NBA Rumors: Nuggets' Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. Unlikely to Return for Playoffs

Erin WalshApril 9, 2022

DENVER, CO - APRIL 07: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets warms up against the Memphis Grizzlies at Ball Arena on April 7, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images)
Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets are preparing for the 2022 NBA playoffs, but it appears two of their best players won't be available for the postseason.

Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are unlikely to return for the playoffs, according to The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania, who reiterated that neither player has been ruled out just yet.

Charania added that Murray "is very close in his process and the Nuggets will allow him to determine his comeback timing."

Murray has yet to play this season after tearing his ACL during the 2020-21 campaign. The 2016 seventh overall pick was in the midst of a career year before going down, averaging 21.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 47.7 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from deep in 48 games.

Porter, meanwhile, appeared in just nine games this season before undergoing back surgery. Like Murray, he had a career year during the 2020-21 campaign, averaging 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 54.2 percent from the floor and 44.5 percent from deep in 61 games.

The latest update on Murray and Porter is certainly a disappointing one for the Nuggets, who were hoping to get the duo back for the playoffs to support All-Star center Nikola Jokic, who is currently in the MVP conversation.

Jokic is averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 33.7 percent from deep this season.

In addition to Jokic, the Nuggets have relied on Monte Morris, Bones Hyland, Will Barton and Aaron Gordon with Murray and Porter sidelined. Gordon has been the team's second-best player behind Jokic, averaging 15.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

The Nuggets enter Sunday's season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 48-33 record. They sit sixth in the Western Conference but could earn the fifth-place spot depending on the outcome of the Utah Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game on Sunday.