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NBA roundup: Nuggets sign first-round picks

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[August 01, 2014]  The Sports Xchange
 The Denver Nuggets signed first-round draft picks center Jusuf Nurkic and guard Gary Harris, the team announced Thursday.

The Nuggets acquired the rights to both players in a draft-night trade with the Chicago Bulls on June 26. Nurkic was the 16th overall pick, while Harris was taken at No. 19.

The 7-foot, 280-pound Nurkic averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 28 games for Cedevita Zagreb of the Adriatic League in 2013-14. He recently led Bosnia and Herzegovina to the title at the FIBA Under-20 European Championships Division B. Nurkic, 19, averaged 21.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.63 blocks in eight games and was named MVP of the tournament.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Harris averaged 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore at Michigan State in 2013-14. He was an All-Big Ten selection and received honorable mention in the Associated Press All-America voting. Harris, 19, started 67 of 69 games in his college career and became just the third player in Michigan State history to score 1,000 points in two seasons.

---San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is still suffering from an injury to his right fibula and it will keep him out of the FIBA World Cup in Spain, the Argentine Basketball Federation announced Thursday.

The stress fracture has bothered Ginobili since the playoffs.

The 37-year-old Ginobili played through the injury while helping the Spurs beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. The San Antonio Express-News reported earlier this week that the Spurs sent Ginobili a letter informing him they would not extend the 12-year veteran permission to play in Spain because of the lingering issue.

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---Kevin Love looks increasingly likely to join LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who are shopping Love, are only engaged in talks with the Cavaliers, according to an report Wednesday night. Cleveland was long considered the top contender to acquire Love in a trade. However, swingman Andrew Wiggins, reported as a key piece in the proposed deal, cannot be traded until Aug. 23 -- 30 days after the Cavs signed him to a contract. Wiggins was the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.

Earlier reports indicated the Bulls were interested in acquiring Love, but wrote that Chicago couldn't offer as much value to Minnesota in a deal as the Timberwolves could get from Cleveland.

The Golden State Warriors, another team discussed as a possible landing spot for Love, won't part with shooting guard Klay Thompson as part of the deal, reported.


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