The Denver Nuggets are currently without starting center Jusuf Nurkic due to a knee injury (partially torn left patellar tendon). For now, head coach Michael Malone will consider several players for that spot until Nurkic is cleared to return. From Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:
- "Who is starting, at this point, isn't important, Malone said. And depending on matchups, it might not matter much anyway because the Nuggets are stocked with players versatile enough to take the team from a traditional lineup to small ball in a blink. 'My thoughts are there are a thousand things we can do at center,' Malone said. Second-year player Joffrey Lauvergne has been the early standout, coming into Thursday's game with preseason averages of 15.0 points, on 72.2 percent shooting, and 12.5 rebounds. ... J.J. Hickson has played center before, too, and he has played on a team with Malone on the staff in the past, so he's a known quantity. Kenneth Faried, who played a lot of center late last season, could be called upon to man the post but is more suited to play forward. Rookie Nikola Jokic, too, has caught Malone's eye."
At this time, there is a good chance Nurkic will miss at least the first month of the regular season, so the remaining preseason games will allow Malone to assess his options at the center position.