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.
- Ray Allen on making a decision about next season: “I’m not in any rush” 2
- Derrick Rose after first back-to-back in years: “I’m feeling good right now” 2
- Report: Rajon Rondo wants to start season with Celtics, see how things unfold 11
- Rajon Rondo’s agent denies they asked Celtics for a trade 14
- Team USA trails at the half, then pulls away for 98-77 win over Turkey at FIBA World Cup 19
- Report: Nike nearing deal to keep Kevin Durant for next 10 years 22
- Report: Rajon Rondo has told Celtics ‘he wants out’ 68
- World Cup Day 1 roundup: Brazil with big win, Andray Blatche puts on a show 5