JULY 31ST: The signing is official, the Nuggets announced.
JULY 23RD: The Nuggets have signed 16th overall pick Jusuf Nurkic, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (via Twitter). Nurkic will likely be making more than $1.7MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows.
Denver’s other first rounder, Gary Harris, signed his deal with the team earlier this month. However the situation with Nurkic, a 19-year-old international prospect from Bosnia, was less clear as his addition to the Nuggets roster faced the obstacle of a $1.77MM buyout due to his overseas club. Eventually, Nurkic and KK Cedevita (of Croatia) agreed to spread the buyout over two seasons. With Denver paying the $600K Excluded International Player Payment Amount this upcoming season, that would put Nurkic on the hook for about $285K in 2014/15 and the full $885K in 2015/16, meaning he will pocket roughly $1.42MM in his first season in the NBA.
At 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, Nurkic is a traditional center that rocketed up draft boards due to his size and touch around the basket. As Denver GM Tim Connelly indicated after the draft, the Bosnian is a “long term play” although he does possess the skill level that could allow him to have an impact sooner than some think.