Nikola Jovic’s future with the Miami Heat remains murky because of his potential inclusion in a trade package for Damian Lillard.
But the organization seems prepared to potentially have the Serbian on the roster when the regular season starts. Some Heat officials have even reportedly talked “quite a bit” about Kevin Love serving as his mentor.
Kevin Love mentoring Jovic is something Heat officials have talked quite a bit about https://t.co/keGsxpiiC3
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) September 10, 2023
The one-time NBA champion expressed being proud of what his Heat teammate was able to accomplish in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Serbia, Jovic’s national team, was missing key pieces in the tournament, including NBA superstar Nikola Jokic, who opted against playing in the event. Even so, the squad made an improbable run to the gold medal round, losing to Germany in a nail-biter on Sunday.
Jovic played a crucial role for Serbia, averaging 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The 6-foot-10 forward made his mark in the group stage, scoring 17 points against Puerto Rico and 25 points against South Sudan to help his team top its group entering the second round of the competition.
Against Germany in the final round, the Heat’s 2022 first-round pick did most of his damage on the boards, hauling in a team-high eight rebounds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for his squad as it lost the rebounding battle 35-29. Germany emerged victorious by a final score of 83-77.
After completing his service to his nation in the offseason, Jovic will likely shift his attention soon to helping Miami contend again for an NBA title.
The 20-year-old had a relatively quiet rookie campaign, producing just 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in 15 appearances in the regular season. He failed to crack the Heat’s playoff rotation, although he was along for the ride as his team faced off against his compatriot Jokic in the NBA Finals.
Many Heat fans are hoping that Jovic can make a leap this season — that is, if he stays with the organization. As one of Miami’s top prospects, he is expected to be included in potential trade packages that Miami might offer for Lillard.
It remains to be seen what uniform Jovic will wear once the regular season starts, but he has already signified his desire to stay in Miami.