|Full Name:||Nikola Jokic|
|Place of Birth:||Sombor, Serbia and Montenegro|
Nikola Jokić is a Serbian basketball player who currently plays center for the Denver Nuggets. He was born on February 19, 1995, in Sombor, Serbia, which at the time was part of Yugoslavia. After starting his basketball career in Europe, the seven-foot Jokić was selected in the Second Round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. He left home to play in the NBA a year later and has slowly become one of the best centers in the league.
After making an instant impact for the Nuggets, Jokić was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2016. He continued to develop, being named an all-star in 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, Jokić has also represented Serbia in international competitions. He was an important part of the Serbian team that won the Silver Medal at the 2016 Olympics after dominating teams during the Knockout Stage before losing to the United States in the Gold Medal Game. Much of his success on the court is due to Jokić having the size of a traditional big man but the skills and play-making ability of a smaller player.
In 2012, Jokić became a pro basketball player at the age of 17 when he signed a contract with KK Mega Basketball, a Serbian team that plays in the Adriatic Basketball Association (ABA) and the Serbian League. His first season was spent mostly with the club’s junior team, although he logged five appearances with the senior team. However, Jokić had a larger role with the senior team the following season, playing 25 games in the ABA and 13 games in the Serbian League, averaging double figures in scoring.
His performance during the 2013-14 season was enough for Jokić to be selected 41st overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, he decided to stay in Europe for another season. Despite his team finishing 10th in the ABA during the 2014-15 season, Jokić was named the league’s top prospect and MVP after averaging 15.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. His numbers in the Serbian League were even more impressive, scoring 18.4 points and grabbing 10.4 rebounds per game. After the season, Jokić announced that he would leave Serbia and pursue an NBA career with the Nuggets.
Jokić had modest expectations when he arrived in Denver and initially didn’t expect to play much during his rookie season. However, he ended up playing 80 games, including 55 starts, for the Nuggets during the 2015-16 season, averaging 10 points and seven rebounds per game. Those numbers earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Jokić’s star continued to rise during his second NBA season. He recorded six triple-doubles, which was the fourth-most in the league. He finished the 2016-17 campaign averaging 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game, finishing second in voting for the NBA’s Most-Improved Player. The following year, Jokić averaged a double-double with 18.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. The Nuggets rewarded him the following summer with a new five-year contract that paid Jokić $148 million.
Jokić responded to the new contract by having the best season of his career during the 2018-19 campaign. In 80 games, he averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. He was named to the All-Star Team for the first time and helped Denver reach the playoffs. Jokić went on to average 25.1 points and 13 rebounds per game in 14 playoff games. He continued to be Denver’s best player during the 2019-20 season, making the All-Star Team for the second straight year. When the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jokić was averaging 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.
Nikola Jokić has an estimated net worth in the area of $30 million. However, that number is likely to increase significantly in the years to come. The 2019-20 season was his second since signing a five-year max deal for $148 million. During the 2021-22 season, his salary will eclipse the $30 million mark. He also has a shoe deal with Nike and endorsement deals with Panini and Western Union.
Nikola Jokić signed a three-year, $4.1 million contract with the Denver Nuggets in 2015.
Nikola Jokić signed a five-year, $148 million contract with the Denver Nuggets in 2018.
Little is known about the parents of Nikola Jokić. However, he has two older brothers, Nemanja and Strahinja. Nemanja played college basketball at Detroit-Mercy while Strahinja had a career in Europe. When he moved to Denver, his brothers moved with him. The three live in a three-bedroom apartment along with Natalija Macesic, who is Jokić’s longtime girlfriend.
Jokić and Macesic are childhood sweethearts who started dating when they were 16. She has a psychology degree from the Metropolitan State University of Denver and has plans to pursue a Master’s Degree. The couple is unmarried and doesn’t have any kids.