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Nikola Jovic has Potential to be Next Great Serbian in NBA

Nikola Jovic combines many different skills that could make him a star in the NBA.

Another Serbian with high potential is on the path to NBA stardom.

Nikola Jovic is a projected top-25 pick who could be drafted earlier, depending on his previous draft workouts.

No, not the two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, this is Jovic, an 18-year-old rising star looking to make a name for himself.

Jovic played in the Adriatic League for Mega Mozzart, where he averaged nearly 12 points and more than four rebounds in nearly 30 minutes per game.

Jovic also has strong national team experience playing for the Serbian senior national team in the most recent FIBA Under-19 World Cup. He was named to the all-tournament team that included other projected first-round picks Chet Holmgren and Jaden Ivey.

Jovic is listed as a 6-foot-10 forward where his vast combination of skills has intrigued NBA scouts. Using ball handling, shot-making, which includes dynamic 3-point abilities, and size paired with confidence has opened the eyes of scouts. However, Jovic didn’t begin to get recognized until March of 2021, when he posted a stat line of 29.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game playing for ANGT Belgrade.

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A lottery selection would make him the first Serbian drafted in the lottery since Darko Milicic in 2003.

The Thunder have never shied away from young foreign projects with their first-round picks. Most notably, players like Aleksej Pokusevski.

Jovic matches the mold of an OKC draft pick and fills multiple needs for OKC, including height and length.

While he’s ranked as the No. 23 overall prospect by ESPN, the Thunder could go with him with their latter of two lottery picks, pairing him with another high-level talent.

Pairing Jovic with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, and others could set up the Thunder for future success. 

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