Potential Nuggets free agent signing struggling badly to regain shooting form

Denver Nuggets Victory Parade
Denver Nuggets Victory Parade / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

At this point, it almost feels like beating a dead horse to point out how badly the Nuggets need to add shooting. The team attempted the fewest three-point shots last season and they’ve lost two of their highest volume shooters in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson, plus a bench player who hit at over a 40% clip in Justin Holiday.

The team has yet to sign a single free agent and the only offseason addition thus far has been first-round draft pick DaRon Holmes II. Holmes showed some perimeter skills at Dayton and hit 38% of his threes, but counting on him to truly stretch the floor or make a difference in that regard is an extremely optimistic outlook.

Nuggets looking to sign Vlatko Cancar to a new contract

One player the Nuggets have likely penciled in to be a reserve player with some shooting juice next season is Vlatko Cancar. Cancar has been with the Nuggets for the past five years, but he missed all of last season with a knee injury and the team recently declined his option for next season.

But the idea was that declining the option was largely a formality that would allow the Nuggets to re-sign Cancar to a new contract, giving him a slight raise and saving the team a little money. Cancar was on his way to being a solid NBA role player before his injury and the idea is that he could play a bench role for the Nuggets and provide some shooting punch next season.

Cancar struggling to find his three point shot

Due to the long layoff, Nuggets GM Calvin Booth was in Greece to watch Cancar in his first competitive action since his injury playing for Team Slovenia. While Cancar looked solid in his first few friendlies and the team’s opening qualifying game against Croatia, he struggled mightily in the team’s final two games.

Slovenia lost to Greece on Saturday, eliminating them from contention and ending their bid to make the Olympics. Cancar scored 2 points and shot 0-5 from three while registering a -27 +/- in the loss. In the prior game against New Zealand Cancar scored 0 points and shot 0-7 from the field. In the three total games, he shot just 1-14 from three-point range.

Three games with a national team coming fresh off a torn ACL is an extremely unfair and small sample size. But the fact that the Nuggets still haven’t signed Cancar and that Booth traveled overseas to watch the games suggests that they were hoping to see a bit more from the once and (likely) future Nugget.

I doubt the decision whether to sign Cancar or not will come down to his shooting performance in those three games, but it’s still not exactly the most encouraging sign for a team that needs shooting as badly as anyone.