The outrageous numbers that Luka Dončić has put up in his three NBA seasons are about to be dwarfed by the biggest number of them all.
The Mavericks’ point guard was voted to the All-NBA first team, which was released Tuesday night. By virtue of making the first team twice during his rookie contract, Dončić now is eligible for the super-max extension to his rookie contract.
Total worth of such a contract could be as much as $201.5 million over five years.
When Dončić was asked on exit-interview day if he would sign such a deal should he become eligible for it, his answer was simple and clear: “I think you know the answer to that.”
Any player who makes either first-, second- or third-team All-NBA twice during his rookie contract is eligible for the super-max extension, which is worth 30 percent of the league’s salary cap. Dončić would be the first player on his rookie-scale contract to be eligible for the super-max extension since Derrick Rose, who came into the league in 2008 and signed his extension in 2012.
Dončić clearly has earned the respect of his peers, media members and everybody else connected with the NBA. The list of firsts and the company he has joined as a two-time first-team All-NBA player before age 23 is remarkable.
See the following release from the Mavericks:
LUKA DONČIĆ EARNS SECOND CONSECUTIVE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTION
DALLAS — The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2020-21 All-NBA First Team, marking the second straight year he has garnered All-NBA First Team honors.
Dončić becomes the youngest player in league history to earn multiple All-NBA First Team selections. He joins Kevin Durant, Rick Barry and Max Zaslofsky as one of four players to garner multiple All-NBA First Team accolades before age 23. The third-year guard also joins George Gervin, David Thompson, Larry Bird, David Robinson, Penny Hardaway and Tim Duncan as one of seven players since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to earn two-or-more All-NBA First Team selections within their first three seasons.
Dončić (6-7, 230) averaged a team-best 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, a team-high 8.6 assists and a team-high 34.3 minutes in 66 games (all starts) this season. He ranked sixth in the NBA in scoring, 21st in rebounding and fifth in assists, finishing in the top 25 for all three categories for the second year in a row.
The Slovenian led the NBA in 30-point, five-rebound, five-assist games (22) and 25-5-5 efforts (38). He led Dallas in points, rebounds and assists in the same game 22 times (including ties), the second-most times a player led his team in all three categories in 2020-21 (behind the 28 times the league MVP Nikola Jokić led Denver in all three this season).
After recording a league-high 50 20-5-5 games in 2019-20, Dončić finished second to Jokić (50) with 49 such games in 2020-21. The former EuroLeague MVP also finished second to Portland’s Damian Lillard (60) with 57 20-point games and ranked third in 25-point games (45) and fourth in 30-point efforts (26) and triple-doubles (11).
Dončić climbed into 11th place on the NBA’s all-time triple-doubles list in 2020-21 (36) and is eight triple-doubles shy of passing Fat Lever (43) for 10th place all-time. He scored 25-plus points in a career-high 14 straight games (1/22-2/14), setting a new franchise record for most consecutive 25-point efforts. He also hit two game-winning 3-pointers with under a second remaining (2/23 vs. BOS; 4/14 at MEM).
The 22-year-old started his second straight All-Star Game in 2020-21, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to start multiple All-Star games before their 23rd birthday (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, Barry). He was also named the Western Conference Player of the Week three times (1/4-1/10; 3/29-4/4; 4/19-4/25), joining Dirk Nowitzki (four times, 2009-10) as the only players in franchise history to garner the award three-or-more times in a single season.
In the postseason, Dončić increased his scoring average to a league-best 35.7 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds and a team-high 10.3 assists while logging a team-high 40.2 minutes in seven first round games against the L.A. Clippers. He joined Russell Westbrook (37.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 10.8 apg, 5 first round games vs. HOU, 2017) as the only players in NBA history to average at least 35-7-10 in a playoff series.
Dončić led Dallas outright in points and assists in all seven games, joining Oscar Robertson (1963 conference finals vs. BOS) and James (2018 first round vs. IND) as the only players in league history to lead their team in points and assists in all seven games of a series that went the distance.
Dončić is now averaging 33.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists through 13 career playoff games. Not only is he the sole player in NBA history with career playoff averages of at least 30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game, but he has now surpassed Michael Jordan (33.4 ppg) for the highest career scoring average in postseason history (min. 10 games).
PLAYERS WITH MULTIPLE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS BEFORE TURNING 23 YEARS OLD
|Player||Year of 1st All-NBA First Team Selection||Year of 2nd All-NBA First Team Selection|
|Luka Dončić||2019-20 (21 years, 167 days)||2020-21 (22 years, 77 days)|
|Kevin Durant||2009-10 (21 years, 197 days)||2010-11 (22 years, 196 days)|
|Rick Barry||1965-66 (21 years, 359 days)||1966-67 (22 years, 356 days)|
|Max Zaslofsky||1946-47 (21 years, 114 days)||1947-48 (22 years, 105 days)|
Note: Age is calculated on the final day of the regular season.
PLAYERS TO EARN MULTIPLE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS WITHIN THEIR FIRST THREE SEASONS SINCE ABA/NBA MERGER (1976-77)
|Player||Number of All-NBA First Team Selections||Years of All-NBA First Team Selections|
|Luka Dončić||Two (2nd and 3rd Seasons)||2019-20, 2020-21|
|Tim Duncan||Three||1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00|
|Penny Hardaway||Two (2nd and 3rd Seasons)||1994-95, 1995-96|
|Larry Bird||Three||1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82|
|George Gervin||Two (2nd and 3rd Seasons)||1977-78, 1978-79|
|David Thompson||Two (1st and 2nd Seasons)||1976-77, 1977-78|
Note: Thompson and Gervin came over from the ABA.
DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECTED TO ALL-NBA TEAMS
Luka Dončić, 2020-21 (age 22)
Luka Dončić, 2019-20 (age 21)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2008-09 (age 30)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2006-07 (age 28)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2005-06 (age 27)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2004-05 (age 26)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2010-11 (age 32)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2009-10 (age 31)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2007-08 (age 29)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2002-03 (age 24)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2001-02 (age 23)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2011-12 (age 33)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2003-04 (age 25)
Steve Nash, 2002-03 (age 29)
Steve Nash, 2001-02 (age 28)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2000-01 (age 22).