Report: Nikola Jokic Still in Serbia Because of 'Travel Issues' Amid COVID-19

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2020

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 9, 2020, in Denver. The Nuggets won 109-95. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic remains in Serbia while dealing with travel issues, with no official timetable for his return to the United States.

Mike Singer of the Denver Post updated Jokic's status. It was previously known he did not travel to Orlando, Florida, with the Nuggets, but the team did not disclose whether he was in Serbia or the United States.

Jokic tested positive for COVID-19 in late June but has since tested negative in Serbia, per Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. The Nuggets plan to fly Jokic into Orlando, where he will have to successfully pass two coronavirus tests at least 24 hours apart and then undergo a quarantine period, per NBA policy.

Branislav Jokic, Nikola's father, said he was feeling "fine" June 24.

"We are all fine. Nikola is fine. It's been a week. What he had is gone. He is not showing symptoms. He is with us, and everything is fine," Branislav Jokic told Nova.rs (h/t Eurohoops.net).

The NBA season does not begin until July 30, so Jokic has three weeks to figure out his travel plans, but there should be an understandable level of concern. Jokic will not be able to practice with the team until he completes the NBA's testing and quarantine protocol. He was already quarantined in Serbia after his positive test, so it's possible he will be in less-than-ideal condition when seeding games get underway.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Denver enters the Orlando bubble as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference but is only 2.5 games ahead of the No. 6 seed Houston Rockets. While home-court advantage will not be a factor since every team plays in a neutral location, the Nuggets will want to emerge from this eight-game seeding phase with the most advantageous first-round matchup.

Jokic's health will be paramount to that effort.