Nuggets coronary heart Nikola Jokic made historic previous Tuesday night when he was named the NBA MVP for the 2020-21 season.
Jokic grew to turn into the lowest-drafted participant to return away with the award. The Denver star moreover grew to turn into the first coronary heart to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal earned the honor in 2000.
The announcement was a second 20 years in the making for Jokic and the amenities of the NBA. But it was moreover a reminder of how impactful second-round picks might be in the NBA Draft and the method some proficient avid gamers can slip.
When was Jokic drafted? And why did he remaining so prolonged? Here’s a take a look at how the Nuggets had been able to scoop up an MVP-caliber participant so late in the 2014 NBA Draft.
When was Nikola Jokic drafted?
Nikola Jokic was chosen with the 41st normal determine in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was chosen one determine after Glenn Robinson III and one determine ahead of Nick Johnson.
At the time, not so much was recognized about Jokic, an 18-year-old collaborating in in the Adriatic League and, later, the Serbian League. He had averaged 11.4 elements, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per sport in 25 Adrian League contests, nonetheless he wasn’t considered a big-time prospect.
In reality, the announcement of Jokic’s selection wasn’t even aired all through ESPN’s safety of the 2014 draft. His establish merely popped up on the bottom line all through a Taco Bell industrial.
Several prospects have that happen to them yearly, nonetheless typically the neighborhood cuts once more for the bulletins of the bigger names in the draft. Jokic, an unknown, was not considered one among them.
Why was Nikola Jokic drafted so low?
Jokic lasted so prolonged for myriad causes that Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly outlined in a 2019 interview. But the excessive problem seemed to be his physique type.
“It’s such an inexact science,” Connelly said of the draft, per the Denver Post. “Nikola, up to that point, his professional numbers (in Europe) had not been something that would jump off the page, and certainly the body type is one that it’s easy to have questions about.”
Indeed, Jokic’s lack of athleticism and power had been a talking degree in his early NBA seasons, nonetheless he has largely overcome them to point out into an MVP-caliber participant.
But what made Denver ready to take a chance on him?
“We thought about past drafts of teams that missed on guys like him,” Connelly said on Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. “Like Marc Gasol wasn’t exactly Adonis (a Greek mythological figure known for his physique) when he was selected in the second round and he turned into a great player. So, all of these things come into play and then you say, well, he’s an elite passer, he’s got a great feel for the game.”
Certainly, that passing capability has translated to the NBA. And his “feel for the game” seems to be what led Denver to particular curiosity in Jokic.
It’s an ideal issue they did. Jokic was in a position to withdraw from the draft sooner than the Nuggets gave him a promise that they’d use the 41st selection on him. That sealed his entry into the 2014 draft and allowed the Nuggets to land him.
Who went ahead of Nikola Jokic in the 2014 NBA Draft?
Overall, 40 avid gamers went ahead of Jokic, and, retrospectively, it’s arduous to argue that any should’ve gone ahead of him. MVP runner-up Joel Embiid most definitely has the most interesting case, if you want that argument.
However, Jokic leads the ’14 draft class with 64.4 career win shares, a metric that estimates the number of the wins created by a specific participant, and it isn’t notably shut. The second-place man in the draft, Clint Capela, is kind of 20 win shares behind Jokic.
Of the 60 avid gamers chosen in the ’14 draft, 25 avid gamers lasted three or fewer seasons in the NBA. Of these 25, 10 avid gamers went ahead of Jokic, along with DeAndre Daniels, the 37th normal determine who under no circumstances carried out in the NBA.
Here’s a full take a look at the 2014 NBA Draft, along with the participant chosen at each spot and their complete win shares for his or her career.
|40||Timberwolves||Glenn Robinson III||7.9|
Suffice to say that the Nuggets made out like bandits in getting Jokic.