Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic
24-Year-Old CenterC
Denver Nuggets
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Jokic, who broke out during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign, kept things rolling last season. The dynamic center averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and a combined 2.0 steals/blocks. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field, converted 85.0 percent of his free-throws, and drilled 1.5 threes per game at 39.6 percent. To gain an idea of how rare Jokic’s skill set is, only three other players since the three-point era (1979-80) have averaged at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Garnett and Larry Bird. Jokic has also stayed relatively healthy -- often a concern for centers -- during his three-year career, missing just 18 games. Heading into 2018-18, Jokic may look to better balance his three-point shooting and work in the paint, as he lost 5.1 percent on his effective field-goal percentage from 2016-17 to last season. Regardless, even if he plateaus as a player this year, he still projects to be a top-15 Fantasy option and likely worthy of a first-round selection. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $147.71 million contract with the Nuggets in June of 2018.
Career night in Game 6 loss
CDenver Nuggets
April 26, 2019
Jokic finished with 43 points (19-30 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 12 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and one block in 38 minutes during Thursday's 120-103 loss to the Spurs.
Jokic went off for a career-high 43 points Thursday, hitting 19-of-30 from the field in what was a devastating loss. The 43 points was also a franchise playoff record for most points scored. Milestones aside, the Nuggets will now have to return home for Game 7, something they would have certainly liked to have avoided. The home court will work in their favor but the Spurs have already shown the ability to win on the road and Jokic will need to be at his best once again to ensure safe passage to the second round.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Jokic was one of the surprise breakout players in the NBA last season in just his second year in the league. His versatility immediately made him one of better Fantasy bigs in the league, as he led the Nuggets in scoring, rebounds, field goal percentage and blocks. His ability to pass out of the center position was one of his more impressive traits as well, considering he finished second on the team with 4.9 assists per game, with many of those coming in spectacular highlight fashion. That adds to his already impressive averages of 16.7 points and 9.8 rebounds on 57.8 percent shooting. The defensive numbers are a bit strange though, with Jokic posting an ugly 109.8 defensive rating. That's one of the worst marks among centers, but he countered that by providing 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. With superstar Paul Millsap being added to the roster in the offseason, Jokic will have to share some touches with him in the post. That said, that shouldn't cause any drastic changes for Jokic's stat line and the fact that Jokic is such a good passer, Millsap's presence could ultimately lead to an increase in assists for Jokic. One of the most impressive young players at his position, Jokic's all-around game should give him plenty of looks in the top-15 of Fantasy drafts and the fact he's still just 22 years old, should have owners drooling over his potential. Despite the added presence of Millsap, look for Jokic to take yet another step forward in his third year after averaging 17.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.0 steal across 30.0 minutes after the All-Star break last season.
After Jusuf Nurkic submitted a promising rookie campaign in 2014-15, it looked like the Nuggets had found their starting center of the future, but Jokic would go on to change that narrative. When Nurkic was sidelined for the first two months of the past season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, Joffrey Lauvergne initially stepped in as the starting center, but was soon usurped by Jokic. The 6-foot-10 Serbian quickly distinguish himself as one of the top rookies in his class, hanging on to the starting role even once Nurkic returned. Jokic would finish the campaign with averages of 10.0 points (on 51.2% shooting), 7.0 boards, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 21.7 minutes per game over 80 appearances. He also showed surprising three-point range with 28 made treys on the season, an area of his game that figures to grow as he ages. The 21-year-old has already displayed an advanced feel for his game, as his 1.82 assist-to-turnover ratio demonstrated. And while Jokic isn't athletic enough to block many shots, he showed a keen understanding for defensive positioning and an excellent rebound rate. All of those skills make Jokic one of the top under-25 big men in the league, and there's reason to believe his numbers will climb in 2016-17. Nurkic enters the upcoming season healthy and will be a regular in the rotation, but coach Mike Malone showed a willingness to play him alongside Jokic, whose ability to space the floor made it a viable arrangement. As a result, Jokic doesn't look to be at risk of losing playing time, especially after averaging 30.8 minutes per game in five April contests.
After being drafed 41st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Jokic delayed his arrival to the NBA, playing in the Adriatic League last season to average 15.4 points, 1,5 three-pointers 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 31 minutes per game as a 19-year-old. Jokic signed a four-year, $5.5 million deal with the Nuggets in July to bring him over the pond. He has a versatile game for a center, but that also means he may not provide all of the typical production offered by centers in fantasy. The 6-11 Serbian has a 7-3 wing span and has shown some promising athleticism in scouting videos. Jokic has a great knack for rebounding at its highest point and can even step out and drain some mid-range jumpers. He's a relative unknown to most Americansn. It's an easy stereotype to say he's a finesse European, but that may just be the case for Jokic, and a trip to the weight room may be all the Serbian needs to get in NBA shape. Jokic is a big project for Denver, and it seems unlikely he'll see any significant minutes in his rookie campaign, but with the frontcourt rotation in question and a new coach leading the charge, anything could happen in Nuggets camp this season. Keep an eye on Jokic in preseason. If he earns enough minutes, his versatile production could be a boon in deeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Well-rounded line in Game 5 win
CDenver Nuggets
April 23, 2019
Jokic recorded 16 points (5-11 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 11 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one block in 33 minutes during Tuesday's 108-90 Game 5 win over the Spurs.
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Dominant in Saturday's Game 4 win
CDenver Nuggets
April 20, 2019
Jokic produced 29 points (10-22 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 8-8 FT), 12 rebounds, and eight assists in 39 minutes during Saturday's 117-103 Game 4 win over the Spurs.
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Big stat line in loss
CDenver Nuggets
April 18, 2019
Jokic totaled 22 points (8-14 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), eight rebounds and seven assists over 32 minutes in the Nuggets' loss to the Spurs on Thursday.
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Dominant in Tuesday's Game 2 win
CDenver Nuggets
April 16, 2019
Jokic produced 21 points (7-15 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 5-6 FT), 13 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in 39 minutes during Tuesday's 114-105 Game 2 win over the Spurs.
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Offensively timid in Game One loss
CDenver Nuggets
April 14, 2019
Jokic ended with 10 points (4-9 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 14 rebounds, 14 assists, and one steal in 36 minutes during Saturday's 101-96 loss to the Spurs.
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