We know what you’re thinking: Who the hell is Nikola Jokic?
He’s a 20-year-old Serbian 7-footer who was a second-round pick of the Nuggets in 2014 and has been Denver’s starting center since the calendar turned to 2016.
On Monday night, Jokic dropped 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 112-93 win over the Toronto Raptors—both career highs. Peep the highlights from that one:
For the season, the rookie big is posting 9.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, even 1.0 steals per game. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone had this to say about Jokic after last night’s monster performance:
I asked Malone postgame how high does he think Jokic’ ceiling is? He gave me a great answer. pic.twitter.com/N5fI794rWU
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 2, 2016
When Malone says he wouldn’t trade Jokic for “anybody in the world,” we think he means the other young big men in the League, like Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns or Kristaps Porzingis (which is sort of ridiculous but OK). Then again, given Jokic’s extremely team-friendly contract (a four-year deal worth $5.5 million, the last year a team option through 2019) maybe he really does mean anybody.