Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic

26-Year-Old CenterC
Denver Nuggets
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The 2020-21 MVP and top fantasy player, Jokic may actually be in position to improve his numbers in 2021-22. Jamal Murray is expected to be out for the majority of the season with a torn ACL, which should only lead to more touches for Jokic. With Murray off the court last season, Jokic posted 29.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 1.1 steals per 36 minutes. Michael Porter should continue improving, and Aaron Gordon will have more time to develop team chemistry, but there's only so much the Nuggets' offense will be able to accomplish when Jokic isn't making things happen. It's possible increased defensive pressure will cause Jokic to be less efficient -- he shot 57/39/87 last season -- but it's unlikely a drastic dip occurs. There are other options for fantasy managers to select with the No. 1 pick in their drafts, but none are safer than Jokic, and he plays a position of scarcity. He's an especially good No. 1 pick for managers in two-center leagues. The only flaw in his fantasy profile is a lack of blocks, but those can be picked up late in any fantasy draft. No matter your league format, the case to take Jokic first overall is obvious, and fantasy managers drafting second or third overall should be elated if he manages to fall that far. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $147.71 million contract with the Nuggets in June of 2018.
Personal Bio/PreCareer Summary

Jokic was born in 1995 in Sombor, Serbia. Jokic has two older brothers, one of whom played basketball at the University of Detroit. Jokic played youth basketball at Vojvodina Srbijagas. He quickly dominated and drew interest from larger market teams. The big center is nicknamed "The Joker". Jokic's charity work includes celebrity appearances at the LuBird's Light Foundation in Colorado and Basketball without Borders in Serbia. Follow him on Twitter (@NJokic15) and Instagram (@jokara95). When Jokic was a teenager, he played for Mega Basket in the Adriatic Basketball Association. As a 17-year-old, he mostly played for the junior team, but he did appear in five games and averaged 10.2 minutes. After the season, the seven-footer gained more experience by playing with the Serbian Under-19 national basketball team in the FIBA Under-19 World Championship. He averaged 7.1 points and 5.0 rebounds as Serbia took second place. In 2013-14, Jokic played more significant minutes and put up 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The center took a more prominent role in his final season in Serbia. In 24 games, he provided a league-leading 15.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, along with 3.5 assists. He was named both ABA League Top Prospect and Adriatic League Most Valuable Player for the regular season. Jokic then made himself available for the 2014 NBA Draft and was selected with the 41st overall pick by the Denver Nuggets.

Massive night in OT win
CDenver Nuggets
January 20, 2022
Jokic notched 49 points (16-25 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 14-16 FT), 14 rebounds, 10 assists, one block and three steals across 41 minutes during Wednesday's 130-128 overtime win over the Clippers.
ANALYSIS
Even by Jokic's extremely high standards, this was a monster night, as he established a new season high in scoring while falling just one point short of tying his career best. Since the start of January, Jokic is up to 26.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.5 threes (42.9% 3Pt) per contest.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Jokic continued his run as one of the best centers in the NBA during the 2019-20 season and returned first-round value for most fantasy managers for the third straight year. Functioning as the centerpiece of Denver's offense, Jokic averaged 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 threes in 32.0 minutes. That included 43 double-doubles and 13 triple-doubles. Jokic also remained healthy, appearing in every game -- regular season and playoffs. Considering his size, he's been remarkably healthy throughout his career, never missing more than nine games in a season. Given his diverse skillset, he's capable of monster games -- like last year against the Jazz when he recorded 30 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals with just one turnover in 40 minutes. Jokic's role figures to be concrete heading into the 2020-21 season as the Nuggets attempt to remain in title contention. He's also still just 25 years old, so further improvement is on the table. As a result, fantasy managers drafting in the mid-to-late first round should feel comfortable rolling with Jokic.
Jokic's ascent into stardom still feels like it came out of nowhere, and the center finished fourth in MVP voting last season as the Nuggets finished with the best record in the Western Conference. He's already established himself as one of the best passing big men in NBA history, averaging 7.3 dimes per game last season to go along with 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Combine that with great shooting percentages for a center (51/31/82), and you have an elite fantasy asset. But at just 24 years old, Jokic has room to grow. And he's one of the few NBA stars not paired up with another star, so his crucial role in the Nuggets' offense is a lock. Jokic doesn't figure to add any groundbreaking skills to his repertoire, but small improvements to each facet of his game will make a big difference. Notably, if he continues working on his strength and conditioning, he could stay out on the court longer and improve as a shot blocker. While taking Jokic with the first pick in a fantasy draft would be considered a reach, he'll likely be long gone by the time pick 10 comes around.
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.
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
Another spectacular effort in loss
CDenver Nuggets
January 16, 2022
Jokic finished Sunday's 125-102 loss to the Jazz with 25 points (10-18 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 15 rebounds, 14 assists and two steals across 37 minutes.
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Cruises to triple-double Saturday
CDenver Nuggets
January 16, 2022
Jokic provided 17 points (7-12 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 12 rebounds, 13 assists and one steal across 28 minutes during Saturday's 133-96 victory over Los Angeles.
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Two assists shy of triple-double
CDenver Nuggets
January 12, 2022
Jokic registered 21 points (9-14 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, eight assists and one steal across 37 minutes during Tuesday's 87-85 loss to the Clippers.
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Comes close to triple-double
CDenver Nuggets
January 8, 2022
Jokic closed Friday's 121-111 victory over Sacramento with 33 points (13-20 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 4-8 FT), 10 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals over 34 minutes.
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Leads team with 27/16 double-double
CDenver Nuggets
January 4, 2022
Jokic totaled 27 points (11-18 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 16 rebounds, three assists and two steals across 35 minutes during Monday's 103-89 loss to the Mavericks.
ANALYSIS
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