NBA team the Dallas Mavericks are getting closer to having Slovenian player Luka Doncic ready for action.
The 19-year-old was the no.3 overall pick in the 2018 draft and was acquired by the Mavericks in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that Doncic should be eligible to play soon, but says there are several boxes they have to tick first.
“He needs to have his buyout completed with Real Madrid, he needs a FIBA letter of clearance, he needs a physical and he needs to sign a contract,” Carlisle said before the Mavericks’ opening summer league clash in Las Vegas.
“We’re getting close to getting those things done. But we’re not there yet.”
He added, “He has not had a live practice yet, but he will be in Vegas.
“He is going to continue to ramp up his workload and there remains a possibility that he could play. But to what percentage I could guarantee that, I just can’t. I’m not going to go there.
“But that’s where things are. And remember, this guy just got done playing 10 days ago or whatever. This is the set of facts that we’re looking at.”
Doncic played last season with Real Madrid and led them to the EuroLeague title less than a week before the June 21 draft.
Between FIBA play, Eurobasket, and ACB league games, Doncic has played over 150 professional games the last two seasons.
“We’ve got to understand that he is 19,” said Carlisle after the draft.
“NBA stardom doesn’t happen overnight. It’s going to be a process, and we’ve got to protect him as well as be excited for him to get on the floor and do the things that he’s done so well in Europe.”