San Antonio Spurs Draft

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Pre-lottery look at every team's best option

Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Nikola Jovic. . Point Forward. Mega Basket. 30. player. 149.

Where do we even begin with Nikola Jovic? First of all, none of the skills matter if he cannot adapt to NBA physicality. At 6-foot-10, the Serbian forward plays a game more consistent with an oversized point guard. He’s a daring ball-handler and skillful passer who uses his height to pick out passing lanes that aren’t accessible to your average floor general.

His ball-handling is impressive for a player of that stature, chaining hesitation moves and long strides to gracefully score at the rim or kick out to a teammate. Still, this is an area where the lack of physicality comes back to bite him. Unless he’s got a significant size advantage, Jovic simply isn’t strong enough to finish through contact against the trees.

It’s unclear how far his shooting upside extends as he made a not-terrible 34% of triples with his basketball club in Europe. Generating a more consistent shooting stroke may be the differentiator when asking if he can play at the NBA level. However, intrigue remains high because of his unique skill-set and how it translates to a modern league where fours are asked to be connectors or playmakers.

The fully-realized version of Jovic would be a menace in dribble handoff scenarios. His quickness and reliable ball-handling would make for a tough cover against any competition. If paired with great athletes, he could toss beautiful lobs and run inverted pick-and-roll sets to completely stun the opposition. He doesn’t necessarily need to be a great shooter—just good enough to knock down open shots when they come his way.

Next. NBA Draft Big Board: How Spurs Can Balance Talent and Fit. dark

If there’s any team willing to throw Jovic into NBA action and let him sink or swim, it’s Oklahoma City.

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