Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson squared off in Dallas on Wednesday, with Doncic having the better game and leading the Mavericks to a 127-123 overtime win.
Williamson was solid – he had 21 points and six rebounds – but Doncic was special. The No. 3 overall pick in 2018, Doncic finished with 30 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, becoming – already – the Mavericks’ all-time leader in triple-doubles.
But which player – Doncic or Zion – would you rather have as a franchise cornerstone?
“Luka’s assists, Luka’s setting up the floor – and being an elite scorer – puts him just a hair above Zion,” Damon Amendolara said on The DA Show. “If I’m winning a championship and I’m building around one guy right now, I’m building around Luka Doncic. Last night, what he does, he makes a 30-point, 17-rebound, 10-assist night look easy. He does it in the flow of the game.”
Doncic, who turned 21 on February 28, leads Dallas (38-25) in scoring (28.5 points per game), rebounds (9.5) and assists (8.8), which seems very LeBron-like.
“He is not LeBron because LeBron had a far more powerful frame,” Amendolara said. “He was able to use his body to power through the lane and kind of overwhelm you. Luka’s closer to Magic. Luka is a guy that sees the floor beautifully, sets up his guys beautifully, but can also score with the best of them. And in the NBA, you need your best player to not only be a scorer, but be a piece of the puzzle that sets up other guys right now. The league is wide open, the game flow is wide open, there’s a lot of scoring, a lot of possessions. You got to have a guy that does a lot of things, and to be the best player on a team that wins an NBA title, you’ve also got to be good for your teammates. You can’t just be a one-on-one scorer. Luka checks those boxes.”
Amendolara, to be clear, still likes Williamson a lot. Only 19, Williamson is averaging 24.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 17 career games.
“I think Zion is going to be otherworldly good,” Amendolara said. “But I think in terms of winning a championship, I feel more comfortable building around Luka for the next 10 years just knowing as a core guy, the core guy, he can set you up, set the floor, set the teammates. I think Zion is going to ultimately be the biggest star in the NBA once LeBron retires, but I think Luka is the guy that I would build around just by a slight margin.”