During the first part of the season Dallas Mavericks rookie, Luka Doncic hit the ground running, averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. In just his first 20 games in a Mavericks uniform. In the process, the current Euroleague MVP tallied 198 points, 66 rebounds, and 44 assists in just his first ten games in the NBA. Making him just the second teenager to do so, since Hall of Famer Oscar Robinson.
By the time December rolled around Luka Doncic had the Rookie of the Year in the bag. A vast majority of the basketball world thought that the Mavericks had won the draft night trade with Atlanta as both teams swapped both rookies for each other. Due to Trae Young slow start to the season, but he has been able to come on strong after the All-Star break averaging 25.8 points, 9.0 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. Young also became the eighth rookie to record 35 points and 11 assists as he recorded last week against the Cavaliers. Young has also received Rookie of the Year endorsements from fellow players such as Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Kuzma, and Blake Griffin. After Young dropped 32 points and 11 assists on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers were in Dallas on April 1, 2019, to take on the Dallas Mavericks without Luka Doncic, who has been shut down for the rest of the season. After morning shootaround current Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons was asked If you had a vote who would you pick of Rookie of the Year?
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) April 1, 2019
Luka replied Ben Simmons.
Why did Simmons Pick Luka?
“Same reason as last year. He [Luka Doncic] is playing better, his team’s winning more games. Trae Young is killin’ it. Same as Donovan. But it’s just, overall, I think Luka’s team has played a little better,” said Simmons.
Here is the breakdown between both players over as they make their case for Rookie of Year.
Luka was averaging 20.7 points on 43% shooting per game compared to Young, who averaged 16.9 points on 40.6% shooting before the All-Star break. In the month of November, Doncic averaged 17.7 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the floor, while the rest of the field only shot 35.5%. He also shot an impressive 36.8% from behind the arc, while Young was only 19 percent from three. Doncic has also recorded seven triple-double in his rookie season and was only two shy of tying former Maverick Jason Kidd’s team record per The Crossover’s Alaa Abdeldaiem.
As for Trae, he has been shooting 45% from the floor and 38.8% from behind the three-point line. Young has also recorded nine of his 24 double-doubles during the same time period. Including four consecutively in late March and becoming the third rookie to score 40 plus points and dish out ten assists. The other two were Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Meanwhile, Doncic’s numbers post the All-Star break look like this 22.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists, but his shooting percentage from the field and behind the arc has dipped to 39% and 22.5 respectfully. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle did mention Luka being fatigue earlier this season.
Young responded to what Ben Simmons said a couple of days later when Chris Kirschner from The Athletic asked him about it.
“Yeah, I saw it, but I don’t pay too much attention to it. Maybe he thinks differently now,” said Young.
I asked Trae Young about Ben Simmons’ rookie of the year comment the other day on thinking Luka should win the award. Trae had 33-12-7 tonight: “Maybe he thinks differently now.” pic.twitter.com/8tztEWR0v8
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) April 4, 2019
Doncic would also respond, “I mean it is great what other players think about my ability, but I have to say there is too much talking about it. There is a lot of media and I just don’t want to talk about it and I just want to focus on the next game,” Doncic told me.
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) April 3, 2019
Both Luka and Trae had amazing seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks respectfully, but would they have the same impact if they weren’t traded for one another. According to the ESPN’s Trade Machine, if Luka was a member of the Atlanta Hawks he would increase the team’s projected wins by 2 and if Young was a member of the Mavericks their projected wins would decrease by 3.
We will see how the voters will lean with this year’s discussion that will be announced on June 24th in Los Angeles at the NBA awards.