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Report: Juancho Hernangomez will skip the Olympics to play in Summer League

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Denver's newest forward has NBA basketball on his mind and will choose Summer League play over time with the Spanish National team.

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With the deadline for selection just hours away, Juancho Hernangomez has apparently decided to join his fellow draftees in Las Vegas for Summer League and get in the full preparation work with his new coaches rather than train with the Spanish National team. Here's a rough translation from the Spanish website:

JOINT COMMUNIQUE FEB JUANCHO Hernangómez

In the hours before the announcement of the list of players summoned for the preparation of the Olympic Games, and because of the circumstances of his election at the 15th position in the NBA draft, Juancho Hernangómez has sent to the FEB his decision to participate in the Summer League team franchise, which precludes his inclusion in the call for the selection...


He will join other expected Summer Leaguers Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, CU's own Josh Scott, Axel Toupane and Jimmer Fredette (who has been working out in Denver with members of the Nuggets) with games starting July 8th.

That's a big deal.  He went on to reaffirm his commitment to the national team, and they in turn stated they would welcome him back at a later date with open arms, but snubbing what could be a medal-winning team in order to get a few more weeks with his new coaching staff is a very serious commitment from a young man, and may indicate his desire to come over to the NBA this year.

If he was going to be stashed in Europe for another season, it should not have been a big deal for him to train for the Olympics.  Perhaps there's also a Zika virus fear; fellow Spaniard Paul Gasol has openly talked about having his sperm frozen so he can still have children later if the worst should happen.

But if you were wondering whether Hernangomez was drafted because of his willingness to stay in Europe, that may not be the outcome now.  He said he was willing, and Nuggets GM Tim Connelly stated in his press conference that it would be a conversation the team would have with Hernangomez and his agent about what's best.  If that conversation has taken place then the result seems to be that Juancho will be a Denver Nugget this coming year, and an already crowded roster adds yet another talented young piece for the 2016-17 season.


And some of my fellow Stiffs writers will get to see him doing this in person in just a couple of weeks: