Despite a promising summer that saw him play a key role for Serbia’s national team at the World Cup, Nikola Jovic has been unable to crack the Heat‘s regular rotation so far this season, appearing in just two games for the club. Noting that the former first-round pick “needs to play,” head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed on Saturday that Jovic will be sent to the G League for “a few games,” according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.
Jovic doesn’t see the assignment to the Sioux Falls Skyforce as a step back, explaining that he welcomes the opportunity to get on the court.
“I just want to play. That’s it,” the 20-year-old said. “I just want to get some playing time, stay in a rhythm, you never know what’s going to happen [with the Heat]. Maybe they’ll need more help from me, you never know. I just want to improve and these guys do a great job at it. Even being in the G League, I feel like it’s going to be great for me.”
As Chiang explains, while Jovic has flashed an intriguing combination of ball-handling, facilitating, and shooting for his size (6’10”), his defense is still very much a “work in progress,” which is a key reason why he hasn’t been able to establish a consistent role in Miami.
Here are a few more items from around the Southeast:
- Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Magic guard Cole Anthony suggested that competing in the World Cup helped teammates Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner become “more complete players” and said that making the playoffs is Orlando’s goal this season. Anthony also reiterated a point he made last month, telling Scotto that he’s happy to have resolved his contract situation by signing a rookie scale contract extension due to the security it provides. “It allowed me to play the game without the stress of worrying if I play badly that shoot, that’s my career,” Anthony said.
- In that same conversation, Anthony lauded Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley for the role he has played in the team’s growth, telling Scotto that Mosley is “up front” and “candid” with his players. “I can tell why people in Dallas spoke highly of him,” Anthony said of the former Mavericks assistant. “He’s a really good dude who cares about his players about all of us beyond basketball. It’s been fun to play for him. He allows us to play through a lot of our mistakes. He’s also grown as a coach. This is his first head coaching gig. He’s doing a great job. He’s gotten better as a coach, and we’ve gotten better as players. It’s been fun.”
- In an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (Twitter video link), NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the status of Miles Bridges, who returned on Friday from a suspension related to domestic violence charges, despite the fact that the Hornets forward faces newer allegations. As Silver explained, the league intends to let the legal process play out before deciding whether to assess an additional punishment related to those allegations.