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Report: No. 16 pick Jusuf Nurkic to opt out, join Nuggets in 2014

Photo: Panagiotis Moschandreou/EB via Getty Images

Jusuf Nurkic could become an unexpected early contributor for the Nuggets.

When the Denver Nuggets landed Jusuf Nurkic during 2014 NBA draft via a trade with the Bulls, it was expected that he wouldn't be playing for the Nuggets in 2014-15 because of a hefty buyout of his Croatian contract. However, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports that the Nuggets are working on a buyout of 1.3 million Euros, or about $1.77 million, for this year's No. 16 overall pick.

The buyout is spread over two seasons and will allow the 6-foot-11 Bosnian center to play with the Nuggets in 2014-15.

Pick reports that Nurkic added a portion of his own money to the buyout. The Nuggets could only contribute a maximum of $600,000 toward the buyout without it counting against the team's salary cap number for the season. 

SI.com ranked Nurkic as the No. 2 center prospect in the 2014 NBA draft and the No. 15 overall prospect. His Croatian teammate Dario Saric, ranked 10th on SI.com's big board, landed with the 76ers after being selected No. 12 by the Magic and traded for Elfrid Payton.

Nurkic averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game last season for Cedevita Zagreb of the Adriatic League in Croatia. 

- Evan Webeck

 

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