Report: First-round pick Jusuf Nurkic unlikely to join Nuggets next season
The Denver Nuggets had arguably the NBA’s best draft this year, acquiring Arron Afflalo on the cheap and trading down to get Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris.
Nurkic is an intriguing center with legit size and post skills. He lacks polish, but he’s still young. There’s plenty of time for him to grow.
Just maybe not in Denver next season.
David Pick of Eurobasket.com:
Nuggets draft pickup Jusuf Nurkic unlikely to join Denver next season, I'm told. Problem is Croatian club buyout, exceeds €1M.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 3, 2014
The Nuggets can contribute $600,000 for Nurkic’s buyout without it counting against team salary. Denver, if it structured Nurkic’s contract properly, could also immediately kick in another $2,661,360.
However that additional money would come out of Nurkic’s contract during the next two seasons. You can see why he might rather remain overseas than take a pay cut to join the NBA sooner.
The Nuggets might not mind, either.
They already have JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov under contract. Nurkic would add nice depth – they’ll need a third center from elsewhere now – but he can probably get more playing time and better develop this way.