May 31, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
The Denver Nuggets played fairly well after Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL, going 6-1 to close the regular season, though the were upset by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
But the Nuggets are clearly better with Gallinari, who averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, and could use him back sooner than later. Looks like it will be later. Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post:
Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (left knee surgery) was originally thought to be ready to play Jan. 1, but Gallinari confirmed by text Thursday that he might not return until later in January or maybe even February.
While Gallinari underwent surgery on his meniscus four weeks ago, he had a slight delay in his rehab and won’t have surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament for another two weeks, he said during a talk show on 102.3 ESPN.
Denver’s other wing players are in flux. Andre Iguodala can opt out and has indicated he will, and now he has even more leverage with the Nuggets. Corey Brewer is also a free agent. Wilson Chandler was once viewed as a tradable luxury, but with Gallinari out longer than expected, Denver might need to keep him. Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton are under contract for next season, and the Nuggets must determine whether either of those young two players has developed enough to play a larger role regularly.
It helps that the Nuggets know their situation with Gallinari so far in advance, but still leaves a complicated course to navigate.
- Report: Chicago Bulls give Jimmy Butler max qualifying offer 17
- Report: Dwyane Wade will not opt-in with Heat, to become free agent (as expected) 25
- Report: Knicks front runner to land Arron Afflalo (and Greg Monroe, too) 27
- Report: Luol Deng surprises Miami, opts in for 2015-16 season 30
- Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers 31
- Report: As deadline nears, signs still point to Dwyane Wade opting out, becoming free agent 40
- Report: Dallas most likely team to lure DeAndre Jordan from Clippers, Chandler Parsons already recruiting 24
- Report: Lakers would still trade D’Angelo Russell for DeMarcus Cousins straight up. Kings wouldn’t. 30