Nuggets re-sign Vlatko Čančar to finalize 15-man roster

Jan 1, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar (31) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (6) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are bringing back forward Vlatko Čančar to complete their 15-man roster.

According to Misko Raznatovic, Čančar’s agent, the Nuggets are re-signing Čančar to a three-year deal that includes a team option for the final season.

Čančar, 25, is back with the Nuggets for another three seasons after completing his first three as primarily a deep reserve. Since joining the Nuggets in 2019-20, Čančar has played 532 total minutes with the team during the regular season and playoffs. Last year, Čančar was in line to play more, but a foot injury sidelined him for the second half of the regular season.

Čančar has per game averages of 7.2 minutes, 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game across the three seasons.

Čančar and two-time MVP Nikola Jokić have developed a close relationship during the last three years. They share the same agent (Misko Raznatovic) and are both from former Yugoslavian countries (Slovenia and Serbia). It’s clear that Čančar has a positive impact on Jokić, and it’s likely that their relationship played at least a small part in the negotiations here.

After signing Čančar, the Nuggets roster is now mostly complete. The 15-man full time roster is finalized, and one of the two-way contract spots will be held by Villanova rookie guard Collin Gillespie. The other is open and appears to be up for grabs at Summer League this year.

Čančar isn’t immediately projected to be in the rotation next year, but that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be there. Denver’s three starters in the frontcourt, Jokić, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr., will need rest and could sustain injuries throughout the year. Behind them, Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji (or possibly DeAndre Jordan) are expected to receive the bulk of the rotation minutes. Čančar could win some minutes with a strong training camp though, and Denver’s rotation certainly isn’t set in stone.

As the Nuggets look to compete for a championship, it’s important to have players in the rotation that are comfortable not playing but can suit up and give good minutes if necessary. Čančar qualifies, and though the averages aren’t anything to write home about, the Slovenian forward was showing some growth last season before ultimately having to sit due to surgery.

Hopefully, Čančar is beyond those health concerns and can help support Denver’s championship goals both on and off the court.

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