Serbian center Nikola Jokic was leaning toward entering the draft before this month’s Nike Hoop Summit, and after a strong performance, he’s decided to declare, agent Misko Raznatovic tells Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Givony lists the 19-year-old as the 45th-best prospect for this year, though Chad Ford of ESPN.com has him unranked.
The 6’11” Jokic primarily came off the bench this year for KK Mega Vizura in his home country, averaging 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game. It was a significant step forward for a player who’d been largely unknown entering the season. He showed a diverse skill set in Hoop Summit World Team practice, as Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress observed, though he’s a limited athlete. Jokic only saw three shots in the Hoop Summit game, but he pulled down seven rebounds in less than 16 minutes of playing time.
Jokic won’t be automatically eligible for the draft until 2017, so he could easily withdraw before the June 16th deadline to do so. Still, it seems like he has a strong chance to be drafted this year.