Strategic Moves: How the Heat Are Adapting to Utilize Nikola Jovic Effectively in Limited Minutes

The Miami Heat are reportedly sending Nikola Jovic to the G League as he hasn’t seen much playing time in 2023-24

The Miami Heat are 8-4 so far during the 2023-24 season. Although Miami is playing well, one major roster question revolves around Nikola Jovic. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra revealed Miami’s plan for Jovic amid his lack of playing time, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Miami Heat's Nikola Jovic moves to World Cup stage

“When Erik Spoelstra was asked about sending Nikola Jovic to Sioux Falls, Spoelstra says ‘he needs to play.’ Adds that Jovic will play in few games with the Skyforce,” Chiang reported.

Jovic, 20, played 13.6 minutes per game in his rookie season during the 2022-23 campaign. Overall, Jovic appeared in a total of 15 games that season.

He is currently averaging 14 minutes per contest in 2023-24 with the Heat, but has appeared in only two games. The Heat want Jovic to play more but Miami’s current roster construction is making it difficult for Spoelstra to find ways to get Jovic in games.

Jovic also wants to play. A G League stint may be the best option for Jovic given his current situation with the Heat.

“I just want to play. That’s it,” Jovic said, via Chiang as well.

Heat’s roster

Miami Heat, Nikola Jovic, NBA Summer League

The Heat believe in Jovic’s potential. Right now, there simply isn’t much room on the depth chart for him though.

Bam Adebayo is the Heat’s starting center. Haywood Highsmith, Kevin Love, Jaime Jaquez Jr., and Thomas Bryant all need playing time as well. So that leaves Jovic, who can play center or power forward, with little to no playing time.

The Heat are reportedly sending Jovic to the G League for the time-being. Miami will not hesitate to add Jovic back to the NBA roster if necessary though. For now, though, Jovic wants more playing time and the Heat are trying to get him more involved, so the G League decision makes sense.

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