USC Sports

USC’s Nikola Jovanovic declares for NBA draft

USC forward Nikola Jovanovic tries to score against Utah forward Jakob Poeltl during the first half of a game in March.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Nikola Jovanovic, the second-leading scorer and top rebounder on USC’s men’s basketball team this past season, announced Thursday he would make himself available for the NBA draft.

In posts on Twitter, Jovanovic said, “I have just declared for the 2016 NBA draft but I will not be hiring an agent yet. Testing the waters presents a big opportunity for me and I’m really excited about what comes next!”

Jovanovic is 6 feet 11 and 235 pounds. He has one season of eligibility remaining, so if he does not hire an agent he could return to USC if he changes his mind.

He averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds for a Trojans team that had a better-than-expected season and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.


Jovanovic is potentially the sixth USC player to leave the program in the last four weeks, and the second starter. Forwards Darion Clark and Malik Martin have announced they will transfer, as has guard Malik Marquetti, but none of those three was expected to play a significant role next season. 

Guard Katin Reinhardt, who announced he would transfer to Marquette, is a more significant departure. He started a majority of USC’s games last season, though he was not expected to start next season. 

Starting point guard Julian Jacobs also announced he would test the NBA waters. Like Jovanovic, he hasn’t hired an agent and is still eligible to return. 

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