The Miami Heat believe they got a skilled player in the 2022 NBA Draft in Nikola Jovic, according to Pat Riley. The Heat president praised the young Serbian for physical traits and his ability to impact the game.
Riley admitted Jovic will need to work to realize his potential, but the Heat are willing to develop the forward and see where he will go in his NBA career. Jovic spent last season playing against pro athletes in Mega Mozzart in Serbia.
“You don’t know where the development will go. All matches internationally. The quality of the competition has really gone up. He is very well guided. He’s a size 6-10, he’s tall, he can handle the ball, he’s extremely skilled. We feel we made the right choice.”
The Heat are expected to search ways to improve ahead of the 2022-23 season and they will have a busy offseason. However, Riley admitted there is strong possibiity of keeping and developing the promising forward.
“We have a team that we don’t know what’s going to happen in free agency. We’d rather develop the player now. You could delay picks along the way. There wasn’t really anything that exciting, so we decided to use the pick,” Riley said.
The Heat selected Jovic with the 27th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. The skilled 6-11 and 223-pound Serbian forward. The Heat did have the opportunity to see Jovic play in Serbia last season.
He averaged 11.7 points while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 35.6 percent on threes and 75.4 percent from the foul line, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists to 2.7 turnovers and 0.4 blocks per game in 25 appearances.