Mavs Made "Huge Mistake" Trading For Doncic

NBA TV host Rick Kamla is not a huge believer in the 19-year-old rookie – for many reasons

Ferrall On The Bench
June 27, 2018 - 6:17 pm

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Now that the 2018 NBA Draft is officially in the books, league experts are assessing which teams left the Barclays Center as winners and losers.

One of these experts is NBA TV host Rick Kamla, who spoke with CBS Sports Radio about a variety of topics ranging from free agency, the summer league, as well as the draft itself.

In this interview, Kamla gave an intriguing take to listeners about Luka Doncic, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound guard from Spain who was selected No. 3 overall in last week’s draft. Originally taken by the Atlanta Hawks, the rights for Doncic were sent to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the No. 5 pick, Trae Young, along with a future top-five protected first-round pick. While many scouts and draft analysts have been raving about Doncic’s potential, Kamla doesn’t share the same level of praise.

“I’m not a huge believer in Luka Doncic,” Kamla said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I understand what he did oversees, and it is the Spanish league, which is an important league, but it’s not the NBA.”

Last year with Real Madrid in the EuroLeague, Doncic averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game — his first and only season that he averaged at least double-figures in scoring. Along with these numbers, Doncic shot just 30.9 percent from behind-the-arc. According to Kamla, these are his main worries with the 19-year-old rookie. 

“He doesn’t have plus NBA athleticism, he shot 31 percent on threes (in 2017-18), and last year was his first season ever scoring double figures,” Kamla said. “Those are concerns for me.”

By comparison, Kamla considers Oklahoma product and Hawks guard Trae Young a superior prospect.

“I think Trae Young has the higher superstar ceiling,” Kamla said. “I think the Hawks did great — just the one-on-one swap I would have agreed with.”

In fact, Kamla thought the Mavericks front office made an error by trading up for the highly-touted Doncic. 

“The Mavericks — I don’t understand,” Kamla said. “You got (Mark) Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and Rick Carlisle — three of the supreme guys in the NBA. How could they give away a future first round pick that is only top-five protected? I thought that was a huge mistake by the Mavericks.”

Although it might take some time, Kamla believes Young could have a special career in the NBA for not just his shooting, but his passing capabilities.

“I see Trae Young having a productive year,” Kamla said. “Not necessarily efficient, but I think he’s going to be pretty productive. I think the upside is huge on Trae Young. Not enough people talk about his court vision. He’s an amazing passer — an absolutely special passer. Not just good, but special. He was the first guy ever to lead the nation in points and assists. You don’t do that unless you’re an absolute stud.”

Last but definitely not least, Kamla boasted about No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton, who he feels will be the saving grace for a young and struggling Suns team.

“DeAndre Ayton is the true transcending player in this draft,” Kamla said. “I just think he’s a fabulous player, and I think he’s going to turn that franchise around immediately.”