Slovenian basketball player Luka Dončić has confirmed that he will play for the Slovenian national team in the Olympic qualifiers which will take place from June 23-28, 2020.
Dončić, who is currently playing for Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, told AS, the Spanish sports magazine, that he is also hoping for his NBA team to qualify for the playoffs this season, which will take place between April 19 and June 5th, 2020.
When exactly Dončić can return to his national team therefore depends on the success of the Mavericks this season, who are currently ranked seventh in the Western conference. The first eight teams of each two conferences qualify for the playoffs. For all non-qualifying teams, the regular season ends on April 15, 2020.
The last time Dončić played for the national team was in 2017, when Slovenia won the European Championship under the brilliant guidance of team’s leader Goran Dragić and the chief coach Igor Kokoškov. Dragić has meanwhile retired from the national team while Kokoškov has, following Slovenia’s unsuccessful bid for World Championship in China, recently switched to the Serbian national team, whom Slovenia surprisingly beat in the 2017 Eurobasket finals.
Whether Slovenia is going to meet Serbia in the Olympic qualifiers will be decided by a draw on November 27, 2019, which will determine which of the five teams Slovenia will need to play against in order to end up first in the group and hence qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.