Serbian forward Nikola Jovic has submitted paperwork to the NBA office to make himself eligible for the 2022 draft, his agent, Misko Raznatovic, told ESPN.
Jovic, the No. 23 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, is having a productive season in the Adriatic League for Mega Mozzart, averaging 11.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 28 minutes per game.
Jovic, 18, already made his debut for the Serbian senior national team, posting 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game against Slovakia in February.
The 6-foot-10 Jovic helped Serbia to a fourth-place finish in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup last summer, being named to the all-tournament team alongside projected top-five picks Chet Holmgren and Jaden Ivey, as well as presumptive 2023 No. 1 favorite pick Victor Wembanyama.
Jovic was born in England, where his father, Ilija, was playing basketball. He grew up playing water polo but switched to basketball as a teenager, not being considered a major prospect in Europe until a breakout showing at the ANGT Belgrade in March of 2021, where he averaged an impressive 29.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.8 blocks per game while helping his team win the championship.
Jovic broke into the starting lineup of Mega Mozzart’s senior team shortly after despite being only 17, and in the process put himself on the radar as a potential lottery pick.
Jovic’s combination of size, ballhandling, passing, dynamic shot-making, confidence and youth is intriguing to NBA scouts, drawing comparisons to oversized international guards like Danilo Gallinari and Deni Avdija. Jovic is attempting to become the first Serbian player drafted in the lottery since Darko Milicic in 2003.
The NBA draft combines will be held May 16-22 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.