Nikola Jokic commits to play for Serbia this summer

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Back-to-back NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic will play for the Serbia national team this offseason, as soon as he can, the Basketball Federation of Serbia, KSS, announced Wednesday.

“For sure, the NBA players have a maximum amount of days they can spend with the national team of their country during the offseason,” noted national team director and retired player Dragan Tarlac regarding the agreement between FIBA and the NBA, “Nikola Jokic will be with the national team the first day he can, according to these restrictions.”

Jokic, 27, last played for the Serbia national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. His side ended up in the fifth place in the final rankings as he averaged 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per contest.

The Joker and other NBA players are expected to skip the approaching 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers versus Latvia and Belgium on 30 June and 3 July, respectively. However, they are likely to become available for the team coached by Svetislav Pesic for the following games to start the next round of the European Qualifiers in late August and for the 2022 EuroBasket in early September.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks confirmed Bogdan Bogdanovic underwent surgery following the season on his right patella tendon to address knee inflammation. “The health status of Bogdan Bogdanovic requires patience,” mentioned Tarlac, “At this point, the most important thing is that he recovers and returns to action without limitations.” Bogdanovic was already ruled out for this summer’s international fixtures.

Pesic, 72, is expected to soon narrow down his selections for both the World Cup Qualifiers and EuroBasket.

Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL

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