Who’s Nikola Jovic? Meet the highest European NBA Draft prospect in 2022

Final yr, Australia’s Josh Giddey was chosen within the lottery. Subsequent yr, France’s Victor Wembanyama is anticipated to be the No. 1 choose within the draft.

There is not a world prospect on this yr’s draft projected to go as excessive as Giddey or Wembanyama, however that does not imply there is no worldwide expertise to get enthusiastic about.

Essentially the most fascinating one within the group? Nikola Jovic.

Jovic solely lately burst onto the scene. Based on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, he switched from enjoying water polo to basketball as an adolescent, and it wasn’t till March of 2021 that he was thought-about to be a significant prospect in Europe.

Now, Jovic is anticipated to listen to his identify known as within the first spherical of the draft.

From his background to his strengths and weaknesses, here is all the pieces you must know concerning the prime European prospect within the 2022 NBA Draft.

How outdated is Nikola Jovic?

Born on June 9, 2003, Jovic is nineteen years outdated.

The place is Nikola Jovic from?

Jovic was born in England however is from Serbia.

How tall is Nikola Jovic?

Jovic measured at 6-foot-11 in footwear with a 7-foot wingspan on the 2022 NBA Draft Mix.

Is Nikola Jovic associated to Nikola Jokic?

They’re each Serbian and all however one letter of their names is identical, however no, Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic aren’t associated. In reality, Jovic has never met Jokic, although he hopes that’ll change quickly.

Nikola Jovic’s resume

Jovic spent the 2021-22 season enjoying for Mega Basket’s senior males’s crew within the Adriatic Basketball Affiliation. In 25 video games (19 begins), he averaged 11.7 factors, 4.4 rebounds and three.4 assists on .428/.356/.754 capturing splits (area objectives/3-pointers/free throws).

Jovic was named the ABA League Prime Prospect on the season’s finish, an honor that goes to the league’s greatest participant aged 22 and underneath. Earlier winners embody Dario Saric, Ante Zizic, Goga Bitadze and Jokic.

Jovic additionally earned votes for greatest worldwide participant not within the NBA by a number of the league’s common managers forward of the 2021-22 season.

What are Nikola Jovic’s strengths?

Jovic is a 6-foot-11 ahead with guard ability and a great really feel for the sport.

Jovic has a easy capturing stroke with vary that extends out to the 3-point line, flashed some potential as a shot creator, handles the ball effectively for his dimension and is a legitimately good passer. He isn’t thought-about to be an elite athlete, however he runs the ground effectively in transition and is able to ending on the rim.

Whereas he would possibly must bulk as much as play energy ahead within the NBA, it is not arduous to see Jovic ultimately enjoying the function of a stretch 4 or level ahead.

What are Nikola Jovic’s weaknesses?

The most important knock on Jovic is that he wants so as to add some dimension and enhance as a defender.

From ESPN’s Mike Schmitz:

Jovic should enhance drastically on protection, as he is a bit too upright to constantly stick with perimeter gamers but not fairly bodily sufficient to bang with true bigs on the inside. Evolving his off-ball protection and stabilizing his often-fluctuating motor will actually assist him win the margins, as he is probably by no means going to fairly have the vary or flexibility to be a 1-on-1 stopper. He has proven indicators of development currently, bodying up forwards like Rodions Kurucs on penetration and utilizing his positional size to vary pictures within the paint.

Jovic additionally has room to enhance as a finisher across the basket and will be turnover susceptible at occasions, coughing the ball up 2.7 occasions per sport this season.

Nikola Jovic NBA comparisons

Jovic is usually in comparison with expert European wings resembling Hedo Turkoglu, Danilo Gallinari and Deni Avdija.

The place is Nikola Jovic projected to go within the 2022 NBA Draft?

SN’s draft professional Kyle Irving had Jovic ranked twenty first on his most up-to-date huge board and had him going to the Grizzlies with the twenty second choose in his most up-to-date mock draft.

“Jovic is at his greatest enjoying on the perimeter with artful passing expertise. However he additionally has nice contact across the basket as a slithery finisher,” writes Irving. “He’s coming off of a robust season with Mega Basket within the ABA, the place he proved he is greater than able to holding his personal in opposition to different professionals.”

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