Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Heat draft Serbian forward Nikola Jovic with 27th pick

  • Updated
  • 0
NBA Draft International Prospects Basketball

FILE - Mega's Nikola Jovic tries to score during the ABA League basketball match between FMP and Mega in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. Jovic, of Serbia, is one of the top international prospects heading into this year's NBA draft.

Serbian forward Nikola Jovic was selected by the Miami Heat with the 27th pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

The 19-year-old was born in England and moved to Serbia when he was 9. He has played for Mega Basket in the Serbian league, averaging 11.7 points on 43% shooting in that league this past season.

The 6-foot-11, 210-pounder also has some range, shooting 36% from 3-point range for Mega.

Jovic has already been to a game in Miami, attending a playoff game this spring.

“I was in Miami for almost one month when I came for the draft process," Jovic said. “I think the city is great — nice weather, perfect weather. I met a lot of people there, really good people. So I like Miami, yeah. The funny thing is, it’s the first city I came to when I came to USA, so I think it’s a perfect one."

His name is often confused with Denver's Nikola Jokic, the two-time reigning NBA MVP — also from Serbia.

Jovic said he's hoping to meet Jokic one day.

“It would be crazy," Jovic said.

Miami was the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this past season and went to the conference finals, losing a Game 7 at home to eventual NBA runner-up Boston. The Heat have most of their key pieces under contract for next season, and in many cases beyond, with the core of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry all with multiple years left.

History has shown the No. 27 selection can prove to be a good one. There were five players this past season — all 27th picks — who averaged at least 10 points a game, that list being Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, Washington’s Kyle Kuzma, Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic and Boston’s Robert Williams.

Some have even gotten to the Hall of Fame after being drafted 27th, with Dennis Rodman getting enshrined in 2011. Also in the Hall: the player who was the No. 27 pick in the 1964 draft — John Thompson, who didn’t make it for averaging 3.5 points in 74 games with the Celtics, getting there instead for his legendary coaching career at Georgetown.

The Heat do not have a second-round selection. They had to forfeit what would have been their second-rounder this year after the NBA determined they broke league rules regarding timing of free-agent negotiations while working on the deal that brought Lowry to Miami last summer.

Chicago was found to have committed a similar offense last summer as well — in its case, the negotiations led to the deal that brought Lonzo Ball to the Bulls — and also had its second-rounder this year taken away. Those forfeitures by the Heat and Bulls are why this draft is composed of only 58 picks instead of the customary 60.

More AP NBA: and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Steve Clifford is heading back to Charlotte. Clifford has agreed to a multiyear contract to return as head coach of the NBA’s Hornets four years after being fired by team owner Michael Jordan, the team announced Friday night. Charlotte previously agreed to terms on a four-year contract with Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson to become head coach, but he later informed the team he was not taking the job citing family reasons. The 60-year-old Clifford spent five seasons coaching the Hornets, compiling a 196-214 record with a team that included Kemba Walker, before being fired in 2018. He coached the Magic from 2018-21. Charlotte fired James Borrego in April.

The Milwaukee Bucks capitalized on a rare opportunity to pick in the first round of the draft by taking NBA G League Ignite wing MarJon Beauchamp with the 24th overall selection. The 6-foot-6 Beauchamp averaged 15.1 points for the Ignite this season. That was the latest step in a circuitous path to the NBA that included stops at four different high schools and Yakima Valley College. Beauchamp shapes up to be the first opening-round pick the Bucks have kept beyond draft night since taking Donte DiVincenzo 17th overall in 2018.

Mike Brown has finally been formally introduced as the Sacramento Kings new coach, just one day after celebrating the Warriors’ fourth championship in eight years with a victory parade through San Francisco.Sacramento hired the well-traveled Brown in May but he stayed with the Warriors through their postseason run that ended with the franchise’s fourth championship in eight years last Thursday night in the clinching Game 6 at Boston. Now, Brown is ready to build a regular contender in California's capital.

The Philadelphia 76ers have traded the 23rd overall pick of the NBA draft and Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton, said a person with knowledge of the situation. The Sixers selected Colorado State’s David Roddy Thursday night and he will be sent to Memphis, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official. The Sixers were only scheduled to have the 23rd pick in the draft.

The Indiana Pacers took Arizona sophomore Bennedict Mathurin at No. 6 overall in the NBA draft. Mathurin, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard and small forward, averaged 17.7 points. 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season. He was the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Mathurin was born and raised in Montreal and the Pacers added another Canadian at No. 31 in Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard.

The Detroit Pistons have selected Purdue's Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 overall pick in the NBA draft. Detroit’s rebuilding plan should get a boost with the addition of the dynamic player. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ivey can play point or shooting guard. The busy team acquired Memphis center Jalen Duren, who was drafted No. 13 overall by Charlotte and traded to New York. Detroit also added Knicks guard Kemba Walker in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick it acquired the previous day. The Pistons added Italian guard Gabriele Procida, who shot 38.3% on 3-pointers for Bologna.

Dallas Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison can finally say he has made a draft pick. The Mavericks traded back into the NBA draft to get 37th overall pick Jaden Hardy from the Sacramento Kings. The Mavericks originally had the 26th pick in the first round but traded it to Houston last week in a deal for Christian Wood. It's Harrison's second year as GM. He didn't have a selection in his first draft last summer. Hardy will have difficulty breaking into the rotation in a backcourt led by young superstar Luka Doncic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers added some championship pedigree, selecting Kansas forward Ochai Agbaji with the No. 14 overall pick in the NBA draft. The Cavs were looking to land a wing player and believe they got a good one in the 6-foot-5 Agbaji, who led Kansas to the NCAA title last season. Agbaji was named the most outstanding player at the Final Four. The 22-year-old averaged 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and made 41% of his 3-pointers last season. He’ll join one of the league’s most intriguing young rosters in Cleveland, and a team with playoff aspirations following a turnaround season. In the second round, the Cavs took Isaiah Mobley, the older brother of Cleveland forward Evan Mobley.

This year, Paolo Banchero was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft — a choice some consider a mild surprise. Next year, it’ll almost certainly be Victor Wembanyama. That will be no surprise. Those who haven’t heard of the 7-foot-3 French teenager probably should familiarize themselves over the next 12 months, because he’s coming to the NBA -- and he’s already being touted as an immediate-impact player. The comparisons are many, and all are impressive. Physically, he reminds scouts of Kristaps Porzingis. In terms of the combination of height and shooting ability, he’s reminiscent of what Kevin Durant was at that age. And he’s carried around the can’t-miss label for a couple years already.

The Toronto Raptors selected Arizona center Christian Koloko with the 33rd overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night. The 7-foot-1 Koloko played three seasons with the Wildcats, averaging career-bests of 12.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 37 games as a junior. Koloko, 22, is from Douala, Cameroon, the same birth city as Raptors All-Star forward Pascal Siakam.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alert