After undergoing offseason surgery in April to repair core muscle-related injuries and subsequently missing Summer League, Nuggets’ guard Jamal Murray appears to be back at full health.
The 20-year-old took part in the University of Kentucky’s alumni game on Friday alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe, Tyler Ulis, Terrence Jones, and other former Wildcats in what resembled a casual, All-Star game-like atmosphere. Nuggets’ power forward Trey Lyles also played.
Here are a few highlights of Murray from Friday night:
Murray averaged 9.9 points on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.4 percent from three, along with 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists during his rookie season and was the only Nuggets player to play in all 82 regular season games. He was with the team in Las Vegas at Summer League this July and warmed up for one game, but didn’t play.
“(The rehab) has been good. It’s a long process,” Murray told BSN Denver in Las Vegas. “This is the first time I’ve actually been out out. It’s a lot of mental work for me and I’m just so eager to get back out there. I just want to be around my team and everything so its been a lot of fun but I’m very eager to get out there. Once you stop playing for more than a week it takes a toll on your body. My conditioning is probably the biggest thing. It’s hard to lift with all the core stuff so I’m just trying to take my time with it.”
The Kitchener, Ontario native only started nine games during his rookies season but is expected to begin the year as the Nuggets’ starting point guard. Denver opens their preseason in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors on Sep. 30 and their regular season a few weeks later on Oct. 17 in Utah.
Murray was reportedly one of the players that the Cleveland Cavaliers were targeting in exchange for All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who was traded to the Boston Celtics earlier this week for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, prospect Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. However, there is newfound uncertainty around the trade after Thomas underwent a physical with the Cavs on Friday that raised concerns about the point guard’s hip injury, according to the Boston Globe.
Boston and Cleveland reportedly have a call arranged for Saturday to discuss the trade and could either renegotiate or call off the deal entirely.