NUGGETS

Nuggets’ Vlatko Cancar goes down in meaningless game, grabs knee

Aug 4, 2023, 12:41 PM | Updated: 1:10 pm

The Denver Nuggets best summer ever may have hit its first real bump in the road.

Riding high off a championship several Nuggets got invites to play for their international teams with this month’s World Cup looming which comes ahead of next year’s summer Olympics. Nikola Jokic turned down Serbia, Jamal Murray said yes to Canada and Vlatko Cancar is balling with Luka Doncic for Slovenia.

Cancar has been awesome on the global stage, stepping up his production to nearly 13 points per game at the 2020 Olympics. It’s this plus a good stretch in the middle of last season that has Nuggets brass confident he can step into the primary backup forward role Jeff Green played last year. But that plan may not play out, since Cancar appeared to get seriously injured going up for a dunk against Greece on Friday in an exhibition. He grabbed his left knee immediately after feeling something. Doncic was also hurt in the contest.

The Nuggets more or less had a clean bill of health last season after season-ending injuries to Murray and Michael Porter Jr. held them back two and three years ago. Cancar as well as fellow backup frontcourt mate Zeke Nnaji did miss some time toward year’s end but it wasn’t significant.

With veteran DeAndre Jordan back and Green gone Cancar and Nnaji are expected to be major players in backing up Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon this coming season. Cancar played in 60 games last season, scoring five points a game on 37% shooting from deep with a few big-time dunks to add to an ability to connect many plays together.

If Denver is without Cancar, youngster Peyton Watson could slide to the power forward slot with the new addition of Justin Holiday. And rookie Hunter Tyson who balled out at summer league could be an option for Michael Malone off the bench as well.

***

Nuggets

Jarred Vanderbilt #2 and Christian Wood #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers...

Jake Shapiro

Two big-bodied Lakers are still out after rumors of return

There was some buzz that both Jarred Vanderbilt and Christian Wood would be back in the lineup for Thursday's Game 3

10 hours ago

Rockies Bud Black...

Will Petersen

The Rockies are in a race to win a series before the Nuggets or Avs

The Rockies are on their eighth series of the season, and have yet to win one, while the Nuggets and Avalanche are each hoping to go 1/1

20 hours ago

Jamal Murray Peyton Manning...

Will Petersen

Jamal Murray sent Peyton Manning a great text after winning shot

Peyton Manning revealed on "Stokley and Josh" he texted Jamal Murray 'great shot, great game,' to which Murray responded 'I stayed with it'

2 days ago

Nikola Jokic brothers Strahinja and Nemanja...

Jake Shapiro

DPD and NBA investigating as video appears to show Nikola Jokic’s brother punch fan

It seems as though Nikola Jokic's brother Strahinja Jokic punched a fan at Ball Arena after Game 2 finished between Denver and Los Angeles

2 days ago

Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets...

Jake Shapiro

Murray’s arrow caps biggest comeback in Nuggets playoff history

Jamal Murray made a buzzer-beater to complete the comeback against the Los Angeles Lakers for a 101-99 Denver Nuggets playoff win

2 days ago

LeBron James...

Jake Shapiro

LeBron James has whiny meltdown about refs after Lakers collapse

Lebron James' Lakers didn't look at themselves after blowing a 20-point lead in a loss to the Denver Nuggets—nope, they blamed the NBA refs.

2 days ago

Nuggets’ Vlatko Cancar goes down in meaningless game, grabs knee