This is probably a bit unfair, as Luka was not only one of the best rookies we’ve ever seen, but is now a perennial MVP candidate that is probably more important to his team than any other player in the NBA.
But there are some similarities.
Both have plus size for the point guard position, aren’t lighting fast and can’t jump out of the gym, but use smarts and change of pace to get where they want and set up teammates.
Both are comfortable scoring from all three levels, struggle with turnovers at times and are the focal point of their team’s offense.
Yesterday I took a look at how Cade Cunningham compared to three star guards who are at different points in their career, and he is right on track to be the next.
Today I want to see how Cade Cunningham compares to Luka Doncic’s rookie season. Is Cade on the path to greatness?
Luka Doncic’s rookie season was great from the start
It should first be noted that few players in the history of the NBA have made the kind of immediate impact that Luka made when he was drafted by the Mavericks (technically the Hawks, who traded him for the rights to Trae Young and a future pick.)
He came out of the gate scoring right away and didn’t look like the typical rookie even though he was only 19-years-old.
Doncic had already been playing pro basketball for years at that point, so came into the league used to competing against adults with near NBA-level athleticism, an advantage that Cade did not enjoy while playing at Oklahoma State with a bunch of teammates who weren’t on the same level.
Even though Luka’s rookie season was one for the ages, Cunningham is not that far off his numbers and could end up there by the end of the season if he can just improve in two areas.