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A Closer Look at Miami Heat First Round Draft Pick Nikola Jovic

Nikola Jovic
Nikola Jovic, of Serbia, speaks to the news media during a news conference, Monday, June 27, 2022, in Miami. Jovic was selected by the Miami Heat as the No. 27 pick in the 2022 NBA draft. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

On Thursday, the Miami Heat selected Nikola Jovic with the 27th pick of the NBA draft.

The Serbian sensation is currently 19 years old and became one of the youngest players to ever be drafted by the Heat. Jovic started off as a point guard but as he got older, he quickly grew into his 6-11 frame which made many NBA scouts notice. The rising star has the utmost confidence in his ability to be the team’s swiss army knife.

“Now I can do almost everything on the court,” Jovic said at his introductory press conference in Miami.

“I learned a little bit from everyone,” Jovic said. “I don’t have one guy that I’m watching. I watch a little bit of everyone. If it’s Luka’s (Doncic) pick and roll, if it’s (Nikola) Jokic’s low-post game, if it’s Jimmy’s (Butler) defense. I try to learn something from everyone.”

When asked about the kind of role he will have, Heat President Pat Riley said that Jovic will have to “prove his worth” in Summer League before he sees any real time NBA action.

“That is something right now that he should not worry about and we’re not going to worry about,” Riley said. “The whole concept is he’s here and we get him ready for the summer league (and) he gets himself mentally ready for it because it’s been a drain, this whole draft process and working out and coming across, going back and forth. Try to freshen him up this week so he can get ready to get out to San Francisco.”

What’s exciting is Jovic, 6-11, is now listed as a point forward. He has a soft touch shooting the basketball and his experience playing point guard will give the Heat a big man outside of Adebayo that can spread the ball effectively. His ball handling and playmaking skills intrigued the Heat brass and it’s hard to find a better organization from a development standpoint.

Jovic will have to bulk up a bit and improve his defensive skill set, but he’s excited for every challenge ahead.

“It’s been hard for sure, but mentally, I’m really good right now,” Jovic said. “I can’t wait to play. I love the game of basketball. Mentally, it’s never been a problem for me. I just can’t wait to play in the summer league.”

While it’s easy to confuse his name with back-to back MVP Nikola Jokic, the Heat will hope his game resembles the Joker’s in any way, shape, or form.