Nikola Vučević

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Nikola Vučević
Nikola Vucevic Dec 2013 (cropped).jpg
Vučević with the Magic in December 2013
No. 9 – Orlando Magic
PositionCenter
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1990-10-24) 24 October 1990 (age 28)
Morges, Switzerland
NationalityMontenegrin
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High schoolStoneridge Preparatory
(Simi Valley, California)
CollegeUSC (2008–2011)
NBA draft2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career2011–present
Career history
2011Budućnost
2011–2012Philadelphia 76ers
2012–presentOrlando Magic
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Nikola Vučević (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Никола Вучевић; pronounced [nǐkɔla ʋûːtʃɛʋitɕ]; born 24 October 1990) is a Montenegrin professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Southern California before being drafted 16th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He received his first All-Star selection in 2019.

Early life[edit]

Vučević was born in Morges, Switzerland and then raised primarily in Belgium where his father, Borislav, played professional basketball. Borislav played professionally for 24 years and was a member of the Yugoslavia national team, as well as of the KK Bosna team which won the European Champions Cup in 1979. Vučević's mother, Ljiljana, was a 6-foot-2 forward for the Sarajevo club Željezničar, as well as for the Yugoslavia women's team.[1] His family moved to Montenegro when he was a teenager.[2] He was named Montenegro's Best Young Player in 2007.[1] He speaks Montenegrin, English and French.[3]

High school[edit]

Vučević moved to Simi Valley, California in the United States in October 2007 to play his senior year of high school at Stoneridge Prep.[4] He knew little English, but did speak French, which many of his teammates also spoke. Under coach Babacar Sy, a friend of his father's, he was team captain and led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and 12 rebounds.[3]

College career[edit]

Vučević played three seasons with the Trojans of the University of Southern California.

Freshman[edit]

Vučević missed the first eight games of the season while waiting to have his amateur status confirmed by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 23 games in three starts. Vučević played in his first game with USC on 15 December 2008, against Pepperdine, and had two points, two blocks, and two rebounds in six minutes. He made his first start of the season on 24 January 2009, at Washington State in the Trojans' 46–44 win with a season-high eight points and five rebounds. He also scored eight points on 9 February 2009 at UCLA, and in his second start of the season on 19 February against Washington State. Vučević had a season-best seven rebounds in that game and matched that total on 5 March 2009, vs. Oregon. Vučević scored six points and had four rebounds in the NCAA second-round loss to Michigan State on 22 March. In all, he made 57.8 percent of his shots from the field (26-for-45).

Sophomore[edit]

Vučević with the USC Trojans in February 2011

Vučević began to excel in his sophomore season. He scored 18 points and had eight rebounds in the first game of the season against UC Riverside on 17 November 2009, both totals better than any of his freshman games. Vučević had 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on 3 December 2009. He scored a career-high 19 points and had 11 rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount on 21 November 2009, for his first career double-double. He matched his career high with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting at UCLA on 16 January 2010, scoring 17 points in the second half. By the end of the year, he had led USC in scoring five times and in rebounding 20 times, including the last nine games.

Overall, he was the second-best scorer and leading rebounder on the Trojans, with 10.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Vučević led the Pac-10 with 283 rebounds and offensive rebounds per game (6.3) and his 39 blocks were the fourth most in the conference. Vučević's .504 shooting percentage (126-for-250) led USC and was seventh best in the Pac-10. Vučević was named the 2009–10 Pac-10 Most Improved Player, and earned all-Pac-10 second team and Pac-10 honorable-mention all-defensive team honors.[5] He had the second-most blocks ever in a season by a Trojan sophomore and the third-most rebounds. Vučević started all 30 games for USC and posted 10 double-doubles.

Junior[edit]

As a junior, Vucevic was picked to the Fourth Team All-America by Fox Sports[6] and was named to the All-Pac-10 first team. In March 2011, Vučević announced that he would give up his senior year to enter the NBA draft. The website NBAdraft.net projected him as the 23rd pick in the draft.[7]

During his stint with the Trojans, Vučević averaged 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia 76ers (2011–2012)[edit]

On 23 June 2011, Vučević was drafted with the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.[8] During the 2011 NBA lockout, Vučević played for Montenegrin team Budućnost Podgorica. Following the conclusion of the lockout, he returned to the United States and signed his rookie scale contract with the 76ers on 9 December 2011.[9] On 22 February 2012, Vučević scored a season-high 18 points in a loss to the Houston Rockets.[10]

Orlando Magic (2012–present)[edit]

2012–13 season[edit]

Vučević in December 2012

On 10 August 2012, Vučević was traded to the Orlando Magic in a four-team trade involving Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Arron Afflalo, Andre Iguodala, and other players.[11] On 31 December 2012, in an overtime loss to the Miami Heat, Vučević set a franchise record with 29 rebounds.[12] On 10 April 2013, he recorded his second straight 20/20 game with a career-high 30 points and 20 rebounds in a 113–103 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[13]

2013–14 season[edit]

On 6 November 2013, Vučević recorded a career-high tying 30 points and 21 rebounds in a 98–90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.[14] Vučević's strong play over the second half of the 2013–14 season was noticeable on 28 March 2014 when he dominated the Charlotte Bobcats. He overcame a slow start shooting the ball to finish the game with 24 points and 23 rebounds in an overtime victory. Vučević made nine of his last 11 shots to lead a Magic rally in the second half, while also grabbing 16 first-half rebounds and 10 offensive boards in the game, marking the sixth 20-point, 20-rebound game of his career.[15]

2014–15 season[edit]

On 23 October 2014, Vučević signed a four-year, $53 million contract extension with the Magic.[16][17] On 3 April 2015, he scored a career-high 37 points in a 97–84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[18]

2015–16 season[edit]

On 11 November 2015, Vučević didn't start for the Magic against the Los Angeles Lakers, returning to action after a three-game absence with a right knee contusion. Vučević, who had started all 223 games for the Magic over his four-season tenure, came off the bench for the first time and scored 18 points, including a fallaway 18-footer at the buzzer to lift the Magic over the Lakers 101–99.[19] Vučević averaged 18.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his first 12 games of December (1–23 December).[20] Shaquille O'Neal is the only other Magic player to reach those numbers in one month in franchise history.[21] On 7 February 2016, he scored 22 points and hit an 18-footer at the buzzer to lead the Magic over the Atlanta Hawks 96–94, winning for only the third time in 18 games in 2016.[22] On 23 February, he scored a season-high 35 points in a 124–115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.[23] On 31 March, he returned to action after missing the previous 13 games with a right groin strain.[24] He subsequently came off the bench for just the second in his Magic tenure, as he scored 24 points in a 114–94 win over the Indiana Pacers.[25] He came off the bench for a further three games before returning to the starting line-up on 8 April against the Miami Heat, where he scored a game-high 29 points in a 112–109 win.[26]

2016–17 season[edit]

Vučević started in all 16 games for the Magic to start the 2016–17 season, coming off the bench for just the sixth time in his Magic tenure on 27 November 2016 against the Milwaukee Bucks.[27] Vučević continued to come off the bench throughout December, while also missing three games between 10 and 14 December with a back injury.[28] On 20 December, he had a season-high 26 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in a 136–130 double overtime win over the Miami Heat.[29] He regained his starting spot in mid-January, and as a result, he hit 13 of 18 shots, scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 115–109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on 13 January.[30] On 7 February 2017, he had 14 points and a season-high 19 rebounds in a 128–104 loss to the Houston Rockets.[31] On 11 March 2017, in a 116–104 loss to Cleveland, Vučević had a team-high 20 points and 16 rebounds after missing the previous four games with a sore right Achilles.[32] On 10 April 2017, he grabbed 10 rebounds against Chicago to move ahead of Shaquille O'Neal into second place in franchise history, trailing only Dwight Howard.[33]

2017–18 season[edit]

On 20 October 2017, Vučević scored a career-high 41 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 126–121 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.[34] On 9 December 2017, he recorded his first career triple-double with game highs of 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 117–110 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.[35] He became the first Magic center to record a triple-double with assists—Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard each accomplished it with blocks.[36] On 23 December 2017, he suffered a fractured left hand against the Washington Wizards and was subsequently ruled out for six to eight weeks.[37] He returned to action on 22 February 2018 against the New York Knicks after missing 23 games, recording 19 points and six rebounds in a 120–113 loss.[38] On 14 March 2018, he recorded 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a 126–117 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[39]

2018–19 season[edit]

On 20 October 2018, Vučević recorded his second career triple-double with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a 116–115 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.[40] On 17 November, he had a season-high 36 points and 13 rebounds in a 130–117 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[41] Eight days later, he had 31 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in a 108–104 win also against the Lakers.[42] Prior to the second match-up against the Lakers, Lakers coach Luke Walton described Vučević as a "nightmare to matchup [sic] with" because of the versatility of his offensive game.[42] Following the 108–104 win, Lakers forward LeBron James noted that "He's (Vučević) got our number this year. All you can say."[42] On 21 December, he had 19 points and 19 rebounds in a 90–80 loss to the Chicago Bulls.[43] On 28 December, he had 30 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists in a 116–87 win over the Toronto Raptors, becoming the third player in the past decade, fifth in the past century and ninth in the past 44 years to post at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists in a game.[44] On 6 January, he had 16 points and 24 rebounds in a 106–96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.[45] On 31 January, he received his first All-Star selection in his eight-year career, earning Eastern Conference reserve honours.[46] He became the Magic's first All-Star since Dwight Howard in 2012.[47]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011–12 Philadelphia 51 15 15.9 .450 .375 .529 4.8 .6 .4 .7 5.5
2012–13 Orlando 77 77 33.2 .519 .000 .683 11.9 1.9 .8 1.0 13.1
2013–14 Orlando 57 57 31.8 .507 .000 .766 11.0 1.8 1.1 .8 14.2
2014–15 Orlando 74 74 34.2 .523 .333 .752 10.9 2.0 .7 .7 19.3
2015–16 Orlando 65 60 31.3 .510 .222 .753 8.9 2.8 .8 1.1 18.2
2016–17 Orlando 75 55 28.8 .468 .307 .669 10.4 2.8 1.0 1.0 14.6
2017–18 Orlando 57 57 29.5 .475 .315 .819 9.2 3.4 1.0 1.1 16.5
Career 456 395 29.8 .499 .308 .729 9.8 2.2 .8 .9 14.8

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2012 Philadelphia 1 0 3.0 .000 .000 .500 1.0 .0 .0 .0 1.0
Career 1 0 3.0 .000 .000 .500 1.0 .0 .0 .0 1.0

College[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 USC 23 3 11.0 .578 .000 .875 2.7 .3 .4 .4 2.6
2009–10 USC 30 30 32.3 .504 .222 .718 9.4 1.2 .6 1.3 10.7
2010–11 USC 34 34 34.9 .505 .349 .755 10.3 1.6 .5 1.4 17.1
Career 87 67 27.7 .509 .303 .746 8.0 1.1 .5 1.1 11.1

National team career[edit]

Vučević represented Montenegro Under-20 team at the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. He then represented the senior Montenegro national basketball team at FIBA EuroBasket 2011, FIBA EuroBasket 2013 and FIBA EuroBasket 2017. He averaged 5.0 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game in 2011 while backing up Nikola Peković.[48] With Peković out of the 2013 tournament, Vučević started for the team and put up 7.0 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.[49]

Personal life[edit]

Vučević's son Filip was born on 17 December 2018.[50]

Vučević is a fan of KK Crvena zvezda and FK Crvena zvezda.[51]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Holmes, Baxter (7 March 2011). "USC's Nikola Vucevic is following in his father's footsteps". LATimes.com. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Nikola Vucevic Stats, Video, Bio, Profile". NBA.com. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Moura, Pedro (9 February 2011). "USC's Nikola Vucevic matures". ESPN.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  4. ^ "USC basketball: Nikola Vucevic apologizes for his 'we played like women' comment after Arizona game". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  5. ^ "Player Profile: Nikola Vucevic". USC Trojans. University of Southern California. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  6. ^ Goodman, Jeff (7 March 2011). "Goodman's 2010–11 All-America teams". Fox Sports. Fox Sports Interactive Media. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  7. ^ 2011 Mock Draft Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  8. ^ 2011 NBA Draft Results: Nikola Vucevic Drafted By Sixers With No. 16 Pick
  9. ^ PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ANNOUNCE 2011 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER - 12/9/2011
  10. ^ Nikola Vucevic 2011-12 Game Log
  11. ^ "It's official: Howard dealt to Lakers in four-team trade". NBA.com. 10 August 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Notebook: Heat 112, Magic 110". NBA.com. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Notebook: Magic 113, Bucks 103". NBA.com. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  14. ^ Nikola Vucevic's 30 points, 21 boards help Magic top Clippers
  15. ^ 2013-14 Season Review: Nikola Vucevic
  16. ^ Magic Sign Nikola Vucevic to Contract Extension
  17. ^ Nikola Vucevic agrees to 4-year deal
  18. ^ Vucevic's career-high 37 power Magic over Wolves 97-84
  19. ^ Vucevic hits game-winner as Magic beat Lakers 101-99
  20. ^ Nikola Vucevic 2015-16 Game Log
  21. ^ Wade, Heat rally for 108-101 victory over Magic
  22. ^ Magic beat Hawks on Vucevic's shot
  23. ^ Vucevic scores 35 points to lead Magic past 76ers 124-115
  24. ^ Nikola Vucevic Makes Return, Comes Off Bench
  25. ^ Magic pull out all tricks to pull away from Pacers 114-94
  26. ^ Magic come up big down stretch to stun Heat
  27. ^ "Henson scores 20 as Bucks beat Magic, 104-96". ESPN.com. 27 November 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Fournier takes over late as Magic beat Nets 118-111". ESPN.com. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  29. ^ "Magic rally twice, then outlast Heat 136-130 in 2OT". ESPN.com. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  30. ^ "Vucevic's season-high 30 lead Magic past Blazers, 115-109". ESPN.com. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Harden has 25 to lead Rockets over Magic 128-104". ESPN.com. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  32. ^ "James's triple leads Cavaliers over Magic, 116-104". ESPN.com. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Bulls embarrass Magic 122-75, near playoff berth". ESPN.com. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  34. ^ "Nets beat Magic 126-121 in first game without Lin". ESPN.com. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  35. ^ "Bazemore, Ilyasova lead Hawks past Magic, 117-110". ESPN.com. 9 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  36. ^ Cohen, Josh (9 December 2017). "Postgame Report: Magic at Hawks". NBA.com. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  37. ^ Maloney, Jack (23 December 2017). "Report: Magic's Nikola Vucevic to miss 6-8 weeks after surgery for broken left hand". cbssports.com. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  38. ^ "Burke leads Knicks past Magic to end 8-game losing streak". ESPN.com. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Simmons, Augustin power Magic over Bucks, 126-117". ESPN.com. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  40. ^ Denton, John (20 October 2018). "Magic Lose Heartbreaker to 76ers". NBA.com. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Magic's Nikola Vucevic: Has season-high 36 points Saturday". cbssports.com. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  42. ^ a b c "Vucevic, Magic hand Lakers another loss 108-104". ESPN.com. 25 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  43. ^ "Markkanen scores 32, Bulls beat Magic 90-80". ESPN.com. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  44. ^ "Vucevic has 30 points, 20 boards; Magic routs Raptors 116-87". ESPN.com. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Harris, Clippers overcome slow start to beat Magic". ESPN.com. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  46. ^ Smith, Sekou (31 January 2019). "Davis, Westbrook, Griffin highlight reserves for All-Star Game". NBA.com. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Ross scores 30 as Magic hand Pacers 4th straight loss". ESPN.com. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019. He was chosen as an Eastern Conference reserve, becoming the Magic's first All-Star since Dwight Howard in 2012.
  48. ^ "NIKOLA VUCEVIC 2011 Eurobasket Player Box". Eurobasket2011.com. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  49. ^ "NIKOLA VUCEVIC 2013 Eurobasket Player Box". Eurobasket2013.org. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  50. ^ "Aldridge nets 20, hot-shooting Spurs rout Magic 129-90". ESPN.com. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018. C Nikola Vucevic missed his first game of the season due to the birth of his son, Filip, on Monday.
  51. ^ "Vučević: Lepo je gledati Zvezdu". novosti.rs. Retrieved 16 August 2018.

External links[edit]