Nuggets season in review: Vlatko Cancar

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Reviewing the 2021-22 NBA Season for Nuggets Forward Vlatko Cancar

The story of the regular season

Vlatko Cancar entered the season outside of the rotation for the Denver Nuggets, as was the status queue before this season. Before this season, Vlatko had only played in 55 games in his career. Not much changed during the actual season either. At least until JaMychal Green was injured and he got a stab at some playing time. He had a five game stretch where he had double digit minutes in all of those five games. After not dressing for one game, he also registered double digit minute totals in two more games.

Unfortunately, Vlatko Cancar suffered a foot injury. More specifically, a fracture in his foot. It kept him out from early January until the 82nd game of the regular season. At which point, he came back for that one game.

Did it translate in the playoffs?

Vlatko Cancar was very limited in his play this season, and wasn’t exactly primed to play in the playoffs. Especially if you consider the fact that he came back from a relatively serious injury in the last game of the season. He did not get a single meaningful playoff minute, to no one’s surprise really.

Best Moment – January 1st Game Against Houston

One of Vlatko’s most productive games came on January 1st. On the first day of the New Year, he put up 11 points on 5 of 7 shots from the field, and 1 of 3 from beyond the arc. He did all that in only 14 minutes and 46 seconds. He helped the Nuggets secure a win over the Houston Rockets.

Season Grade: C

The final grading decision for Vlatko’s season came down to the fact that it is about what we expected from him. He was expected to be an end of the bench sort of a guy, and that is exactly what he was. He gave the Nuggets decent minutes when other guys were injured, but there was nothing done beyond that. He was decent in the time he was given, but he was not given much time; and for relatively good reason. He’s okay in a lot of areas, but not elite in any of them. He just isn’t a guy who will be a rotation piece, and that’s okay. He is a good end of the bench guy and that’s what he gave Denver.

What does the future hold for Cancar?

Vlatko Cancar and Nikola Jokic are friends off the court, and I would be surprised if the front office moved on from Cancar for that reason. He will be cheap to keep around and has been serviceable in the small roles Denver has given to him. Keeping Nikola Jokic happy will be a priority to the Nuggets, and keeping Vlatko would do just that. I see him staying with the team, but because of the limitations in his skill set and the lack of precedent for him playing — he won’t get much playing time outside of injuries and such.

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