40 are unassisted. Doncic has more unassisted buckets so far than top high-volume scorers including Bradley Beal (75), Khris Middleton (74) and Kyle Lowry (71).
He is averaging 3.6 pull-up attempts per game from three-point range so far this season. That ranks Top 10 behind only James Harden, Kemba Walker, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
Doncic, meanwhile, has been one of the 10 most accurate players (minimum: 30 FGA) on these shots as well. He has produced 1.069 points per possession when shooting off the dribble. This ranks in the 84th percentile among all players, per Synergy Sports.
So far this season, there are 62 players who have had at least 10 three-point attempts after three-to-six dribbles. None of them have been more accurate than Doncic, who is currently shooting 13-for-21 (61.9 percent) on those looks.
Scouts were right — his ability to create for himself will make an invaluable asset in the NBA.
If he is able to keep producing at this pace or improve over time, Dallas will be giddy to have him on their roster.