Miami Heat first-round pick Nikola Jovic continued to work on his baby steps in the NBA on Sunday at summer league San Francisco, while dealing with rookie missteps.
So on his second attempt in the Heat’s 81-64 loss to the Sacramento Kings, the 19-year-old converted a 17-foot jumper back for his first conversion. Then, on his second attempt, a drop-step led to a driving layup.
Jovic played on the bench after starting Saturday’s 100-66 loss to the Lakers, coming on for the first time with 1:11 left in the first period of the game played at Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors.
The nimble 6-foot-11 forward finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting and four rebounds in 16:25, in a second straight uneven performance. He went 0 for 4 on 3-pointers, including a pair of close airballs, the obvious difference in NBA 3-point distance longer than the international standard.
Summer league coach Malik Allen, assistant to Erik Spoelstra, started the summer team’s three Heat roster players, Haywood Highsmith, Javonte Smart and Mychal Mulder, as well as center undrafted Orlando Robinson and French League goalkeeper Kyle Allman Jr.
Robinson, who had thrived at Fresno State, helped the Heat take a 35-33 halftime lead in the 40-minute game with nine first-half points.
Smart then began to find his offense, closing with 12 points. Allman finished with 11 points, with Robinson and Mulder with 10 each. Highsmith led the Heat with nine rebounds.
The Heat were without an undrafted free agent Jamal Cain, who was listed in NBA health and safety protocols.
The Oakland University forward finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists in Saturday’s loss, his efforts in that loss being praised by Malik Allen.
The Heat wrap up the California Classic portion of their summer schedule with an East game at 3 p.m. Tuesday against the summer roster Warriors (NBA TV). They will then move on to the Las Vegas Summer League, with their five-game opener Saturday at 5:30 p.m. EST against the Boston Celtics.
Heat center Omer Yurtseven and Turkey beat Great Britain 85-71 in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Newcastle, England.
Yurtseven had nine points on 4-of-8 shooting and three rebounds in 12:56.
Former University of Miami goaltender Shane Larkin led Turkey with 22 points.
Yurtseven then plans to join the Heat in Las Vegas for his summer schedule there.
Former Heat guard Goran Dragic, a free agent after finishing last season with the Brooklyn Nets, has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bulls.
After 6½ seasons with the Heat, Dragic was dealt last summer to the Toronto Raptors in the trade that delivered Kyle Lowry to the Heat. Dragic then received a buyout from the Raptors and joined the Nets for their playoff run.
Dragic, 36, completed his comeback with the Slovenian national team on Sunday alongside Luka Doncic in their World Cup qualifying victories.