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Dallas Mavericks

Heat Check: What is the ceiling for Luka Doncic?

Can Luka Doncic reach lofty heights?
Can Luka Doncic reach lofty heights? (Getty Images)

Luka Doncic is having a rookie season to remember and is a leading candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year.

MORE: Doncic still sits atop the Rookie Ladder

The 19-year-old and former Euroleague MVP has quickly dispelled the notion that his game won't translate to the NBA. Earlier in the season, we debated whether or not he should make the All-Star team.

Now we're looking further down the line and wondering just how good he might someday be.

Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13): The image at the start of this piece is aggressively optimistic. Some people might say it's way too soon for those comparisons. Some people might say it's borderline disrespectful.

I am not one of those people.

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Sure Not Now

Give me all of the Luka Doncic hype, because I AM ALL IN.

Sure, he actually has to prove it and it's too soon to make room in the Halll of Fame. But I truly believe we are in the embryonic stages of a generational talent that will make a dozen All-Star games and sit squarely in the MVP conversation for years to come.

He makes passes few even see. He scores from almost everywhere. He rises to the occasion at the end of games. He plays with an energy and enthusiasm that's contagious.

Short of defending at a high level (not a pre-requisite for winning multiple MVP awards, see: Nash, Steve), he's answered the bell and exceeded every expectation in every facet of the game. I want all of the Luka Doncic kool-aid.

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): Based on what we've seen from him to this point of his NBA career, I think it's safe to assume that Luka Doncic will be a perennial All-Star.

I also wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being the type of player who is consistently in the MVP discussion.

We're already seeing signs of that potential, as Doncic has quickly established himself as the leader of a team that is making some noise in the Western Conference. Even if he never leads the league in scoring or assists, he's only going to continue to improve as a scorer and passer.

That's a scary thought considering he's already an efficient three-level scorer who has the vision of a guard. Put the right players around him and I can see him controlling a team's offence similar to how James Harden does.

MORE: The Doncic Day-By-Day Diary

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): With the success he's had through 36 games in his career it's tough to put a ceiling on him, but I'll say he'll be a multi-time All-Star and lead a team to an NBA championship.

When you watch him play, there's nothing about his game that shows he's a rookie. He's poised, has an extremely high basketball IQ and knows when he needs to take matters into his own hands to get the job done (i.e. 11 straight points to comeback and beat the Houston Rockets). He already has the Mavericks contending for a playoff spot in the West in his first year in the league and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they end up with one of the bottom seeds in the conference.

Doncic came into the NBA as a winner with four championships from various top professional leagues overseas, as well as multiple MVP awards all before the age of 19. Who would I be to say that he can't do the same thing once he gets even more comfortable on an NBA court? Saying he'll be a multi-time All-Star is playing it safe, but I truly believe he'll eventually be the centerpiece of a championship team and could end up being in the MVP conversation one day as well.

Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): It's early, but I can confidently place Doncic in the category of players to deliver on each bit of the hype surrounding him ahead of the draft.

With that said - as cliché as it sounds - Luka Doncic doesn't have a ceiling. This is a guy that led Real Madrid to ACB and EuroLeague titles and won both league's MVP honours last season at the age of 19. How can you put a ceiling on that?

The success has translated well to the NBA, as he's averaging 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game as a rookie. He's in All-Star conversations now, but it will be a year or two before I see him making his first appearance at the All-Star game. Once he does, though, he'll be a fixture in the All-Star game.

In addition to multiple All-Star games, there are numerous All-NBA selections and at least one league MVP on the horizon for the Slovenian superstar, as he'll be a triple-double threat on any given night. Team success is hard to gauge, but if the Dallas' growth trends in the same direction as its young star, it will be contenders in the Western Conference for the entirety of his prime.

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