DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks are going Euro with their rebuild again, the same way they did 20 years ago with Dirk Nowitzki.
Dallas moved up two spots in the NBA draft Thursday night to get Slovenian guard Luka Doncic, who was selected by Atlanta at No. 3 while the Mavericks picked former Oklahoma scoring sensation Trae Young for the Hawks at No. 5 as part of the deal. The Mavericks are also sending a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2019 to Atlanta.
The last time the Mavericks were coming off at least two straight losing seasons, as they are now, they traded down for Nowitzki, who was drafted ninth by Milwaukee in 1998.
The big German is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history and one of seven overall. Doncic will be his teammate, with Nowitzki expected to become the first player in league history to spend all 21 seasons with the same franchise.
The 19-year-old Doncic is a skilled prospect with polished ability to score or run the offense as an adept passer. He has shown the ability to knock down outside shots with deep range and a step-back move.
At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Doncic helped Real Madrid win a EuroLeague championship while averaging about 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. As with Nowitzki 20 years ago, the question is how Doncic’s game will translate to the NBA.
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