Nikola Jovic is ready to take his talents to the NBA after a couple of successful seasons in Europe. International players used to be seen as major risks, but that notion has been put to bed with more and more stars coming to the NBA from abroad. Jovic may be next in line.
Nikola Jovic 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Jovic’s talent was obvious early on, especially when he participated in the 2020-21 Euroleague Next Generation Tournament. He tore up the scene, averaging upwards of 29 points, 10 boards, and four assists per game. It was no surprise to see him win the MVP award for the tournament.
He made his pro debut for Mega Basket in 2021. This season, in the Adriatic League, Jovic averaged about 12 points, four boards, and three assists per game. These are strong numbers for an 18-year-old playing amongst other grown professionals.
In the NBA GM Survey for the 2021-22 season, Jovic was voted as the best international player not playing in the NBA. It’s clear that the forward has talent and potentially a great NBA career coming his way.
First off, Jovic stands at 6’10”. Although he has the body of a big man, he plays a lot like a guard. This, of course, is a growing trend in the NBA (see someone like Luka Doncic).
He handles the ball really well, has excellent vision, and can consistently make the right passes. More than that, his off-ball movement is great and constantly getting better. This allows him to get open for his own shots, which he has no problem taking. His past success allows him to have plenty of confidence.
Jovic also loves to rebound and run. This is similar to what Jokic does for the Denver Nuggets. Jovic is excellent in the transition game. Although he has the vision and ball-handling skills, Jovic is more of a secondary ball-handler. This is fine as his team won’t be starting him at point guard. Jovic also has a strong ability of identifying mismatches and taking advantage of them.
The young Serbian star can improve his shot selection. It’s great that he plays with confidence, but NBA defenses will be all over him to start. His shooting as a whole can use improvement, but by no means is it bad.
Jovic isn’t a stellar or explosive athlete either. With this being said, he can still get around defenders. Aforementioned players like Doncic and Jokic are not extreme athletes either, but they use their arsenal of other skills to succeed. Jovic will have to follow suit.
NBA Comparison for Nikola Jovic
The best comparison for Jovic is Joe Ingles, although Jovic can eventually develop into a better version of the former Utah Jazz veteran. Ingles spent his time with the Jazz as a valuable contributor off the bench, but Jovic holds starting potential.
NBA Draft Projection
Jovic looks to be a surefire first-round pick. He’ll likely go between picks 20 – 30.