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Paul Millsap likely to return after missing Nuggets’ last 16 games

Paul Millsap, Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are likely to get a key contributor back in the lineup, with veteran power forward Paul Millsap expected to return on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.

Millsap was upgraded to probable for the matchup, according to the Action Network’s Matt Moore.

However, redshirt freshman Michael Porter Jr. and center Mason Plumlee are out while forward Jerami Grant is questionable.

Jordan McRae, the 28-year-old shooting guard acquired from the Washington Wizards for Shabazz Napier on Thursday, is probable for his Nuggets debut, too.

Paul Millsap has missed the past 16 games as he continues a wary tenure with the Nuggets, including appearing in only 38 games in 2017-18 and missing a dozen last season. A four-time All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks, Millsap has been missing time for Denver recently with a left knee contusion.

It’s unclear whether fourth-year Canadian point guard Jamal Murray will be available on Saturday. The 22-year-old appeared in the past two games after missing 10 games for the Nuggets.

In addition to McRae, the Nuggets acquired forwards Keita Bates-Diop and Noah Vonleh from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the trade deadline and wing Gerald Green, whom they waived.

It has been an unusual week for head coach Mike Malone’s crew after two-plus years of keeping its core intact while competing in the Western Conference. With Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley gone, they will not have to scramble for cash to pay the two pending restricted free agents but now face more uncertainty with a slew of new arrivals in the Mile High City.