The Denver Nuggets have a young, exciting team because of players like Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Gary Harris. Their depth and youth goes beyond those three players and they have some very good veterans to mix into Michael Malone's rotations, but those three are probably the most exciting with rookie Jamal Murray a close fourth. But a preseason injury to Harris will lessen the excitement and throw Murray more into the fire.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical is reporting a partially torn groin muscle likely will keep Harris out of action for 4-6 weeks. The injury to Harris happened in a preseason game vs. Toronto earlier this week.
Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with a partially torn groin muscle, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) October 5, 2016
Denver has plenty of depth, and a good chunk of his time missed is during the preseason. The Nuggets can go big with Jokic or Jusuf Nurkic inside, Darrell Arthur or Kenneth Faried at power forward, and veterans Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler on the wings. They can use Murray or Will Barton at shooting guard. Another rookie, Malik Beasley, who can shoot the ball and play shooting guard.
Harris was the 19th overall pick in 2014 and played in only 55 games. He shot only 30.4 percent, 20.4 percent from 3-point range. His 39.5 percent true shooting percentage was the worst in the league for anybody with more than 200 field goal attempts. Even Lance Stephenson, who had the worst 3-point shooting season in NBA history that year, had a higher true shooting percentage.
But Harris improved tremendously in his second season. His field goal percentage improved by 16.5 percent. His 3-point accuracy improved by 15 percent as he took nearly 4 3-pointers per game (3.9). He also showed a real ability to defend. Going into his third year, Harris looked to be a very important part of this young core.
If Malone gives Murray earns minutes in preseason, it could add a very dynamic shooter to the mix. Maybe even better than what Harris showed last season. Murray was one of the best 3-point shooters in the country at Kentucky coming off of screens. Overall, he shot 45.4 percent, 40.8 percent from 3-point range, and dropped 20 points per game in his one year of college.