Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic had a pretty solid preseason for the team, averaging 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while knocking down 34.6 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
While some people thought that it might take a while for him to adjust to the NBA, it seems like the Serbian national could find himself with a solid spot in the Heat’s rotation for the regular season.
Heat star Bam Adebayo recently praised the youngster.
“Man, the thing I like about young fella, he’s a hooper,” Adebayo said. “He’s one of those guys, he figures it out as he goes. And that’s the thing I’ve learned about him so far. Like throwing him in the first unit, he looked like he was comfortable with us.
“He knows exactly where to go, figuring it out in the flow, keeping the spacing. He’s not running around mindless. The kid can hoop.”
Jovic had a couple of solid outings for the Heat in preseason, including a 15-point, 12-rebound performance against the Houston Rockets on Monday. He followed that up with some nice minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
Jovic being a part of the Heat’s main rotation in the upcoming season would be a welcome surprise. Given the Heat’s pretty quiet offseason, Jovic could end up seeing a decent amount of minutes for Miami.
The 19-year-old plays with a certain type of finesse that is rare in players his size. While he likes to play on the perimeter a lot, he’s also capable of battling down low and grabbing lots of rebounds.
Although the Heat seem certain to roll out a starting lineup of Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin and Adebayo during most regular season games, it wouldn’t come as a shock to see Jovic get some starts here and there.
He’s shown that he has the skills to make plays on and off the ball. His offensive game looks to be very mature for his age, and pairing him with Adebayo in the frontcourt could open up the team’s offense.
Only time will tell how much of an impact Jovic has for the Heat in the upcoming season, but it looks as though Miami made the right choice in selecting him in the first round of this year’s draft.