Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic Create A Fierce Euro Duo In Dallas

With Anthony Davis staying put in New Orleans, the biggest name from the NBA trade deadline may have been Latvian superstar Kristaps Porzingis. In a nearly unprecedented move, the New York Knicks decided to trade the 2018 All-Star before the end of his rookie contract to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and two future first-round picks.

While the move raises a lot of questions surrounding the Knick’s future cap space and Kristaps’ health, the most interesting aspect of this trade has to be the tantalizing potential of a Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis one-two punch. While there are still questions about their fit together, the Mavericks have good reason to be excited about bringing together two of the most versatile and promising young (European) superstars in the league.

Porzingis was selected as an All-Star in the 2017-18 season, averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, while shooting 39.5 percent from three. Luka Doncic is having a rookie season for the ages, and despite being only 19 years old, is currently the favorite to win rookie of the year. While we may have to wait until next season to see Porzingis in action, the duo certainly has the potential to be one of the most exciting pair of players in the league, certainly one of the most exciting pairs of international players.

A 7-foot-3 unicorn and a 6-foot-7 point guard, respectively, Porzingis and Doncic are great examples of the changing style of the modern NBA, and the rising significance of international players in this new game. Some have already begun hailing them as one of the best international duos of all time

Despite it being early in their careers, we decided to see just how well they do stack up against some of the other great European pairs in history. We looked back at the last 35 years of international players in the NBA to try to project just what we can expect from this duo. Looking just at European teammates, we ranked these pairs by win shares, or an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player. The total WS for Kristaps and Luka is based on extrapolating their win shares/game to a full 82-game season (given that Luka has yet to complete a full season, and Kristaps’ last season was cut short by injury). 

Top Euro Pairs in the Lottery Era (Win Shares)

RkPlayerSeasonTmTotal WS
1Dirk Nowitzki + Shawn Bradley2002-03DAL23.5
2Peja Stojakovic + Vlade Divac2000-01SAC17.5
3Mehmet Okur + Andrei Kirilenko2005-06UTA17.2
4Dirk Nowitzki + Jose Calderon2013-14DAL17.2
5Nikola Jokic + Danilo Gallinari2016-17DEN16.5
6Pau Gasol + Nikola Mirotic2014-15CHI16.1
7Detlef Schrempf + Rik Smits1989-90IND14.7
8Andrei Kirilenko + Mehmet Okur2007-08UTA13.8
9Jonas Valanciunas + Jakob Poeltl2017-18TOR13.2
10Dirk Nowitzki + Zaza Pachulia2015-16DAL12.8
11Marco Belinelli + Tony Parker2013-14SAS11.8
12Luka Doncic + Kristaps Porzingis*

While the pair still has quite a ways to go before matching the win share totals put up by Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, who has put up three of the winningest seasons with three different sets of teammates on this list, Luka and Kristpaps’ 12th-place finish on this all-time list alongside Hall-of-Famers like Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Vlade Divac is certainly a promising sign for Luka’s rookie season. 

Looking back at the past 35 years, it was also surprising to see just how many great European players have impacted the NBA. While I certainly expect Porzingis and Doncic to be competing for the top spot on this list over the next few seasons, the strength of their competition may only be trending upwards as the game grows more internationally: six of the top 11 seasons for European duos have occured in in the past five seasons.

So while it is perhaps a bit early to be labeling Doncic and Porzingis the greatest international duo of all time, their future and the future of European basketball players in the NBA does look incredibly bright.

Fri Lavey is a writer and consultant who studied economics and statistics at Harvard University. He has previously worked as a data analyst for the NBA, the MLB, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

March Madness Gives Kentucky 1-&-Dones Platform To Improve NBA Draft Stock

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's March Madness and that means another batch of Kentucky freshman is expected to go one-and-done.

5 Teams On Upset Alert In The 2019 NCAA Tournament, Including No. 3 Purdue

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – March Madness. While everyone is frantically researching teams, filling out brackets and checking it twice, FloHoops decided to answer the question on everyone’s mind: “Which upsets should I choose?” 

The Euro Step: Clutch Cory Higgins & Scouting Goga Bitadze

Give Cory Higgins his respect.

North Carolina Central Earns NCAA Tournament Berth For Third Year In A Row

A tagline to summarize North Carolina Central’s 2018-19 season could be 3AC. 

Duke A 9/4 Favorite To Win 2019 NCAA Tournament According To Betting Odds

Duke phenom Zion Williamson and the Blue Devils are favored to win the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest odds from BetOnline.Ag.

Led By RJ Barrett, 9 Montverde Alumni Feature In 2019 NCAA Tournament

Prep basketball powerhouse Montverde Academy sends numerous recruits to the NCAA ranks every year. No surprise, then, that the Eagles are well-represented in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field. 

Gatorade Names Finalists For Boys Basketball Player Of The Year Award

James Wiseman, Nico Mannion and R.J. Hampton were named Friday as the three finalists for the 2018-2019 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award.

So Far, So Good For MEAC Regular Season Champ Norfolk State

The t-shirts—gold with “Cut The Net” in green block lettering—were printed over the summer. That’s when Norfolk State coach Robert Jones said he saw the potential for something special in the 2018-19 Spartans.

Keion Brooks Will Announce His College Decision Friday

In one of the most highly anticipated announcements in the Class of 2019, Keion Brooks will reveal his college decision Friday night.

Greatest NCAA Tournament Upsets By MEAC Teams

The game clock at CHI Health Center Omaha ticked below 40 seconds when Norfolk State guard Chris McEachin fired a pull-up jump shot from the baseline.