Luka Doncic is the early season favourite to win Rookie of the Year, but has he played well enough to be in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game?
Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13): I love Doncic. He's been better than advertised and sooner than anyone could have reasonably expected. I'm all-in on his future. He's going to play in a ton of them and might even win an MVP someday.
That said ... he should not be in the 2019 All-Star Game.
He's not being voted in as a starter ahead of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, which means he'd have to make the cut via the coaches. It's incredibly rare for the coaches to vote in a rookie. Over the last 25 years, only Blake Griffin and Tim Duncan were given reserve nods (Yao Ming and Grant Hill were voted in by fans). He's been very good, but not THAT good.
Maybe by the time coach ballots are due, the Mavericks will be high enough in the standings to simply make it untenable to deny him. But if LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving and countless others had to wait their turn, so too should Doncic.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): It's still too early to tell.
While Doncic has played well enough for this to even be a discussion, there's going to be a lot of competition for the final spots in the Western Conference.
Let's assume that Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic are locks. (They should be based on how the first couple of months of this season have played out, at least). That leaves five more spots for Paul George, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, DeMar DeRozan and Doncic, plus potentially the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and De'Aaron Fox.
Doncic could certainly separate himself from a number of them between now and when voting ends, but there's far too much up in the air right now to know for certain.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): The fact that we're even having this discussion is enough to tell you how good and important Doncic has been to the Mavericks.
I hate to sit on the fence in these discussions, but I'll have to say wait and see. If the Mavs are in the top eight in the Western Conference and Doncic continues his strong play, I'm going with give the kid the nod. If they are hovering around .500 or are lottery bound, I'll say give the spot to someone who's impacting winning.
The individual numbers and what Luka is doing is his first year is crazy, but I have to reward winning, especially when it's in the loaded West.
Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): Doncic absolutely deserves to be an All-Star.
After the MVP trio of Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the guard depth in the West is slightly weaker this year. That bodes well for Doncic, who is a G-F on NBA.com, as he could be an All-Star reserve within any of the slots - guard, forward or wildcard.
Doncic got off to a relatively slow start this season, but he's been a huge reason for the team's 11-3 record since Nov. 10. His numbers down the stretch of close games are ridiculous and he's made a lot of those clutch buckets with his killer stepback. (He's actually knocked down more stepbacks than the entire 2018 Draft Class combined).
Best clutch field goal percentage this season (minimum 15 attempts):- Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 9, 2018
Luka Doncic -- 63.6
Victor Oladipo -- 63.6
Jarrett Allen -- 60.0
Bradley Beal -- 60.0
Tobias Harris -- 60.0
Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 56.5
Derrick Rose -- 56.3
His performance shouldn't come as a surprise, given that he was named the Euroleague MVP and led his team to a Euroleague Championship as an 18-year old. All things considered, he most certainly deserves to be an All-Star, even in the loaded Western Conference.