French center Ismael Kamagate remained in his home country after being selected 46th overall in the 2022 NBA draft and is spending the season with Paris Basketball. However, Kamagate – whose NBA rights are held by the Nuggets – hopes to make the move stateside next summer, he told Julien Lesage of Le Parisien (hat tip to Dario Skerletic of Sportando).
According to Kamagate, he’s in frequent contact with the Nuggets’ scouts, coaches, and general manager Calvin Booth.
“They often come to Paris, they come to the games, we talk about my performance,” Kamagate said. “They tell me what I need to work on, so it’s going well, it’s constructive. I have to show that they can trust me.”
Competing in France’s top basketball league (LNB Pro A) and the EuroCup, Kamagate has been impressive so far this season, averaging 10.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 2.1 BPG in 13 total games, with an eye-popping .811 FG%. The 21-year-old told Le Parisien that he’s happy he chose to spend the year in Paris, but likes the idea of playing next season in Denver, which he referred to as a “very nice city.”
“It is inspiring to think that one day I will be able to train and play with Nikola Jokic,” Kamagate said.
As long as they have space on their standard roster, the Nuggets would be able to bring Kamagate over on a one- or two-year minimum-salary contract or a two-way deal at any time, including in the 2023 offseason. If they want to give him a three- or four-year commitment, the Nuggets would have to use cap room or some of their mid-level exception to sign him.
We’ll have to wait to see whether or not the big man is in Denver’s plans for 2023/24.