Nuggets forward Juancho Hernangomez will lead the Nuggets summer league team in Las Vegas beginning July 7.
Denver Nuggets reserve forward Juancho Hernangomez has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, the team announced Tuesday.
Hernangomez, a second-year player out of Spain, was officially ruled out of Monday’s loss to the Wizards with an undisclosed illness and did not travel with the team for Wednesday’s contest at Charlotte. Symptoms for mono, which include fatigue, sore throat and fever, typically last four-to-six weeks.
This helps explain Hernangomez’s slow start to the season. He had had played in 13 total minutes over Denver’s first two games and did not record a stat. After the Nuggets’ season-opening loss at Utah last week, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Hernangomez needed to “get it going.”
“Right now, he doesn’t have that same energy and zap that he had last year,” said Malone, adding Hernangomez had a grueling offseason while playing for the Nuggets in summer league and for Spain in EuroBasket.
Already an outside-shooting threat and underrated rebounder, Hernangomez was expected to be Wilson Chandler‘s primary backup at small forward and could also fill in as a stretch power forward. As a rookie last season, Hernangomez averaged 4.9 points and three rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game and shot 40.7 from 3-point distance.
Without Hernangomez, Chandler could fill some minutes at power forward, while Malik Beasley could also be in line for more time when the Nuggets play a smaller lineup. Beasley played seven minutes against the Wizards — by far his highest total in the early season — and made a 3-pointer in the second quarter and added one rebound, one assist and one steal.
Additionally, newly signed veteran forward Richard Jefferson could see a viable on-court role with Hernangomez out for a lengthy period of time. He was activated for Monday’s game against Washington but did not play.