True. The extra cap space given from the amnesty could come in handy, though, especially with the back-up PG situation.
Should Nuggets Try to Move Up in Draft?By HOOPSWORLDBasketball News & NBA RumorsEmailPrint0 CommentsIt makes little sense for a young team to add an old gunslinger such as Ray Allen, the 36-year-old Boston guard due to be an unrestricted free agent.The prospects of this draft, however, hold appeal for Denver.With Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, the Nuggets are overstocked in wing men. There’s not enough time in a game for coach George Karl to keep all his centers happy. Add the team’s 20th overall pick in the first round, and (Masai) Ujiri might have the goods to move into the top 10 of this draft. It depends, of course, on how much Denver is willing to surrender in a deal.But want the Nuggets to have a shot to do serious damage in the playoffs?Go get (Austin) Rivers.via Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post
The love is consistent — after finishing third in the rookie of the year voting, Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried finished third today in the voting for the NBA's all-rookie team, meaning Faried cracked the squad of seven.
Wait, seven? Yep, a septet makes up the first team, thanks to voting ties. Faried is joined on the team by rookie of the year Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota), Klay Thompson (Golden State) and then the three players who tied for the fifth-most votes — Iman Shumpert (New York), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio) and Brandon Knight (Detroit).
Irving was the only unanimous first-team selection with 58 total points. Rubio had 49, Faried 46, Thompson 43 and the other three players tied for 40.
Denver's Faried led all rookies with a 58.6 field-goal percentage, while averaging 10.2 points per game and 7.7 rebounds, the rebounding mark also tops among rookies.
The second-team consists of Houston's Chandler Parsons (33 points), Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas (27 points), New Jersey's MarShon Brooks (18 points), Minnesota's Derrick Williams (16 points) and Cleveland's Tristan Thompson (16 points).
The NBA coaches voted on the players, but coaches couldn't vote for their own players. Rookies got two points for a first-round vote, one for a second-round vote.
Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a good thing — right?
The Nuggets worked out draft prospects today and when Terrence Ross was asked what player he's like, Ross replied: "I'd say similar to a J.R. Smith."
Of course, Ross meant Smith's athleticism and shooting — not Smith's combustible personality on and off the court — but it was amusing, especially inside Pepsi Center, to hear someone describe themselves in a positive way by using Smith as an example.
Ross is a sharpshooter for sure, finishing fourth in the Pac-12 with 16.4 points per game — and during the Huskies' NIT run, he averaged 25 points in four games. He's young, just finishing his sophomore year and could be available when Denver drafts at No. 20 in the June 28 NBA draft.
"I'm learning a lot about the Nuggets," he said. "I know they're an up-and-down team, they like to shoot the 3-ball, play in transition."
Denver also worked out another first-round prospect, John Jenkins of Vanderbilt, as well as a possible second-rounder in Kyle Weems of Missouri State (Denver has two second-round selections).
"I like Ray Allen a whole lot," said Jenkins, who like Ross is also a shooting guard. "Him moving off screens and moving off the ball is very important in this league as a shooter. So I try to be just like him."
Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 email@example.com
The Denver Nuggets have a roster loaded with talent, having rallied from a midseason trade in which they moved their franchise center to the Washington Wizards to come within a few points of surviving the first round of the playoffs by pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to six games.They did it while dealing with a number of injuries to key players. If Denver can retain backup point guard Andre Miller (which is likely), it has no available spots for any first-round pick outside of Anthony Davis. They are high on undrafted point guard Julyan Stone, and last year's first-round pick, Jordan Hamilton, looks like a bona fide scorer who just needs playing time.As it stands today, there just isn't room on their roster. With the 20th pick this year, Denver can look for young, raw players who need a year or two of seasoning before they'll be ready to play. The Nuggets should target players who ooze upside and talent but for one reason or another will be available at No. 20.Good fits: Marquis Teague, Tony Wroten Jr.Both Teague and Wroten have intriguing upsides. Teague has outstanding quickness and can learn to play a lot like Denver's current starting point guard, Ty Lawson. So why would the Nuggets want another Lawson? Because in 2013-14, it's unlikely they still will feature Miller. A now 21-year-old Teague can become a nice second option for that position. He's ready to be the pace pusher George Karl desires. Teague's performance this year suggests he will be able to improve his poise and game management skills, profiling a strong learning curve going forward.Wroten presents a different look. He, too, needs to learn a lot before he can help an NBA team, as he plays too out of control, and without a jumper he'll be a turnover machine in the NBA. But two seasons from now, not only could he become a serviceable backup to Lawson, but unlike Teague, he can play with Lawson. Wroten will be able to defend a good number of off/combo guards in the NBA. Since Wroten has a special feel for passing, having him on the floor with Lawson would allow Lawson to focus more on scoring, something at which he's become very proficient. Wroten, like Teague, looks like he'll be a guard who loves to push the pace, a mandate to play for Denver.
The DraftThe Nuggets have the 20th, 38th and 50th selections in the upcoming NBA draft. With 11 players under contract for next season already and a couple of free agents in Andre Miller and JaVale McGee who they would like to bring back, they don’t have any glaring needs. They’re really going to be in a position where they can go with the best player available at 20 or trade it for future picks. There’s no lack of youth on the Nuggets’ roster to begin with, so there’s an argument to be made for putting their first rounder on the open market.At 38 and 50 the Nuggets can look to invest in some foreign-born players who they could keep overseas until they have some roster spots open up. Combo guard Nemanja Nedovic from Serbia would be a nice investment as an eventual replacement for Andre Miller. 7’1 center Ognjen Kuzmic would make sense with their other second round pick since he has an intriguing amount of size. Late in the second round teams are mainly looking for players with the most potential anyway.Free AgencyHovering right around the $58 million mark where most believe the salary cap line will be drawn at for 2012-2013, the Nuggets are going to have the mid-level exception and bi-annual exception at their disposal. However, their primary focus should be on keeping their own free agents in Miller and McGee.Both really showed their value in the Nuggets near upset of Lakers. Miller, a consummate professional, has backed off his desire to start or play for a contender. He now appears to be content with his role in Denver and willing to re-sign. Miller was the highest-paid Nugget last year at just over $7 million. His market value shouldn’t be more than $3-4 million, well within the Nuggets price range.Things aren’t as clear cut with McGee. Anytime a young center shows intriguing flashes teams with cap space are always lining up to throw ridiculous money at them. The Nuggets quickly had second thoughts about the five-year $67 million deal they gave Nene. Ideally they can work out something with McGee in the $7-9 million range annually. Anything higher than that and they should strongly consider letting him walk.As a restricted free agent, they have the right to match any deal he’s offered. Ujiri has made it clear that they intend to keep him. He’s an important piece with a ridiculous amount of potential, but he’s also been inconsistent throughout his career. Paying more than $10 million a year for an uncertainty is something the Nuggets should let another franchise do, unless it’s a short-term deal less than three years long.The Nuggets also have the rights of shooting guard Rudy Fernandez. Fernandez has well-documented interest in returning to Spain with no shortage of teams interested in him. While he is talented with the ability to help them, they are better off letting him walk and giving Jordan Hamilton the minutes he would have gotten.Should Miller and McGee get sign elsewhere during July, there will be no shortage of veteran options for the Nuggets to consider with their exceptions.The Amnesty ClauseThe Nuggets have yet to use the amnesty clause but that could change this summer. Forward Chris Andersen has made himself a prime candidate to get amnestied after getting in trouble away from the court yet again. Andersen is owed nearly $10 million over the next two seasons, well beyond his true value at this point of his career. Amnestying him could give Nuggets ownership the breathing room they need to get McGee inked to a long-term deal. Plus, with the emergence of forward Kenneth Faried, Andersen is even more expendable.Al Harrington’s name has been mentioned as a candidate to get amnestied as well. He still brings a lot to the table, though, and the last two years of his contract are only 50% guaranteed. He’s actually tradable, whereas the Birdman is not.ConclusionWith a clear direction and plan being executed, nothing serious needs to change in Denver. The addition of a healthy Wilson Chandler alone is going to make them better next year. As long as they can keep Miller and McGee or find serviceable replacements, they should continue to develop and remain a playoff team. As they learn from their experiences and form better chemistry, they’ll climb up the Western Conference rankings. The future is bright in Denver, without a doubt.
Nuggets set to make 8th NBA Summer League appearanceNuggets.com, 5-24-12The Nuggets are among a record 24 teams that will compete in the 2012 NBA Summer League on the UNLV campus in Las Vegas from July 13-22.After completing their first NBA season, forwards Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton and point guard Julyan Stone are expected to be on Denver’s summer-league roster that will be led by Nuggets assistant Chad Iske.“We’ve always had the philosophy that summer is the time to get better,
Denver Nuggets to-do list1. Re-sign JaVale McGeeNo matter how you slice it, this is the single most important move to be made for the Nuggets this summer. McGee is slated to become a restricted free agent with the possibility of leaving after only several months of service with the team, however the chances of this happening are slim for several reasons.First, because McGee is restricted, the Nuggets have the option to match any offer he receives on the open market — which they will. Let’s get one thing straight here: Masai Ujiri is a savvy son of a gun and the last thing he’s going to do is watch a 7-foot freak of nature — who showed tremendous improvement since coming to the Nuggets — walk freely, essentially completing what would then be nothing more than a salary dump.If the Nuggets wanted to dump Nene for nothing (which is bogus in the first place), they wouldn’t have traded for a young center on the last year of his rookie contract. Period.Second, as has already been mentioned above, McGee has grown more than anybody ever would have imagined in a very limited amount of time. He’s shown maturity, professionalism and above all else, he completes the puzzle for the Nuggets starting five. He’s the missing piece the team has been in search of for years.Financially is where it gets a bit more complicated…The Nuggets would obviously appreciate if McGee solely dealt with them and signed for a reasonable price. If this scenario comes to fruition then Governor Hickenlooper should just go ahead and resign in light of the fact that everyone knows it’s Masai Ujiri who runs Denver. Unfortunately, this likely won’t be the case.In the NBA there are only a few different times when you can cash in as a player — coming off your rookie deal is one of them. McGee knows this, as does his agent. While he may genuinely want to re-sign in Denver, McGee isn’t going to settle for a discounted rate, because let’s be honest: There’s no way he likes Denver that much. That’s just the nature of the NBA. But if Ujiri can meet McGee and his team half way (OK, maybe more like 95 percent of the way), there’s a good chance he’ll agree to a deal that will keep him in a Nuggets uniform for years to come.It’s not going to be cheap. Nuggets fans should expect to pay no less than $9 million per year. But in the end, being able to call one of the league’s best young centers yours, is something few teams can boast about. Barring some desperate franchise signing McGee to the max, it’s extremely difficult to see the Nuggets failing to retain his services.2. Trade or amnesty Chis AndersenIn order to sign McGee, or any other free agent this summer, the Nuggets are going to need to be as frugal with their money as possible. Potentially bad contracts must be avoided at all costs and any existing ones must be jettisoned. At the moment the Nuggets have only one bad contract, and that belongs to Chris “Birdman
No longer a rookie, Jordan Hamilton goes back to workTalented Denver Nuggets forward wants to contribute more next seasonBy Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com, 6-4-12Nuggets forward Jordan Hamilton is looking forward to stepping into the spotlight in 2012-13.Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesWith his rookie season behind him, Jordan Hamilton was free to take a vacation.He could hang out in Los Angeles with his friends and family or escape to a quiet Caribbean island to unwind after his first year with the Denver Nuggets.Hamilton chose Option C: Get right back in the gym and start making a case for an increased workload in 2012-13.Within two weeks of Denver being eliminated from the Western Conference playoffs, Hamilton was the first Nuggets player to return to Pepsi Center for full-scale individual workouts in the weight room and on the practice court.“I came back early because most guys after their rookie season they think that’s it’s time to have fun and time to enjoy the summer,
Like you needed more incentive to go to Vegas.
If you’re there in July, you could see the Nuggets summer league team in action. Now, normally it’s a bunch of no-names out there, but this is a rare season – starting forward Kenneth Faried is expected to play for Denver, as is the No. 20 pick in this June’s draft. In addition, 2011 first-round pick Jordan Hamilton, whom the team is quite high on, will don the powder blue too.
Assistant coach Chad Iske, a Denver native, will coach the Nuggets in the games. Here’s the schedule (the games will also air on Altitude):
July 14 vs. Golden State, 4 p.m. at COX Pavilion
July 15 vs. Dallas, 4 p.m. at COX Pavilion
July 17 vs. New York, 2 p.m. at COX Pavilion
July 19 vs. Charlotte, 8:30 p.m. at Thomas & Mack Center
July 20 vs. Portland, 4 p.m. at COX Pavilion