Nuggets scrap plans to send Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray to Grand Rapids, sources say

The Nuggets have scrapped plans to send Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray to Grand Rapids for the time-being, two league sources told The Denver Post on Thursday.

Both Porter and Murray were set to fly to Grand Rapids and practice with the Gold on Friday, but logistical concerns, in addition to the fact that they’d only be there for one practice, altered the plan, sources said. Neither player has had any kind of setback, and there was also a sense that some of the work they would’ve done in Grand Rapids could get done in Denver.

However, there’s a possibility both could practice or scrimmage with the Gold in the future as both continue their respective rehabs.

For now, they’ll both continue progressing and working out in Denver.

The Denver Post previously reported Porter intended to practice with the Nuggets’ G League squad, but Murray’s inclusion wasn’t publicly known. There remains no timetable for Murray’s return, though the intention of rehabbing in Grand Rapids is a positive sign.

It’s been nearly 11 months since Murray tore his left ACL, and there remains the possibility that he doesn’t return at all this season. Whether that happens or not is contingent on how confident he feels as his workouts ramp up. There’s also a conditioning component for a player who hasn’t played since last April.

There’s a different sense with Porter, whose agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Post on Sunday: “There’s a very good chance he could be back if he continues to progress. He’s checked every box and is getting stronger each and every day.”

Porter recently participated in his first 1-on-1 work following Tuesday’s practice. He went against Nuggets reserve Davon Reed, alternating offensive and defensive possessions. On several of the possessions, he splashed 3-pointers as effortlessly as he had prior to his back surgery.

Murray has done 1-on-1 work prior to games with various Nuggets assistant coaches, as his quick-twitch, lateral movement has steadily improved. The next steps, for both, include 2-on-2 work and 3-on-3 work, a source said.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone has preached patience, particularly in regard to Murray’s return.

“Zero pressure from me,” Malone’s told his star point guard repeatedly this season.

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