Last season: Nikola Jokic was the Nuggets’ breakout star with averages of 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists. From Dec. 15 to the end of the season, after he was moved into the starting lineup at center, those averages ballooned to 19.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He shot 58.7 percent from the field, 34.2 from the 3-point line, and 82.5 percent from the free throw line. He also recorded the first six triple-doubles of his career.
2017-18 Outlook: After a “sophomore” season that almost landed Jokic the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, he’ll look to truly make a move into the league’s elite players in his third season. Jokic took the summer off from international play in order to rejuvenate his body and work on conditioning and getting stronger. Reports from those who have seen and worked with him are that he returns in the best shape of his young career, ready to pick up where he left off. He’ll be the Nuggets starting center, and a player that will have a good amount of the offense run through him.
As always, he’ll look to have his greatest impact in making his teammates better, and passing is the part of the game he loves most. Already a threat to make a 3-point shot at any time, Jokic will still look to improve his percentage from behind the arc. In all, the native of Serbia is poised to have a big season.
Bold Prediction: Nikola Jokic will be named to an All-Star and an All-NBA team this season.