Nuggets heart Nikola Jokic made historical past Tuesday night time when he was named the NBA MVP for the 2020-21 season.
Jokic turned the lowest-drafted participant to come back away with the award. The Denver star additionally turned the primary heart to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal earned the dignity in 2000.
The announcement was a second 20 years within the making for Jokic and the facilities of the NBA. However it was additionally a reminder of how impactful second-round picks could be within the NBA Draft and the way some proficient gamers can slip.
When was Jokic drafted? And why did he final so lengthy? This is a have a look at how the Nuggets have been capable of scoop up an MVP-caliber participant so late within the 2014 NBA Draft.
When was Nikola Jokic drafted?
Nikola Jokic was chosen with the forty first general decide within the 2014 NBA Draft. He was chosen one decide after Glenn Robinson III and one decide forward of Nick Johnson.
On the time, not a lot was identified about Jokic, an 18-year-old enjoying within the Adriatic League and, later, the Serbian League. He had averaged 11.4 factors, 6.4 rebounds and a couple of.5 assists per recreation in 25 Adrian League contests, however he wasn’t thought of a big-time prospect.
In truth, the announcement of Jokic’s choice wasn’t even aired throughout ESPN’s protection of the 2014 draft. His title merely popped up on the underside line throughout a Taco Bell industrial.
A number of prospects have that occur to them every year, however often the community cuts again for the bulletins of the larger names within the draft. Jokic, an unknown, was not thought of certainly one of them.
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Why was Nikola Jokic drafted so low?
Jokic lasted so lengthy for myriad causes that Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly defined in a 2019 interview. However the prime challenge appeared to be his physique kind.
“It’s such an inexact science,” Connelly stated of the draft, per the Denver Put up. “Nikola, as much as that time, his skilled numbers (in Europe) had not been one thing that might soar off the web page, and definitely the physique kind is one which it’s straightforward to have questions on.”
Certainly, Jokic’s lack of athleticism and energy have been a speaking level in his early NBA seasons, however he has largely overcome them to show into an MVP-caliber participant.
However what made Denver keen to take an opportunity on him?
“We considered previous drafts of groups that missed on guys like him,” Connelly stated on Sports activities Radio 104.3 The Fan. “Like Marc Gasol wasn’t precisely Adonis (a Greek mythological determine identified for his physique) when he was chosen within the second spherical and he became an amazing participant. So, all of these items come into play and you then say, properly, he is an elite passer, he is acquired nice really feel for the sport.”
Actually, that passing skill has translated to the NBA. And his “really feel for the sport” appears to be what led Denver to specific curiosity in Jokic.
It is a good factor they did. Jokic was able to withdraw from the draft earlier than the Nuggets gave him a promise that they might use the forty first choice on him. That sealed his entry into the 2014 draft and allowed the Nuggets to land him.
Who went forward of Nikola Jokic within the 2014 NBA Draft?
General, 40 gamers went forward of Jokic and, retrospectively, it is exhausting to argue that any ought to’ve gone forward of him. MVP runner-up Joel Embiid most likely has the most effective case, if you wish to have that argument.
Nonetheless, Jokic leads the ’14 draft class with 64.4 profession win shares, a metric that estimates the variety of the wins created by a particular participant, and it is not notably shut. The second-place man within the draft, Clint Capela, is sort of 20 win shares behind Jokic.
Of the 60 gamers chosen within the ’14 draft, 25 gamers lasted three or fewer seasons within the NBA. Of these 25, 10 gamers went forward of Jokic, together with DeAndre Daniels, the thirty seventh general decide who by no means performed within the NBA.
This is a full have a look at the 2014 NBA Draft, together with the participant chosen at every spot and their complete win shares for his or her profession.
|40||Timberwolves||Glenn Robinson III||7.9|
Suffice to say that the Nuggets made out like bandits in getting Jokic.