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Miami Heat `Couldn't Pass Up' Nikola Jovic In The First Round

Heat take Serbian forward at No. 27 in the NBA draft

There were more familiar names on the board when it came time for the Miami Heat to make their first-round pick in the NBA draft Thursday night. 

But Heat team president Pat Riley shocked many by selecting Serbian forward Nikola Jovic at No. 27. Jovic played for Mega Mozzart, a Serbian basketball team that belongs to the ABA Adriatic League.

“We just think this kid’s a burgeoning talent that you couldn’t pass up at 27,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “He’s played against some really good teams. He’s played against some really good players. He’s been coached very well.”

The 6-foot-11 Jovic, who was born in England, is more of a stretch four than a traditional power forward. The Heat are taking a developmental approach with him because they have scouted him the past few years. 

“All of our scouts have been to Europe over the last couple of years and have seen him developing,” Riley said.

Jovic, 19, said he is excited about the opportunity. 

“I am sure I am going to learn a lot,” Jović said.

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