Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic
26-Year-Old CenterC
Denver Nuggets
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $147.71 million contract with the Nuggets in June of 2018.
Personal Bio

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).

College/International Summary

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.

Named to All-NBA First Team
CDenver Nuggets
June 15, 2021
Jokic was named to the All-NBA First Team.
ANALYSIS
This is unsurprising, as Jokic was named MVP earlier in June. Jokic played every game this season, and he averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He also shot 56.6 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from deep. Jokic averaged similar numbers in the playoffs, but the Nuggets were swept by the Suns in the second round.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Jokic played in all 72 games and won the MVP during his sixth season in the NBA. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 34.6 minutes per game -- all career-highs. The former second-round pick shot 56.6 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three and a career-high 86.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Serbian native scored 30-plus points 29 times and 40-plus points four times, including a career-high 50 against the Kings on Feb. 6. During the 50-point performance, Jokic went 20-for-33 from the field, 3-for-6 from three and a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. He also raked up 12 assists, eight rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 41 minutes. The 26-year-old registered 17 triple-doubles on the season, including a 32 point, 20 rebound and 10 assist effort against the Suns in Game 3 during the second round of the playoffs. The six-year veteran distributed double-digit assists 29 times, including a season-high 18 during a 124-111 win over the Rockets on Dec. 28. During the contest, Jokic registered 19 points, 18 assists, 12 rebounds, three steals and one block in 34 minutes. He also grabbed double-digit rebounds in 54 games, including a season-high 22 during a 120-112 win over the Suns on Jan. 23. Defensively, the MVP registered multiple steals 28 times, including a season-high seven against the Nets on Jan. 12.

2019

Jokic turned in his second consecutive All-Star season in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign, starting all 73 games for the Nuggets while delivering averages of 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. He finished with a 52.8 field-goal percentage, the second-best mark of his career, and shot over 80 percent from the free-throw line (81.7) for the fifth time in his five NBA seasons. Jokic opened the season hot, posting two triple-doubles in the first four games. The seven-foot Serbian posted 23 points, 14 boards and 12 assists on Oct. 5 against Phoenix in the second game of the season. Four days later, he posted 10 each of points, rebounds and assists against Dallas. Jokic went on to post 13 triple-doubles, tying LeBron James for second-most in the league, and he ranked seventh in double-doubles with 43. He got particularly hot in January and February. On Jan. 6, Jokic set a career high with 47 points in a win over Atlanta, hitting 16-of-25 from the field. On Feb. 2, Jokic triple-doubled with 39 points, 10 boards and 11 assists against Detroit. Three days later, Feb. 5 against the Jazz, he scored 30 points with a career-high-tying 21 rebounds and 10 assists. Come playoff time, Jokic very nearly duplicated his regular-season production, averaging 19.9 points with 9.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists across 19 games (all starts) during Denver's run to the Western Conference Finals. He particularly sparkled as a three-point shooter in the postseason, making 42.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Along the way, Jokic never scored fewer than 15 points in a game, and he cleared 30 on four occasions. In Game 7 of the second round against the Clippers, Jokic recorded a 16-point, 22-rebound, 13-assist triple-double -- making him just the third player in NBA history to record a 20-rebound triple-double in the playoffs. Following the season, he was named to the All-NBA Second Team.

2018

Four-plus years after he was selected No. 41 overall by the Nuggets, Jokic was named to the All-NBA First Team in 2018-19. He also appeared in his first All-Star game and finished fourth in MVP voting. "The Joker" set career-highs in points (20.1), rebounds (10.8), assists (7.3) and steals (1.4) per game. Jokic delivered an eye-popping 12 triple-doubles during the season, including a 35-point, 11-assist, 11-rebound effort on Oct. 20 during a blowout win over the Suns. On Jan. 13, Jokic scored a season-high 40 points, to go with 10 boards and 8 dimes, in a home win over Portland. On Jan. 23, Jokic collected a career-high 21 rebounds during a loss in Utah. On Jan. 26, the 23-year-old produced 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assist to lead Denver to a home victory over the 76ers. In other words, Jokic had a strong January, averaging 25.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. He'd deliver similar production leading the Nuggets through 14 playoff games. Jokic's post-season averages of 25.1 points, 13.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game were enough to defeat the Spurs in seven games in the opening round. But, unfortunately, they were not enough to get past Portland, who defeated Denver in seven games. Jokic has four more years remaining on his contract with Denver.

2017

In his third season in the Association, Jokic continued to cement his place among the NBA's top centers. The Serbian big man established career-highs in nearly every offensive category while leading Denver to a six-win improvement over the previous campaign. His 18.5 points per game paced the Nuggets and ranked sixth among all centers in the league. Jokic also led the team in rebounds per game (10.1) and assists per game (6.1), becoming the sixth player in NBA history to average at 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for an entire season. Jokic's assist total (458) led all NBA centers, while his 111 three-pointers ranked fifth at the position. He also racked up 10 triple-doubles on the season to place fourth in the league. Furthermore, the former second-round pick demonstrated outstanding all-around shooting skills, making 49.9% of his shots from the field, 85.0% from the free-throw line and 39.6% from behind the arc. Jokic's outstanding play earned him two Player of the Week awards and a 13th-place finish in voting for Most Improved Player. He scored a career-high 41 points in a win over Brooklyn on Nov. 6, converting 16-of-25 field goals including 4-of-9 three-pointers. Jokic played his best stretch of basketball during Denver's late-season playoff push, averaging 25.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game over six contests in April.

2016

In his second NBA season, Jokic appeared in 73 games for the Nuggets, making 59 starts. In 27.9 minutes per game, Jokic posted averages of 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 0.8 blocks. He knocked down 57.8 percent of his field goals, including 32.4 percent of his threes. On the season, Jokic recorded 25 games with at least 20 points and five games with at least 30 points. He topped out with 40 points on 17-of-23 shooting in a win over the Knicks on Feb. 10, also adding nine boards, five assists and two steals. Jokic recorded 35 points and 12 rebounds against the Spurs on Jan. 19. He notched a triple-double -- one of seven on the season -- against the Hornets on March 31, posting 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. In a win over Golden State on Feb. 13, Jokic had 17 points, a season-high 12 assists and a season-high 21 rebounds. He recorded a season-best five blocks to go with 29 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists against the Thunder on April 12.

2015

A second-round pick out of Serbia, Jokic quickly emerged as perhaps the steal of the 2015 NBA Draft. In 21.7 minutes per game, Jokic posted 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steal while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 81.1 percent at the line. In his NBA debut on Oct. 28 in Houston, Jokic finished with two points (1-1 FG) in four minutes of action. Two nights later, he posted 10 points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes against Minnesota. Jokic moved into the starting lineup for the first time against Phoenix on Nov. 20, finishing with six points and four rebounds. Against the Spurs on Nov. 18, he went for 23 points and 12 boards. Jokic topped out with 27 points (12-18 FG), to go with 14 rebounds and four assists, in a win over Toronto on Feb. 1. He handed out a season-high nine assists in a win over Charlotte on Jan. 10. Jokic pulled down 15 rebounds against the Spurs on Apr. 8. He recorded a season-high five steals against Indiana on Jan. 30 to go with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the 2nd round (41st pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • July 12, 2015
    Signed a three-year contract as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets
  • July 9, 2018
    Signed a five-year deal as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
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
Ejected from Game 4 loss
CDenver Nuggets
June 13, 2021
Jokic put up 22 points (9-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 11 rebounds and four assists before being ejected from Sunday's Game 4 against the Suns.
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Monster stat line in Game 3 loss
CDenver Nuggets
June 12, 2021
Jokic finished Friday's Game 3 loss to the Suns with 32 points (13-29 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 5-9 FT), 20 rebounds, 10 assists and a block.
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Scores 24 with 13 boards
CDenver Nuggets
June 9, 2021
Jokic finished Wednesday's Game 2 loss to the Suns with 24 points (9-17 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-6 FT), 13 rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes.
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Named 2020-21 NBA MVP
CDenver Nuggets
June 8, 2021
Jokic was named the 2020-21 NBA MVP on Tuesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Flirts with double-double in loss
CDenver Nuggets
June 8, 2021
Jokic ended with 22 points (10-23 FG, 2-5 3Pt), nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in 36 minutes during Tuesday's 122-105 loss to the Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals series.
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