After immediate reports to the contrary, it seems that 16th overall pick Jusuf Nurkic will be unable to join the Nuggets this year due to a high buyout number, according to David Pick of Eurobasket and Sportando.
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
Obstacle preventing Jusuf Nurkic from joining the Denver Nuggets, I’m told, is €1.3M Croatian buyout. — David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 3, 2014
Nurkic had stated that it was his immediate preference to come over to the NBA on a conference call after his selection, but it seems that will be unable to happen according to this report. He also will not be a member of the Nuggets’ Summer League team this month. Instead of playing games that in a lot of ways don’t actually resemble basketball, Nurkic has decided to play for both the U20 and senior Bosnian national teams this summer, according to Sportando.
In reality, this isn’t a particularly big deal for the Nuggets. Most expected Nurkic to stay overseas for another year anyway in order to continue to develop his game in the Adriatic League. It would have been nice for the team to start having him work with their trainers and nutritionists in order to get him into better condition, but ultimately he’s still only 19-years-old so there is plenty of time.
Plus, the team already has Timofey Mozgov in the fold, as well as JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson returning from injuries early in the year. There wasn’t going to be a lot of actual game time for Nurkic this season, as the Nuggets seem like they want to continue to compete for the playoffs next season.
The goal for Nurkic is to simply be able to stay on the court long enough to allow his insane per-minute average statistics to even out. If he can get on the floor for something like 25 minutes per game, it would be a massive accomplishment as that would mean he has improved his penchant for fouling and his conditioning. That’s all the Nuggets need to see this year from the Bosnian big man.