NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 21: Nikola Jovic #5 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second quarter of the game at Target Center on November 21, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Heat 105-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

27. Miami Heat – Nikola Jovic, Serbia

In one of the best name-game moments, the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets faced off in the NBA Finals, allowing plenty of jokes to be made comparing Nikola Jokic and Nikola Jovic; the first is a two-time MVP, while the second was a very raw first-round rookie.

Many assumed that the Miami Heat were playing three-dimensional chess when they took Nikola Jovic at pick No. 27, that there was some unrealized potential waiting within. That potential is still unrealized if it’s still there, as Jovic showed very little as a rookie. That was to be expected given his slim frame and raw game, and as the Heat were battling just to make the Play-In Tournament they didn’t have a lot of free minutes to pass around.

The theory behind Jovic is intriguing, and the Heat certainly have a good developmental track record. If the 6’10” Jovic can add strength and hone his shot, there is a rotation role in the NBA for him. For now, that’s all a bunch of maybes, and the Heat may have been better served adding a player more likely to hit than spending a roster spot on a project.

Grade: C