Jusuf Nurkic To Join Nuggets This Season?

July 10 at 7:49am CDT By Chuck Myron

THURSDAY, 7:49am: KK Cedevita has announced Nurkic’s depature from the club (on Twitter; hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Cedevita agreed to allow his buyout to be spread over two seasons, so the Nuggets will pick up $650K and Nurkic will pick up the remaining $135K of this season’s tab, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter links). The most Denver could pay without the money coming out of Nurkic’s NBA rookie scale contract would be $600K, so it would seem Nurkic may actually wind up paying $285K this season, assuming Pick’s figures are correct.

WEDNESDAY, 9:23am: Nurkic has decided to leave KK Cedevita in Croatia, and he’s working on a way to pay his buyout, which is the equivalent of $1.77MM, Pick tweets.

SATURDAY, 1:14pm: Contradicting previous reports, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post hears that Nurkic’s buyout will not be an issue, and the first-round selection will join the Nuggets this season (Twitter link). Denver continues work on getting Nurkic over for summer league, but they’ve had little luck thus far, Demspey reveals in another tweet.

THURSDAY, 8:42am: Pick’s latest tweet indicates the buyout is worth 1.3 million euros, the equivalent of more than $1.774MM, seemingly making it even tougher for Nurkic and the Nuggets to reach a deal. He could only make less than $1.763MM on a rookie-scale contract with Denver next season, as our table of salaries for first-round picks shows.

7:37am: Nurkic is unlikely to sign with the Nuggets for next season, but the main hangup involves his buyout from KK Cedevita, his club in Croatia, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The buyout would cost the equivalent of more than $1.36MM, according to Pick, which exceeds the $600K Excluded International Player Payment Amount. That means the difference would come out of Nurkic’s paycheck from the Nuggets were he to sign with the team this year.

JULY 2ND, 5:00pm: The Nuggets are insisting that No. 16 overall pick Jusuf Nurkic play in the NBA summer league if they’re to sign him this summer, but the center wants to spend the summer playing for his native Bosnia instead, Dejan Maksimovic of Nezavisne.com reports (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

Nurkic rocketed up draft boards in the weeks leading up to the June draft and even had some buzz of being a late lottery pick.  While he’s not fully polished, many believe that Nurkic could blossom into one of the top big men to come out of this draft.  The Nuggets liked Nurkic enough to trade the No. 11 pick (Doug McDermott) to Chicago for Nurkic (No. 16) and Gary Harris (No. 19).

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