Pat Riley on new Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic: ‘He’s gonna be very good’'
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The Miami Heat selected forward Nikola Jovic with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night. The 19-year-old forward is one of the best international prospects in the 2022 draft class.

Heat president Pat Riley had some major praise for Jovic, who played professionally for Mega Mozzart in Serbia.

Obviously, Riley wouldn’t have drafted Jovic if he didn’t think he was going to be a good NBA player, and it seems that Miami is thrilled he fell to it at No. 27.

Jovic was extremely impressive at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup, and he was actually playing up a year during the tournament. He averaged 18.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game during the tournament.

The Heat are looking to improve their depth entering the 2022-23 season after falling a game short of the NBA Finals in the 2021-22 season. Miami struggled to find proven scoring beside Jimmy Butler in the playoffs when Tyler Herro went down with a groin injury.

It may be a lot to ask right away, but Jovic profiles as a player who could become a solid scoring presence for the Heat going forward.

Jovic has proven that he can play with older competition and still hold his own, which is a great sign for him entering the NBA.

The Heat have some depth at forward, but they could lose Markieff Morris (unrestricted free agent) and P.J. Tucker (opted out of his contract) this offseason. It’s possible Jovic will have a path to playing time right away in Miami if both players move on.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.