Vlatko Cancar

Nuggets Expected To Sign Vlatko Cancar

The Nuggets are expected to sign Slovenian prospect Vlatko Cancar, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). Cancar was Denver’s second-round pick (49th overall) in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Cancar, 22, was selected as a draft-and-stash player, expected to remain in Europe for a couple of seasons before joining the Nuggets. The 6-foot-8 forward has appeared in three Summer League games for Denver, averaging 9.7 PPG and 4.0 RPG.

The forward suited up for San Pablo Burgos in Spain last season.

Nuggets Rumors: Lyles, Cancar, Bledsoe, Connelly

Forward Trey Lyles will earn playing time by his efforts on the defensive end, according to Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post. The Nuggets acquired him in a draft-day trade with the Jazz that involved a swap of first-round picks. Lyles joins a crowded frontcourt but Denver needs a better defensive presence at the power forward spot. “I think personally, for me, being able to be versatile and guard different positions, keep guys in front of me and just compete is the main thing for me,” he told Kosmider. “This past summer I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on that. I’m continuing to focus on it through different training exercises to get better with it.” Lyles shot just 36% from the field last season while averaging 6.1 PPG during his second year in the league.

In other news involving the Nuggets:

  • Second-round selection Vlatko Cancar will remain in Europe for a couple of seasons before joining the Nuggets, Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports tweets. The Nuggets used the 49th overall pick in last week’s draft on Cancar, a 20-year-old small forward from Slovenia. He currently plays for Mega Leks in the Serbian League.
  • GM Tim Connelly nearly pulled off another draft-day swap but it fell apart at the last minute, Kosmider reports. A disappointed Connelly thought he had a done deal before the trading partner backed out, though Connelly wouldn’t provide any details (Twitter links). The Nuggets tried to trade for Jimmy Butler before the Bulls dealt him to the Timberwolves and also pursued a deal for Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, according to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. The Nuggets were also involved in three-way negotiations that would have brought Cavs power forward Kevin Love to Denver.
  • The front office led by Connelly hasn’t proven it can attract top free agents to Denver, Kiszla writes in the same story. The Nuggets are reportedly targeting Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap but Kiszla doubts that the team’s brass can close the deal on any of this year’s high-level free agents.

Four International Prospects Enter 2017 NBA Draft

Four international prospects have declared for the 2017 NBA draft, according to agent Misko Raznatovic. Kostja Mushidi, Vlatko Cancar, Alpha Kaba, and Borisa Simanic will enter the draft pool, as Raznatovic tweets.

All four players are on Serbian teams, with Mushidi, Cancar, and Kaba representing Mega Leks and Simanic playing for BC Red Star in Belgrade. They all also earn spots on Jonathan Givony’s top 100 list at DraftExpress.com.

The top-ranked player of the group, Mushidi comes in at No. 51 on DraftExpress’ big board, and ranks 10th among international players born in 1998. The 18-year-old shooting guard averaged 9.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 24 ABA games this season. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who ranks Mushidi 38th on his big board, the Belgium native has a combination of strength, athletic ability, and aggressiveness on both ends of the floor that has intrigued scouts.

Mushidi’s Mega Leks teammates are slightly less highly regarded by draft experts, but are still solid prospects. Cancar, a 6’8″ small forward, comes in at No. 63 on the DraftExpress top 100, while Kaba, a big man with an outside shot, ranks 74th. Kaba entered the draft a year ago, but withdrew his name before June’s deadline.

As for Simanic, the 6’10” power forward comes in at No. 59 on DraftExpress’ big board, though he played very sparingly for Red Star this season.

Our full list of early entrants for this year’s draft can be found right here.