Looking to make a big splash int he 2017 NBA Draft, the Nuggets traded down, selected Tyler Lydon, then selected Vlatko Cancar with the 49th pick of the draft.

It’s hard to take in this pick after the chaos of the first round, but the Nuggets did a Nugget-y thing here. Cancar is a 6’8 small forward with a 6’11 wingspan from Slovenia who played for Mega Bemax in Serbia. His best skill? Shooting. Cancar is currently shooting 40.7% from behind the 3-point line in the Adriatic league, consistently referred to as the second best league in the world to the NBA. Here are some clips of him playing:

With Vlatko Cancar, the Nuggets are playing the long game. They likely don’t think he will be stateside this year, and he may not be stateside for a couple of seasons. They are clearly taking an upside gamble on Cancar continuing to improve his shot to be a role player in the NBA. His defense is not where it needs to be at this point, and he doesn’t move well enough (yet) to make an impact on the less glamorous end at an NBA level. That said, a lot can change in two years.

There aren’t many other directions I would have gone with this pick other than an obscure Euro-stash prospect. Ike Anigbogu, Sindarius Thornwell, and Sterling Brown all went off the board right before Denver could pick, and I suspect that one of those guys would have been the selection. Devin Robinson was available, but given the number of power forwards the number just acquired, it’s hard to justify grabbing a third.

Either way Nuggets Nation, it’s not the pick many wanted to see, but this is Tim Connelly and Arturas Karnisovas we are talking about. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, at least on European selections.

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