As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honour some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season. European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today we take a closer look at our 5th pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
5. Nikola Jokic (current team: Denver Nuggets) Age: 25
Another European Big man to make our top ten, another all-time great. Although Jokic hasn’t reached the Finals yet with the Denver Nuggets, he surely makes his team much better.
Born in Serbia in 1995, Jokic is still only 25 years of age. He started his youth career in Vojvodina (northern Serbia) and soon got a lot of interest from bigger teams. He joined Mega Basket in 2012 and stayed in his home country till 2015.
The Denver Nuggets selected Jokic as the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He didn’t play NBA basketball following the Draft, as he played one more year in Serbia. He absolutely dominated his final season in Serbia, averaging 18.4 PPG and 10.4 RPG, while shooting 57% from the field.
Jokic had a solid first season with the Denver Nuggets, as he showed his versatility. The Serb has a great outside shot and a soft touch inside, which makes him an offensive weapon for the Nuggets. Also, his passing ability and court vision is very unique, especially for his size (2m13).
After suffering a little bit at the start of the 2019-2020 season, Jokic still put up amazing statistics, 20.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 6.9 (!) APG, while shooting an unbelievable 59 % from the field. Last year the Nuggets finished second in the Western Conference, as Jokic led his team to a first playoff appearance since the 2012-2013 season. We all hope to see Jokic back on the court soon, because he truly is a magician when having the ball in his hands. A future hall of famer without a doubt.