Trae Young and Luka Doncic are Already Friends Off the Court

Trae Young and Luka Doncic will meet for the first time as NBA regular-season foes on Wednesday night, when the Atlanta Hawks host the Dallas Mavericks at the revamped State Farm Arena. But off the court, the two star rookies—who were traded for each other during the 2018 NBA draft—have already become fast friends.

The bond first formed this August, when Trae and Luka traded stories and contact information during the annual Rookie Transition Program in Parsippany, New Jersey.

“Before he came over to the states, I really didn’t know too much about him,” Trae told about Luka. “I got to know him a lot during the Rookie Transition [Program]. He’s really a good dude. We exchanged [phone] numbers.”

Trae and Luka were both standouts at their respective levels last season. While Trae finished his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma as a consensus first-team All-American, Luka was busy sweeping through Europe with Real Madrid as a champion, MVP and first-team performer in both the EuroLeague and Spain’s Liga ACB.

The Hawks selected Luka with the No. 3 pick in June before sending him to Dallas in a deal for Trae (the No. 5 pick), and a top-5 protected 2019 first-round pick.

“He’s a great player,” Luka said in praise of Trae to “He’s proved himself a lot. He’s really putting on a show.”

That should be the case for years to come as these newcomers continue to grow as both competitors on the court, and compadres off of it.