Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap will undergo surgery on his left wrist, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. He’s out indefinitely. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Millsap could be out three months and that the surgery will repair a torn ligament in his wrist.
Millsap injured his wrist during the first quarter of Sunday’s 18-point loss in Los Angeles to the Lakers. The 32-year-old tried to play through the pain but went to the Nuggets’ locker room accompanied by head athletic trainer Dan Shimensky midway through the quarter. He was ruled out after halftime and flew back to Denver on Monday to consult with Nuggets doctors.
Millsap’s absence will be an enormous blow to the Nuggets’ frontcourt moving forward. Against Sacramento on Monday Denver started power forward Kenneth Faried in Millsap’s place and also elevated Trey Lyles into the rotation. Faried and Jokic have great chemistry on the floor…on offense.
But Denver’s defense will suffer without Millsap. Millsap, who Denver signed a three-year, $90 million free agent contract this summer, is averaging a team-high 1.25 blocks per game and the Nuggets are giving up 104.6 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor and 107.6 when he sits, per NBA.com.
The path forward for Denver without Millsap is murky, but one that could force Nuggets’ coach Michael Malone to play more smallball with Wilson Chandler and Juan Hernangomez playing a big chunk of their minutes at power forward.