The Denver Nuggets have waived Axel Toupane, D.J. Kennedy, and Jakarr Sampson. The team announced the release of those three players this morning, ahead of Saturday’s practice and an up-coming two-game road trip.
Although Toupane and Sampson did not play very much this preseason, it is still a tiny bit of a surprise that they were let go from the team. Both players joined the roster last season and entering camp, appeared to have the upper hand on the lone available roster spot. Both Sampson and Toupane provided perimeter defense which was a need for the Nuggets last season. With the return of Wilson Chandler, that need was a bit less urgent.
Robbie Hummel, Nate Wolters, and Jarnell Stokes are still on the preseason roster and competing for one final roster spot. Stokes and Hummel appear to have the inside track since they have both played a fair amount of minutes this preseason. Stokes in particular has been impressive. He’s played 71 minutes this preseason and averaged 6.2 points per game on 52.2% shooting.
Sampson and Jakarr were a big part of the team in 2015-16 so it is a bit sad to see them go. Hopefully being released early allows them to land a look from other teams or go abroad and make some money. I’ll never forget how much the locker room celebrated Toupane’s first NBA basket. It was perhaps the happiest locker room of the year as the entire team was celebrating him after a game late last season. Jakarr was also a fun personality in the locker room and seemed to get along with everyone on the roster.
Best of luck to all three guys.