The Miami Heat reportedly are assigning first-round pick Nikola Jovic to the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Jovic, who was the No. 27 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, will get more opportunities for playing time and to improve in the G League.
Nikola Jovic has been assigned to the G League Sioux Falls Skyforce by the Heat for additional seasoning. He left this morning.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 9, 2022
The Heat needed Jovic to play some bigger minutes with a ton of players injured earlier this season, but with Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo and others returning to the rotation, Jovic had not played in five of Miami’s last six games.
So far this season with the Heat, Jovic is averaging 6.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 40.4 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. Jovic has appeared in 11 games and is playing 15.4 minutes per contest.
For now, the Heat clearly want to give Jovic chances to play and develop so he’s ready to contribute at the NBA level. The rookie certainly has flashed some ability early on this season, but the team doesn’t seem to view him as a rotation piece just yet.
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) November 19, 2022
The Heat have gotten off to a slow start this season, going just 12-14 through their first 26 games of the season. A big reason for that has been the team’s injuries, but the Heat have to turn things around quickly if they want to repeat the success of last season.
During the 2021-22 campaign, the Heat were one of the best teams in the NBA, finishing with the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference. The team went on to make the Eastern Conference Finals, but it lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games.
The Heat are expecting similar things from this year’s team, but they’ve had some bad losses early in the season.
After losing P.J. Tucker in free agency this past offseason, the Heat have turned to Caleb Martin as the starter at power forward.
It’s possible that Jovic could eventually push for minutes in the rotation at that spot, but for now he’s better suited getting consistent time in the G League.
Miami can always bring Jovic back up if there is an injury that frees up minutes for him in the rotation.