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Nuggets' draft-and-stash Vlatko Cancar shines but Slovenia falls to Juancho Hernangomez, Spain

Harrison Wind Avatar
June 28, 2018

Vlatko Cancar may be the Nuggets’ international man of mystery, but he made a resounding statement in Slovenia’s first World Cup qualifier Thursday.

Cancar, the 49th overall pick in 2017 who split time last season between San Pablo Burgos of the Spanish ACB league and Mega Leks, came off the bench to score 17 points on 6-9 shooting and hit three of his six three-point attempts as Slovenia nearly upset Spain. Slovenia fell 83-72 but Cancar impressed in his 27 minutes of action.

The Nuggets are hopeful that the 6-foot-9 forward can join the team in Las Vegas for Summer League action next week. Slovenia’s second and final World Cup qualifier is scheduled for Sunday against Montenegro. Denver’s first game in Las Vegas is Friday, July 6 against the Timberwolves.

Cancar averaged roughly 11 points on 44 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from three in 36 games between the ACB and Adriatic League last season. The 21-year-old doesn’t figure to be in Denver’s immediate plans for next year but could gather some momentum within the organization with a positive showing at Summer League next week.

For Spain, Hernangomez started finished with 10 points on 4-10 shooting, four rebounds and three blocks. Hernangomez was a plus-13 in 24 minutes of action.

Spain’s next World Cup qualifier is scheduled for Sunday against Belarus.

Hernangomez only appeared in 25 games (three starts) for the Nuggets last season. He was diagnosed with mononucleosis early in the season and never regained a spot in Denver’s rotation. Hernangomez figures to have a larger role with the Nuggets next year.


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