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NBA execs vote Luka Doncic as top young player to build around for fourth year in a row

If you were starting an NBA franchise and could pick any player to build your team around, who would you pick?

That was the question Hoops Hype asked 20 NBA executives just before the 2023 season tipped off. The answer was the same as it’s been for the past four years, Luka Doncic. The Dallas Mavericks’ franchise player instantly became a superstar after somehow slipping to the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, winning Rookie of the Year. He’s since become a four-time All-NBA player, and chances are if he stays healthy, Doncic will make his fifth consecutive All-Star game too.

He does it all on the basketball court, and Wednesday’s thrilling season-opening win over San Antonio was the latest example of his wizardry. Doncic led the game with 33 points and also tallied 13 rebounds, 10 assists, and two steals. It was the 57th triple-double of the 24-year-old’s career, where he currently ranks tenth on the NBA’s all-time career triple-doubles list, just two behind Larry Bird for ninth place. As much as Nikola Jokic is known for being a triple-double machine, Doncic trails the two-time MVP by 48, and he’s four years younger.

So it’s no surprise to see Doncic rank in first place among the polled NBA execs when asked to name their top five players under the age of 25 once again. Here is the rest of the top five from the Hoops Hype poll.

  • Luka Doncic – 76 percent of the maximum vote
  • Victor Wembanyama – 62.5 percent
  • Anthony Edwards – 49 percent
  • Ja Morant – 22 percent
  • Evan Mobley – 8.5 percent

You can view the full results at Hoops Hype, including several other players who received votes but did not land in the top five, according to the execs polled.

Related: NBA playoff predictions: Bracket picks & 2024 Finals champion

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