Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic
24-Year-Old CenterC
Denver Nuggets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $147.71 million contract with the Nuggets in June of 2018.
Dominates in limited minutes
CDenver Nuggets
October 17, 2019
Jokic ended with 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 3Pt), three rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 16 minutes during Thursday's 110-104 preseason victory over Portland.
ANALYSIS
Jokic did all of his damage in the first half, resting over the final 24 minutes. He dominated Zach Collins who was standing in for Hassan Whiteside. Jokic has, by no means, had a spectacular preseason, however, that is typically the case. Jokic is basically the consensus number six pick in almost every format. With that being said, managers may have to give him a couple of weeks to hit full stride.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
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
Double-doubles in preseason debut
CDenver Nuggets
October 11, 2019
Jokic (rest) furnished 10 points (5-7 FG, 0-1 3Pt), 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block across 22 minutes during the Nuggets' 111-91 preseason win over the Clippers on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Ready for preseason debut
CDenver Nuggets
October 10, 2019
Jokic (rest) will play in Thursday's preseason game against the Clippers, Chris Dempsey of the Nuggets' official site reports.
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Out Tuesday
CDenver Nuggets
Rest
October 7, 2019
Jokic will not play in Denver's preseason contest against Portland on Tuesday, Harrison Wind of BSNDenver.com reports.
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To take it easy during preseason
CDenver Nuggets
October 1, 2019
Jokic is expected to sit out one or two of Denver's preseason games, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic reports.
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Another huge night in Game 7 loss
CDenver Nuggets
May 12, 2019
Jokic finished with 29 points (11-26 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 13 rebounds, four blocks, and two assists in 42 minutes during Sunday's 100-96 loss to the Trail Blazers.
ANALYSIS
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