BELGRADE, Serbia — Eight months after helping Slovenia to their first ever European Championship, Luka Doncic added a Euroleague title to his ever-growing mantle, which now also includes the Euroleague MVP and Euroleague Final Four MVP awards.

The 19-year old, who is currently slated as the No. 2 prospect on the ESPN Top 100, scored 15 points on 8 field goal attempts, with 4 assists and 3 rebounds in 29 minutes in a tense and tactical championship game in which Real Madrid defeated defending Euroleague champions Fenerbahce 85-80.

It was not Doncic’s finest performance of the season in a stagnant, physical and at times ugly affair, but he played an instrumental role regardless over the weekend, as evidenced by being named the youngest ever Final Four MVP following the game.

When asked by ESPN following Sunday’s victory what his next move is, Doncic said: “I will tell about all at the right time, right now I just want to celebrate with my team. Soon I will tell.”

Doncic played the entire fourth quarter until fouling out with 39 seconds, again playing more minutes than anyone on Real Madrid. He was asked to handle the ball and play point guard for virtually every moment he was on the floor. He struggled at times with the size and athleticism of Fenerbahce, the best defensive team in the Euroleague, but also showed remarkable poise and confidence in a nervous and often sloppy game that was played almost strictly in the half-court. Doncic’s size, strength, ball-handling and knack for drawing fouls proved invaluable, and his team almost collapsed in the final minute after he was disqualified.

Doncic’s next destination was a focal point on many a conversation over the course of the weekend. It still remains to be seen which NBA team will elect to draft him. The growing consensus among NBA decision makers in attendance at Stark Arena in Belgrade is that the teams drafting behind the Phoenix Suns at No. 1, the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, are likely to pass on European prodigy in favor of American frontcourt players. The question remains whether a team will trade up into the top three to snag Doncic, or if he will fall to the No. 4 (Memphis) or even the No. 5 pick (Dallas), after being heavily scouted in the Euroleague playoffs against Panathinaikos, and mostly struggling.


Source link