|Luka Doncic is set to be a cornerstone of the future for Dallas.|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--As it turned out, Dallas is actually keeping its eyes on Luka Doncic.
The 2011 NBA champion virtually moved up two spots in the NBA Draft on Friday (Philippine Time), taking the reigning Euroleague MVP, who was selected third overall from Atlanta for Trae Young, the fifth pick, and a Top 5-protected 2019 first rounder.
The trade was made in preparation for Dirk Nowitzki's potential swan song this upcoming season as the Mavericks thought the Slovenian winger could be the next in line to the German stretch-4.
"[It's] amazing," Doncic said in a video conference following his selection regarding the team-up with Nowitzki.
Doncic also had praises for Nowitzki, who has become the barometer of success for European players jumping to North America's top-tier basketball league, saying, "He's a legend everywhere. He's an amazing player. I'm really really happy to be part of his career."
Doncic also expressed his optimism on becoming Nowitzki's potential protege.
"I think I can learn so much stuff about him and he will be a great mentor," Doncic continued.
He is also looking forward to forming a 1-2 punch with Dennis Smith as Dallas' rebuilding goes full throttle.
"He's a great player. I've been watching him a lot. I think we'll make a great duo," Doncic further said.
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