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Report: First-round pick Jusuf Nurkic unlikely to join Nuggets next season

NBA Draft Basketball

Jusuf Nurkic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, right, poses for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the 16th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


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

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.