Jamal Murray practicing with G-League team, then will be re-evaluated

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Whether Jamal Murray returns to Denver for a playoff run will be decided in Grand Rapids.

That’s where the Nuggets’ G-League affiliate is located — the Grand Rapids Gold — and Murray has been assigned to the team to go through a couple of practices and see how his surgically-repaired knee responds. Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports summed it up nicely.

Murray — who has not played this season as he recovers from a torn ACL — likely does some half-court 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 work in those G-League practices but is not playing in a full-blown scrimmage, reports Mike Singer at the Denver Post. It’s more about how Murray’s knee responds than how he plays.

Michael Porter Jr. has not been assigned to Grad Rapids and appears to be farther back on the recovery curve.

There have been doubts we would see Murray this season. While the Nuggets are in a playoff chase — sitting as the No. 6 seed but with the surging Timberwolves just 1.5 games back — and Murray certainly would help, the focus for Denver has always been the long term. With a healthy Murray, Porter, and Nikola Jokic the Nuggets are title contenders, and they see that for themselves next season. They will not jeopardize it just to avoid the play-in this year.

However, if Murray’s knee responds well to a few days in Michigan, the Nuggets could get him back and suddenly be much more threatening in the West playoffs.