Jokic is coming off a season in which he played 89 total games, including the playoffs, to help the Nuggets win the franchise’s first NBA title. Since the 2019-20 season, the two-time MVP has played a total of 288 regular-season games, which ranks ninth in the league over that span.
“With Jokic, we had several conversations, and I must say they were some of the best conversations I’ve had with players who couldn’t make it to the roster,” Pesic said, according to MozzartSport. “He’s physically and mentally exhausted, not feeling ready to take responsibility at the moment.”
Jokic has played for the Serbian national team three times since entering the NBA — during the 2016 and 2019 FIBA World Cups and most recently last summer for Eurobasket.
This year’s World Cup tips off Aug. 25 and will be played across the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. The tournament will produce seven berths for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.