Skip to main content

Michael Malone On Nikola Jokic's Ceiling In 2016: 'I Wouldn't Trade Him For Anybody In The World. He's A Special Young Man.'

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Nikola Jokic has come a long way to be the NBA superstar he is right now. He went from asking people on Facebook if they want to play basketball with him to become one of the faces of the NBA, leading the Denver Nuggets to compete in the Western Conference, which isn't anything easy.

He has evolved year after year until he reached this form, the MVP form he's displayed throughout this season. The Serbian big man is now the clear leader to win the coveted award, showing everybody he is the man. Not everybody had much faith in him at the beginning but if there was somebody who believed in the player, that was his head coach Mike Malone, who had nothing but good words for Jokic during his first season in the association.

Back in 2016, Malone already said Jokic was a 'special' player with a bright future. But, what stood out the most was that he said he wouldn't trade Jokic for anybody in the world.

"Well, every time I think he's kind of reached his rookie ceiling, the game he had tonight, I mean, you can talk about some of these very young bigs who are very talented, the kid in New York, Minnesota, Philly. I don't know any of their names. I know this kid's name, though. I know Nikola Jokic and I wouldn't trade him for anybody in the world. He's a special young man, he's a special young talent and he's only going to get better as he continues to get stronger, learn the NBA, finishing around the basket, defensively. But, he's a heck of a young talent, I give a lot of credit to Tim Connelly and the front office for finding him and making him a part of this organization," Malone said, via Harrison Wind.

Now Jokic has blossomed into a superstar, leading the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals last season, trying to repeat the same this year. He is the clear frontrunner to win the 2021 MVP award and Malone knew what he could do in the league way before the rest of the association realized it.

We still don't know what's the ceiling of this guy and the fans in Denver must be very happy to have him as their leader. Jokic can do a lot of great things in the league and we can't wait to see what's next for him.