NIKOLA JOVIĆ

BIRTHDATE: 6/9/03

POSITION: Combo Forward

HEIGHT: 6'10"

WEIGHT: 210 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Mega Bemax (Serbia)

CLASS: International 

STRENGTHS

  • Skilled big wing ball handler

  • Likes to post up smaller players 

  • Extremely confident 

  • Good feel as a passer 

  • Can make advanced reads 

  • Plays tough; Has some grit 

  • Can face up and be slower defenders off the dribble 

  • Comfortable putting ball on the floor 

  • Attacks closeouts 

  • Capable shooter 

  • Rebound & Run threat

  • Very good feel as a cutter

  • Good athlete in open floor with runway 

  • Breaks defenses down with movement

  • Straight line driver 

  • Runs the floor in transition 

  • Comfortable P&R ball handler 

  • Secondary ball handler 

  • Shoots floater in traffic 

  • Nice frame, strong lower body 

AREAS TO IMPROVE

  • Shot selection 

  • Can be a ball stopper 

  • Lacks vertical pop and explosiveness 

  • Below the rim finisher in half court 

  • Shooting consistency 

  • Rushes shot and does not always follow through

  • Can’t blow by good athletic defenders

Nikola Jovic a skilled oversized wing that can do a little bit of everything on the basketball court with a game that fits the modern day NBA.

 

At 6’10” Jovic creates mismatches all over the floor. He has the size of a center and the skill set of a guard. Although he lacks ideal footspeed he’s finds way to get to the rack by attacking closeouts or using ball screens.

 

Jovic is also a pretty good shot creator that can make defenders pay for going under screens; or break his man down off the dribble and splash a clutch step back 3s like he did vs Japan at the U19 World Cup 

 

I’m a big fan of guys that play with swagger and exude confidence and Jovic carries himself as if he’s knows he’s the best player on the floor every night. He aggressively attacks smaller players and loves the ball in the mid post… This may sound funny but he has some Jayson Tatum in his game as far how he looks to score on isolation mid post shots which is frowned upon in todays analytics driven NBA…

 

Outside Shooting

 

Jovic is a very streaky shooter from deep that shot a respectable 36% from 3 at the Under 19s World Cup. At this point in his career he’s more of a scorer and shot maker than sniper, but I believe he’ll develop into a knockdown catch and shoot floor spacer in the near future. Based off the Real GM statistics, he only shot 26.6% from 3 in 4 different leagues or tournaments in the 2020-21 season. I think he’s a better shooter than the numbers indicate and his inefficient numbers are largely related to shot selection and an inconsistent follow though, while I’ll touch on later in the video..

 

Cutting

 

Arguably, Jovic is the most complete scorer out of the international players in the 2022 Draft class… He has a high IQ, and he never gives defenders a break when he doesnt have the ball. A lot of gifted scorers just stand around when the ball is not in their hands. Jovic is a very intuitive cutter that finds way to sneak back door for easy baskets on aggressive or lazy defenders.

 

Jovic set the tone for his strong play at the U19s with this transition dunk on the first possession on day 1 of the tournament. That’s when I knew this kid was different. A little over 17% of his field goal attempts were in the open floor where can show case his functional athleticism when he has a runway. He’s a threat to score leading the break, filling the lanes or creating for teammates.

 

 

I don’t know what’s in the water in Serbia, but they seem to breed oversize playmakers with the passing instincts and feel of a point guard. It seems almost every Serbian basketball player is a good passer at the very minimum. Milos Teodosic is one of my favorite playmakers of all time. Jokic will go down as the best passing center in NBA history and Pokusevski is literally a 7 foot guard…. Jovic, isn’t on their levels as a passer, but he’s pretty damn good playmaker for his size. His passing is one of his most intriguing skill sets as he’s capable of being a secondary playmaker than can comfortably initiate the offense out of pick & roll.

 

As far as areas of concern. The main one that stands out to me his lack of ideal athleticism. He’s a good athlete especially when he has a runway and is going downhill.. My concerns are in the half court where he may struggle getting by athletic defenders and his lack of quick twitch vertical pop around the rim. He’s prettt much a below the rim finisher if he doesn’t have a clear open path to the rim. 

 

Like most scorers, he has tendency to take tough contested shots and occasionally the ball sticks to his hands. As great as Jayson Tatum is the one knock on him is he can be too isolation and one on one focused, ans Jovic has some Tatum like possessions where he spends 5 seconds just jabbing and then shooting a contested mid range J.

Rafael Barlowe - August 7, 2021