Vlatko Cancar

More Than 30 NBA Players On Track To Suit Up For EuroBasket

The first EuroBasket tournament in five years will tip off in two weeks and there are currently 34 NBA players on track to participate in the event, representing 17 different countries, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net.

EuroBasket is a 24-team international basketball competition also known as the European Basketball Championship. It historically took place every two years, but that gap was recently adjusted to four years, emulating the FIBA World Cup schedule.

The last EuroBasket tournament was played in 2017 — the next one had been scheduled for 2021, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, after being played every two years since 1947, it has now been five years since the last EuroBasket tournament, easily the longest layoff since World War II.

It’s possible that some NBA players will be cut from their teams’ rosters or will have to drop out due to injuries or personal reasons before the event begins on September 1, but in general enthusiasm to participate in the long-awaited event appears high.

Here’s the list of NBAers currently set to play in EuroBasket, per Eurohoops:

There are also multiple NBA free agents on EuroBasket rosters, including French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and German guard Dennis Schröder.

A number of young NBA players, such as 2022 draftees Jeremy Sochan and Nikola Jovic, have dropped out to focus on getting ready for the 2022/23 season, while others, including Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Frank Ntilikina (France), were ruled out due to injuries.

Round robin play will begin on September 1, with each team facing the other five clubs in its group once. The top four teams in each group will advance to a 16-team bracket that begins on September 10. The final will take place on September 18, just over a week before NBA training camps get underway.

Contract Details: Drummond, Jones, LaVine, Cancar, Martin, Nurkic

The two-year contracts that Andre Drummond and Derrick Jones signed with the Bulls have virtually identical terms. Both players will earn guaranteed $3.2MM salaries in 2022/23, with $3.36MM player options for the ’23/24 season, Hoops Rumors has learned. The only real difference between the two deals is how the Bulls completed them — Drummond received a portion of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, while Jones was re-signed using his Non-Bird rights.

Here are more details on recently signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • Zach LaVine‘s five-year, maximum-salary contract with the Bulls includes a 15% trade kicker, Hoops Rumors has learned. For 2022/23, at least, that kicker will be inconsequential since LaVine is already earning the max, but it could be a factor later in his deal if the annual salary cap increases outpace his annual 8% raises.
  • Vlatko Cancar‘s three-year contract with the Nuggets features matching $2,234,359 cap hits in each of the first two seasons, plus a $2,346,606 team option for 2024/25. The first two years are guaranteed.
  • Heat forward Caleb Martin received a starting salary of $6,479,000, which is the full portion of the taxpayer mid-level exception. Miami remains below the tax apron, so the team can use the rest of the non-taxpayer MLE (approximately $4MM more) if it so chooses. Martin also got a third-year player option and a 15% trade kicker on his new three-year deal.
  • Jusuf Nurkic‘s four-year, $70MM contract with the Trail Blazers is fully guaranteed and is structured with standard 8% annual raises. It starts at $15,625,000 in 2022/23 and increases to $19,375,000 by year four in ’25/26.

Northwest Notes: Porter Jr., Lillard, Cancar, Gobert

Michael Porter Jr.‘s season was short-circuited by back surgery but the Nuggets forward said he’s ready to go for next season, Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports tweets.

On an NBA TV interview, Porter said, “I think I’m 100% at this point. It’s a blessing. I feel good. I’m excited to get back on the court and play basketball.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • In an interview with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth, Damian Lillard said he’s healthy after recovering from abdominal surgery, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. “I wanted to fight through it. … It got to the point where I had to play it smarter,” Lillard said. “… My body is stronger than it was before in certain areas.” Lillard will be signing a two-year max extension with the Trail Blazers.
  • In the same interview, Lillard gave a ringing endorsement to the Jerami Grant trade with the Pistons. Reynolds relays in another tweet“I loved it. That was like the No. 1 thing I wanted to get done,” he said. “Jerami has been on winning teams in OKC and Denver. He brings something to the game that we haven’t had at that position.”
  • Vlatko Cancar‘s three-year contract with the Nuggets is worth $6.8MM, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Cancar signed the contract on Thursday. As previously reported, it includes a team option in the last year.
  • Rim protection and rebounding were areas of needs for the Timberwolves. That’s why they were willing to pay a high price for Rudy Gobert, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. “We gave up a lot. There’s no two ways about it,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said. “Tremendous draft capital, really good players, really good guys. But when you’re able to add a guy that’s as good as Rudy and not touch your top two or three players, it’s really, really rare.”

Nuggets, Vlatko Cancar Complete Three-Year Deal

10:58am: Cancar’s new deal is now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log.


9:30am: Free agent forward Vlatko Cancar has reached an agreement with the Nuggets, according to agent Misko Raznatovic, who tweets that his client will sign a three-year contract. The third year of the deal will be a team option, per Raznatovic.

The 49th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Cancar remained overseas for two more years, then signed with the Nuggets in 2019. He has spent the last three seasons with the team, but has only appeared in 70 games during that time, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.3 RPG on .484/.333/.742 shooting in 7.2 MPG.

Cancar appeared to be in line for a little more playing time in 2021/22 before his season was derailed by a right foot fracture in January. The injury took about three months to heal — the 25-year-old returned to action in the Nuggets’ regular season finale, then saw some brief action in two playoff contests.

Despite Cancar’s limited role during his first three NBA seasons, the Nuggets issued him a qualifying offer last week, making him a restricted free agent, and have now reached a deal that will keep him on the roster. While the team held the Slovenian’s Bird rights, it would be surprising if his new deal is worth more than the minimum, and it’s unclear how much of it will be guaranteed.

Denver has 11 players currently on guaranteed contracts, with Bruce Brown, DeAndre Jordan, and Davon Reed set to join that group once they officially sign their respective contracts. That puts Cancar in line to fill the 15th and final spot on the team’s standard regular season roster, though it’s possible there will be more changes between now and opening night.

Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III Among Players Receiving QOs

The Suns have issued a qualifying offer to center Deandre Ayton, making him a restricted free agent, reports Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Ayton’s qualifying offer is worth $16,422,835.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Qualifying Offers]

Although there have been consistent whispers about the possibility of Ayton leaving Phoenix in free agency this summer, there was never any doubt that he’d receive a qualifying offer. That QO ensures that he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent and gives the Suns the opportunity to match any offer sheet he signs with a rival team. Ayton also has the option of signing the one-year, $16.4MM deal if he wants to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, though that’s considered very unlikely.

Here are a few more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have tendered a qualifying offer worth $7,228,448 to big man Marvin Bagley III, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Multiple reports in recent weeks and months have indicated that re-signing Bagley will be a priority for Detroit this offseason. His cap hold will exceed $28MM, but if the two sides agree to terms quickly once free agency opens, the Pistons will be able to maximize their cap room by reducing that $28MM cap hold to a first-year salary that will come in much lower.
  • The Nets have issued qualifying offers to center Nic Claxton and two-way guard David Duke, per Smith (Twitter link). Claxton’s QO is worth $2,228,276 while Duke’s is for another two-way contract. Both players are now restricted free agents.
  • The Nuggets have extended qualifying offers to forward Vlatko Cancar and two-way swingman Davon Reed, according to Smith (Twitter link). Like Claxton, Cancar has a $2,228,276 qualifying offer. Reed’s is for another two-way contract, though it’s possible he could generate interest from teams interested in giving him a standard roster spot.
  • Wizards forward Anthony Gill received a qualifying offer making him a restricted free agent, according to Smith (Twitter link). Gill’s QO projects to be worth $2,011,516, though that could increase or decrease slightly depending on where the salary cap for 2022/23 ends up.
  • The Warriors have made swingman Quinndary Weatherspoon a restricted free agent by giving him a two-way qualifying offer, reports Smith (Twitter link). Golden State reportedly agreed to a deal with Lester Quinones to fill the team’s other two-way slot.

Vlatko Cancar Out At Least 12 Weeks With Foot Injury

JANUARY 7: Cancar underwent surgery to repair a right fifth metatarsal fracture, according to the Nuggets, who stated today in a press release that the forward will be reevaluated in 12 weeks.


JANUARY 4: The hits keep coming in Denver. Nuggets reserve forward Vlatko Cancar has suffered a right foot fracture and will be unavailable for an extended period of time, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (via Twitter). Wind notes that a surgery is possible to treat the break, incurred during the team’s 103-89 loss to the Mavericks on Monday night.

Cancar is just the latest Nugget with a long-term injury. Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr.PJ Dozier and Markus Howard have all missed significant time due to severe ailments, with Porter and Dozier not expected to return this season.

Cancar was selected with the No. 49 pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Nuggets. The 24-year-old finally joined the club ahead of the 2019/20 NBA season, but he has thus far seen limited action at the NBA level. He has suited up for 69 games in since the start of the 2019 NBA season, and 11 NBA G League contests with the Erie BayHawks and Grand Rapids Gold.

He appeared in 41 games during the 2020/21 season, averaging 6.9 MPG. This year, across just 14 contests, he is averaging 4.3 PPG and 1.6 RPG during 10.9 MPG.

In addition to the injury absences of Murray, Porter, Dozier, Howard and now Cancar, the Nuggets will continue to miss Jeff Green, Monte Morris, and Zeke Nnaji, all still within the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Wind adds (Twitter link).

Nuggets Notes: Injuries, Losing Streak, Hyland, Nnaji, Cancar, Bol

The Nuggets have had a run of bad luck over the past several months. They looked like a championship-caliber team last season, and then playoff star Jamal Murray tore his ACL in April.

Michael Porter Jr. looked very out of sorts to start the season. It turns out he was dealing with a nerve issue in his back, and he might be out for the season.

Despite losing two of their three best players, the Nuggets started the season 9-4 after reeling off five straight home wins. Two games later, MVP Nikola Jokic suffered a wrist injury.

A few games after that, with their top three players all sidelined, backup wing PJ Dozier suffered a torn ACL that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. Dozier was one of the team’s best and most versatile defenders.

The Nuggets now sit at 9-10 after losing six in a row. Jokic has missed the past four games, and it’s not clear when he’ll return. With the string of bad luck, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post wonders what the team’s next steps should be.

Kiszla opines that veterans Jeff Green, JaMychal Green, and Facundo Campazzo, all 30-plus years old, are not the future of the team, and coach Michael Malone should trust in Denver’s player development and give the young players a chance to play meaningful minutes.

He states that rookie Bones Hyland, currently sidelined with a sprained ankle, should have a significant role upon his return. He also thinks young forwards Zeke Nnaji (who’s also dealt with an ankle sprain) and Vlatko Cancar should get a chance to prove themselves as NBA players, instead of defaulting those minutes to the veterans.

Here’s more from Denver:

  • In a mailbag Q&A for The Denver Post, Mike Singer answers several questions about the team. He says 7’2″ center Bol Bol doesn’t have the trust of Malone, which is why he remains stuck on the bench despite all the injuries. One major reason for that is the lack of hustle from Bol in the few times he’s received opportunities. Singer agrees with Kiszla that Nnaji should get more of an opportunity, and is curious how Lance Stephenson might fit defensively if he gets called up from Denver’s G League team at some point.
  • Within the same column, Singer says there’s still a lot of unknowns about Porter’s back injury, but he does know that MPJ is trying to avoid having another back surgery. Both Kiszla and Singer agree that tanking isn’t an option for the Nuggets with Jokic in the middle of his prime.
  • The defense has collapsed during the losing streak, Singer writes in a separate article. The team is preaching a defense-first mindset with so many important offensive players out. Singer states that the team desperately misses Jokic’s high defensive IQ and MPJ’s length and rebounding. Malone jokingly said Jokic should receive award consideration for something he’s not known for. “In the last six games, I know for a fact we’re the 30th-ranked defense in the NBA,” Malone said. “And that is a far cry from the defense that we started the year off playing. And that’s why … I think Nikola (Jokic) might be Defensive Player of the Year.”

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thunder, Booker, Bazley, Jazz

When the Nuggets rested all five of their starters for the entire fourth quarter in a close loss to the Lakers on Monday night, it was clear that the team was prioritizing health over its playoff seed, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Having been shorthanded throughout the restart, Denver will want to make sure it keeps key players like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Paul Millsap off the injured list with the playoffs around the corner.

Fortunately for the Nuggets, two of their missing rotation players may be nearing a return. As Singer relays (via Twitter), TNT’s Jared Greenberg said on Monday night’s broadcast that the club is hoping to have Gary Harris and Will Barton available on Friday for the last of eight seeding games. Neither player has suited up so far this summer.

Meanwhile, rookie Vlatko Cancar, who is recovering from a foot fracture, has arrived at the Walt Disney World campus and is in quarantine, according to Singer (Twitter link). Although Cancar isn’t expected to play, the Nuggets can now say their entire team is in Orlando, Singer notes.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Northwest…

  • Former Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who drafted Devin Booker with the No. 13 pick in 2015, tells Chris Mannix of SI.com that the Thunder tried to trade up one spot from No. 14 in what he believes was an effort to nab Booker themselves. “You could kind of hear or sense the air come out of the (OKC) room,” McDonough said of the moment when he told the Thunder he was drafting Booker. “You could tell they wanted him.”
  • Although he has been part of the Thunder‘s rotation for most of his rookie season, Darius Bazley has received a bump in minutes this summer and has responded well, with his first career double-double (22 points, 10 rebounds) on Monday. Nick Gallo of OKCThunder.com notes that Bazley’s play in the restart bodes well for his long-term potential, while Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman points to the 20-year-old’s shot selection as a key reason for his breakout.
  • Like Denver, the Jazz are prioritizing staying healthy and developing their bench players as the postseason nears, says Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Miye Oni, Jarrell Brantley, and Rayjon Tucker are among the beneficiaries, playing at least 23 minutes apiece on Monday vs. Dallas.

Injury Notes: Embiid, Robinson, Harris, Barton, Mills

Joel Embiid missed the Sixers’ last two scrimmage games due to right calf tightness. However, he’s expected to play on Saturday in the team’s seeding opener against the Pacers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Embiid suffered the calf injury during a July 24 scrimmage against the Grizzlies and played just 13 minutes. He also battled injuries prior to the stoppage of play in March. He missed nine games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and sat out five others with a left shoulder sprain, Pompey notes.

The Sixers can improve their playoff seeding during the next eight games. They are tied for fifth place in the East with Indiana at 39-26.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Sixers forward Glenn Robinson III is doubtful to play on Saturday, Pompey notes in the same story. He has a left hip pointer, which he suffered during a scrimmage against the Thunder on Sunday.
  • The Nuggets will go without at least two key players in their seeding opener on Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. Guard Gary Harris has a right hip muscle strain while Will Barton is dealing with right knee soreness. Reserve big man Vlatko Cancar (left foot fracture) will also miss the game. Starting point guard Jamal Murray is questionable duo to left hamstring tightness.
  • Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills didn’t play in the team’s first game in Orlando but it wasn’t injury-related, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk tweets. Coach Gregg Popovich simply wanted to use his younger guards more extensively. Shooting guard Bryn Forbes‘ absence was injury-related — he’s dealing with a sore right quad.