DALLAS – The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard/forward Luka Dončić was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January. He garnered the award for the third consecutive month, joining Jay Vincent (three times in 1981-82) as the only rookies in Mavericks history to win the award three times. He is the first Dallas rookie to receive the honor in each of the first three months of the season.
Dončić (6-7, 218) became the first player in either conference to win the NBA Rookie of the Month award in each of the first three months of the season since Joel Embiid did it in the East in 2016-17. He became the first Western Conference player to achieve the feat since Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015-16.
In 14 games (all starts) in January, Dončić averaged 22.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. He posted three 30-point efforts and two triple-doubles during the month (he became the first player in NBA history to record multiple triple-doubles as a teenager).
The former EuroLeague MVP registered 25-plus points in five consecutive games from Jan. 7 to Jan. 16, becoming the first rookie to score 25-plus points in five straight games since Stephen Curry in 2010 (5 games from April 4-11, 2010). He also tallied at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in four consecutive games from Jan. 9 to Jan. 16, becoming the first rookie to post such a streak since Michael Jordan in 1984-85 (Jordan had two such five-game streaks that year).
After going for a team-high 32 points, eight rebounds and a team-high eight assists in Dallas’ 106-101 win over Detroit on Jan. 25, the rookie posted a career-high (game-high) 35 points, career-high (game-high) 12 rebounds and a game-high 10 assists against Toronto on Jan. 27. Dončić became the first teenager in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double. He also joined Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Jason Kidd, Oscar Robertson, Jordan and Curry as one of only seven rookies ever to produce a 35-point triple-double.
Dončić, who was recently selected to compete for the World Team in the 2019 Rising Stars game on Friday, Feb. 15, finished third overall in fan voting for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, behind only LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who were both named team captains. The last rookie to rank that high was Grant Hill, who led the entire league in fan voting in 1995.
The 6-7 Slovenian is averaging a team-high 20.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.1 minutes per game this season. He is one of only nine NBA players averaging at least 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game in 2018-19: James Harden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Jokić, Antetokounmpo and James are the others. Dončić and DeRozan were the only two of those nine not named an All-Star this year.
Dončić, who doesn’t turn 20 until Feb. 28, has totaled 999 points through 49 career games. He is poised to become the sixth player since 2000-01 to reach 1,000 career points as a teenager. James (19 years, 41 days) is the youngest player to reach the milestone this millennium, followed by Durant (19 years, 146 days), Devin Booker (19 years, 162 days), Carmelo Anthony (19 years, 256 days) and Dwight Howard (19 years, 331 days). Dončić would also join Griffin (44 games), James (49) and Tyreke Evans (50) as the only players since 2000-01 to reach 1,000 career points through 50 career games.
Among all rookies in 2018-19, Dončić ranks first in scoring (20.4 ppg), second in assists (5.4 apg), third in rebounding (6.9 rpg), third in steals (1.1 spg) and first in minutes (32.1 mpg). He would become just the third rookie in league history to average at least 20-6-5 for a season, joining Robertson and Jordan. Dončić has also knocked down 116 3-pointers this year (116-of-330, .352), which is already the most by a Mavericks rookie in team history.
Dončić has recorded six 30-point efforts on the season, which equals the same amount of 30-point games produced by the entire 2018-19 rookie class combined.
The 19-year-old has increased his scoring average in every month thus far (18.5 ppg in October/November, 21.1 ppg in December, 22.4 ppg in January).
Dončić was originally selected by Atlanta with the third overall pick in this past year’s draft, before having his draft rights traded to Dallas in exchange for the draft rights to the fifth overall pick Trae Young and a protected 2019 first-round pick. He has led Dallas to a 18-7 (.739) record at home this season.