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Luka Doncic to make NBA debut in Mavs’ preseason opener

Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic

The much-anticipated debut of Luka Doncic has nearly arrived. He’s slated to appear for the Dallas Mavericks in their preseason opener.

Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News notes head coach Rick Carlisle confirmed the news, saying Doncic will hold a substantial role Saturday against the Beijing Ducks.

Doncic, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 draft, didn’t play for Dallas during Summer League in July. That’s largely because he had recently finished a championship season with Real Madrid in EuroLeague.

But now, he’s ready for the unofficial beginning to his NBA career.

Plus, the exhibition will hopefully provide further insight into the Mavericks’ outlook for the 2018-19 season. Doncic is expected to hold a starting role immediately alongside Dennis Smith Jr. and key offseason signing DeAndre Jordan. Longtime star Dirk Nowitzki will be a reserve.

Doncic is such a versatile piece that a single position doesn’t adequately capture his value. So, we’re curious to see how Carlisle plans to utilize Doncic’s skills, and Saturday will offer the first live-action answers.