Nikola Jovic is one of the highest-ranked international prospects in this year’s draft, and for a good reason. Jovic had a successful season for Mega Mozzart, averaging 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in just shy of 28 minutes per game. The ABA League has had a ton of talented players that ended up playing in the NBA, including Nikola Jokic, Dario Saric, Goga Bitadze, and others. Perhaps, Jovic is the next solid NBA player to come from this league.
Nikola Jovic Scouting Report
Jovic had some favorable measurements at the combine, including being 6-foot-11 in shoes with a plus wingspan over seven feet. Jovic has a small forward’s athleticism and straight-line speed with impressive passing and shooting skills. Jovic did not play in the 5v5s, but he didn’t need to because he’s a surefire first-round pick. Below, I cover Nikola’s measurements, strengths, weaknesses, draft ranking, team fit, landing spot, and comparison, so take a look.
Weight: 222.6 lbs
Position: Small Forward
College/Pro Team: Mega Mozzart
Strengths: The most apparent strengths for Jovic are his shooting, size, length, and athleticism. For being nearly seven feet tall, Jovic moves with the fluidity of a smaller, faster forward. Several highlights of Nikola pop off the screen and show his aptitude for scoring and passing. If he continues to work on his ball-handling, particularly his left hand, and change of speed, he could have shot creation potential at the next level, too.
Weaknesses: The most significant concerns for Jovic at the next level are his ball-handling, specifically with his left hand, and defense. Jovic’s highlights are impressive, but he favors his right hand a problematic amount. Luckily, he is still super young and a raw prospect, so he can fix this. His defense has been described as a “cone” by some scouts, which will make it difficult for him to find the floor in his first few years in the league. Teams will hunt him on that end of the floor if he does not correct this quickly. Again, Jovic does have an advantage because of his height and length, and that can only occasionally cover up his deficiencies, but against the most talented players in the world, he could get exposed on that end.
Nikola Jovic Stats
Nikola Jovic NBA Draft Ranking, Team Fit, Landing Spot
Draft Ranking: 15
Team Fit: Nikola Jovic could fit in well with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves love to play up-tempo, evidenced by the fact they ranked first in PACE in the regular season and playoffs. Jovic would also be able to hide his poor defense a bit because of how Minnesota plays. Jovic’s incredible straight-line speed and strong catch-and-shoot ability from deep would make him a great fit in Minnesota, which ranked fourth in fastbreak points per game. He could be the missing link for a team that could use a larger forward to complement Karl Anthony-Towns.
Landing Spot: Last year, many thought Jovic could wind up being a top ten pick in the 2022 NBA Draft; however, that seems unlikely at this point. Jovic should be selected anywhere between the late teens and mid-20s. I don’t see him dropping out of the first round due to his size, shooting, and shot creation upside.
Nikola Jovic NBA Comparison: more athletic Danilo Gallinari
Jovic has a knack for scoring and doing it in various ways. His shooting stroke is pure with great mechanics, and he can finish around the basket fairly well due to his size and above-average athleticism. Jovic projects as a small forward version of Danilo Gallinari with superior athletic ability and potentially more of a scoring repertoire on the offensive end of the floor. Gallinari has made a career in being a scorer on several teams, whether he starts or comes off the bench, and Jovic could find himself in a similar position throughout his career.
Nikola Jovic Highlights
Jovic has a collection of highlights from this season that are incredibly impressive for a nearly seven-foot teenager. Very few players of his size can move with the fluidity that he does, and when you pair that with his shooting, his upside becomes undeniable. Take a look below at the embedded video to see firsthand what makes Nikola Jovic a unique and special prospect.