Udonis Haslem sends a strong message about new Heat rookie Nikola Jovic

The Miami Heat have been reportedly looking for a star player to team up with Jimmy Butler. Miami has been reported interested in acquiring Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets and Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. There were others, but all of their pursuits seemed a little over the top. Now we’re starting the 2022-23 NBA season with training camp and preseason, and the only real addition the team made was their draft pick Nikola Jovic.

The Heat officially picked Serbian star Jovic, with his No. 27 pick overall, for the 2022 NBA draft, and the move was welcomed by many. Jovic can play for a long time and do anything for the Heat, but most importantly the newly drafted forward can shoot and brings that to this Heat roster.

Jovic is already making a strong impression at Heat training camp, impressing the right people with Head of Heat Culture Udonis Haslem singing his praises during the team’s camp time.

Haslem, who has been in the NBA a full year longer than Jovic, shared his thoughts Payton Titus vom Miami Herald on Heat’s latest addition and his “tremendous skills”. He also praised the rookie forward as a “hard worker”, which is high praise from Haslem.

„[Jović] can score anywhere on the basketball court, can shoot with both hands, hard worker.” Haslem said. “Just experience, you know, experience will be the biggest thing he’ll need working here with us this time around. The daily training, competitions, the physicality of going to the weight room. And all those things are part of player development, which we do very well here.”

Jovic’s praise is all you want to hear from your veteran leader about the team’s newest rookie. It’s been clear Jovic is a development player and it’s unclear when he’ll see him this season, but he looks like a player the Heat can count on for years to come.

Speaking to the Miami Herald’s Payton Titus, Jovic said that NBA players are on a “different level” in terms of strength, which he’s made a priority in his new NBA life.

“Because I’m big, I’m going to play with big boys,” he said. “Building muscle is a key factor in him becoming the player he needs and the Heat feeling he needs to best help the team.”

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was also quoted by Titus as sharing what the team has been working on with Jovic to help him adjust to life in the NBA. From everything to schedule and routine and basics.

“It lays the groundwork,” Spoelstra said. “He has a lot to do. We all love his spirit. He comes to work every day with a positive attitude and adapts a little better. He’s spent a lot of time in his body. He also spends a lot of time with his basics and then gets fed the team schematics through a fire hose. But he reacted well. I’m not trying to judge him now. I’m just trying to get him comfortable with the routine and expectations of how we do things.”

Jovic is sure to be in good hands with the Heat, who have proven time and time again that they can develop their players into key players on the team in a short space of time.



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