Archive for the ‘ Denver Nuggets Blog ’ Category

Nuggets sign Nikola Jokic

The Denver Nuggets have signed center Nikola Jokić to a multi-year contract, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Jokić, 6-10, 250, was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Jokić, 20, has spent the last three seasons playing for KK Mega Vizura of the Adriatic League. This past season he appeared in 38 games (37 starts), averaging 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.00 blocks in 29.5 minutes per game. He was also named Adriatic League Round MVP four times.

The Serbian native appeared in five games (all starts) for the Denver Nuggets at the 2015 Samsung Summer League in Las Vegas. He averaged 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.40 blocks in 21.0 minutes per game.

Nuggets trade Ty Lawson to Rockets

Nuggets trade Ty Lawson to Rockets

The Denver Nuggets have acquired Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, a protected 2016 first round pick and cash considerations from Houston in exchange for Ty Lawson and a 2017 second round pick, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today. Subsequently, Prigioni was waived by Denver following the trade.

Dorsey, 6-8, 268, appeared in 69 games (17 starts) and averaged 2.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game for the Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The four-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 2.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 130 career games (26 starts) with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto. Dorsey was originally drafted with the 33rd overall selection of the 2008 NBA Draft out of the University of Memphis.

Johnson, 6-3, 200, averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game in 28 games for the Houston Rockets during his rookie campaign in 2014-15. The first-year guard also appeared in 20 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League, averaging 18.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 33.9 minutes per game. The Arizona product was selected 42nd overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Papanikolaou, 6-8, 225, appeared in 43 games (one start) in his rookie season with Houston, averaging 4.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. He was originally drafted by the New York Knicks with the 48th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft and was traded to Portland in 2012 and then to Houston on July 10, 2013. From 2011 to 2013, the Greek forward played for Olympiacos and in 2013-14 he played for FC Barcelona in the Spanish ACB league.

Prigioni, 6-3, 180, averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 assists in 16.8 minutes per game in 24 games with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 NBA season. Prigioni went undrafted in the 1999 NBA Draft and has appeared in 211 career games (48 starts) in three seasons with New York and Houston, averaging 3.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Lawson, 5-11, 195, appeared in 75 games (all starts), averaging 15.2 points and a career-high 9.6 assists in 35.5 minutes per game with Denver during the 2014-15 NBA season. Lawson spent the first six years of his career with the Nuggets, playing in 416 games (307 starts) and averaging 14.2 points, 6.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 35.5 minutes per game. The North Carolina Tar-Heel was originally selected 18th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was traded to Denver in a draft-night deal.

Point guard Ty Lawson has been busy getting in trouble off the court and will soon be wearing a different jersey on his back. Here is Yahoo Sports reporting:

The Denver Nuggets have reached agreement to trade guard Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Houston will send Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and a protected 2016 first-round draft pick to Denver, sources said. Along with Lawson, the Nuggets will send a 2017 second-round pick to Houston.

Denver’s plan is to turn the team over to rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, the seventh overall pick in the June NBA draft, and veteran guard Jameer Nelson.

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on a key member of the Nuggets frontcourt:

Nuggets interest in contract extension for Danilo Gallinari

Wilson Chandler’s contract extension could be just the beginning for the Nuggets. If they have their way, they’d like to open talks on an extension for Danilo Gallinari as well, according to a league source.

Gallinari is heading into the final year of his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $11.5 million. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Gallinari always has been viewed as an important piece of the Nuggets re-tooling — now rebuilding — effort, ever since he was traded to Denver from New York in 2011 in the Carmelo Anthony deal. When he’s been on the court he’s shown why. He averaged a career-high 16.2 points in 2012-13 before an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and two subsequent surgeries, set him back 19 months.

This dude is messing up

Here’s the Denver Post reporting troubling news on an important Nuggets guard:

Ty Lawson arrested on on suspicion of DUI

Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was arrested early Tuesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the second time in six months he has been arrested on such allegations.

Lawson is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail at the Los Angeles County jail, records show.

The California Highway Patrol says Lawson was pulled over on U.S. 101 — known as the Hollywood Freeway — after an officer spotted him traveling “at a high rate of speed” about 1:30 a.m.

“He displayed several signs of symptoms of alcohol intoxication,” Officer Kevin Tao told The Denver Post.

Celtics and Nuggets discussed a Danilo Gallinari trade

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics and Denver Nuggets:

danilo gallinari trade discussions

The Celtics recently spoke with Denver about a trade for Danilo Gallinari, but those discussions did not get anywhere.

However, multiple sources told the Herald that talks could be revived and that the situation bears watching. On the other hand, there were conflicting comments about the Nuggets’ willingness to make Gallinari available. Some said Denver will likely keep the 6-10 shooter, while others insist the club is willing to part with him for the proper price.

Gallinari is entering the final year of his contract and will make $11,559,225 in 2015-16.

wilson chandler

After restructuring his deal, the Denver Nuggets have signed forward Wilson Chandler to a multi-year contract extension, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Chandler, 6-8, 225, appeared in 78 games (75 starts) for Denver last season, averaging 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 31.7 minutes per game. Chandler has spent the last five seasons as a member of the Nuggets after being acquired via trade in 2011.

The eight-year veteran was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 23rd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Chandler has appeared in 445 career games (343 starts) with Denver and New York, averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He also played in 32 games (29 starts) for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association in 2011-12, averaging 26.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Prior to being drafted into the NBA, Chandler played two seasons at DePaul and was named All-AAC Second Team as a sophomore and AAC All-Rookie Team as a freshman.

Nuggets draft Emmanuel Mudiay 7th overall

The Denver Nuggets selected guard Emmanuel Mudiay with the seventh overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Mudiay, 6-5, 200, was an early entry candidate and spent the 2014-15 season in China playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. In 12 games, he posted averages of 18.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.60 steals in 31.5 minutes per game.

“We couldn’t be happier that Emmanuel was there for us at number seven and we are thrilled to welcome him to Denver as the newest member of the Denver Nuggets” General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly said.

Originally from Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo and also the city that produced former Nuggets great Dikembe Mutombo.
Mudiay attended Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, Texas where he led the team to a 30-6 record as a high school senior in 2014. After his senior season, Mudiay was ranked the number two overall player by Rivals and Scout and number five by ESPN. He was selected to the Parade and USA Today All-American First teams. He was also selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game, the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game and played alongside Nuggets 2014 second round draft pick (41st overall) Nikola Jokic at the Nike Hoop Summit.

Trade speculation swirls around Ty Lawson

It’ll be interesting to see if the Denver Nuggets hang onto point guard Ty Lawson or find him a new home this offseason. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Trade speculation swirls around Ty Lawson

Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said the organization is in a good place just four days from as important an NBA draft as the team has had in a long time.

“It’s the time of year when all of our focus should be on the draft and potential trades around the draft,” Connelly said.

The Nuggets have made some of those trade calls, and they have received others.

The biggest trade speculation continues to swirl around last season’s starting point guard, Ty Lawson. But the reality is there are no untouchable players on the roster if the deal offered is one the Nuggets feel they can’t refuse.

“The variables come when you get one phone call and the best-laid plans go out of the window,” Connelly said.

Willie Cauley-Stein as confident as anyone in 2015 NBA Draft

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on a high-rated prospect in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft:

Among the tattoos on the right side of Willie Cauley-Stein’s neck is one famous phrase.

Hakuna Matata.

No worries.

It’s a large part of how he views the pre-draft process.

“I see myself as the No. 1 player in the draft, but it is what it is,” said the 7-foot, 240-pound former Kentucky standout. “You can just take it day-by-day, put in the work and the draft is going to be the outcome of whatever the draft is.”

Is he mad at not being mentioned in the same breath with former Wildcats teammate Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke star Jalil Okafor, the first two players expected to be chosen.

“You can’t get mad about it,” he said. “You just gotta work for it.”

Jusuf Nurkic undergoes knee surgery

Jusuf Nurkic undergoes knee surgery

Denver Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic underwent successful knee surgery in order to repair a partially torn left patellar tendon, according to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California Wednesday afternoon.

Nurkic averaged 6.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.10 blocks in 62 games (27 starts) this season and was recently named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team.

Nuggets in search of new head coach

Nuggets in search of new head coach

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who finished the regular season with a 30-52 record, not even coming close to qualifying for the playoffs in a very difficult Western conference.

The Nuggets are in search of their second coach since 2013. Popular opinion says they’re very worried about the bottom line, that they’ll skimp on the coach’s salary and place most of the monetary resources in player salaries. Yet, those close to the Nuggets say price will not be an issue during their search. And that takes into account the fact that the Nuggets still owe Brian Shaw, who was fired March 3, $2 million.

So if money is no object — or at least not an obstacle — the Nuggets should be in good shape financially in their search for a coach, which, last week, general manager Tim Connelly said had started.

“We don’t want to put any unnecessary internal time frames on it. There’s no deadline. I think the deadline is we want to have a coach as we head into the draft,” Connelly said of the June 25 event. “It’s a pretty pivotal pick for us, and a pretty pivotal moment. Not just with the draft itself and the chance to make trades, and free agency happens soon thereafter. So if we have to wait, we can wait. But we want to make sure that we talk to all of the quality candidates and pick the best guy.”

Flashback to Fat Lever

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on a versatile, highly-skilled former NBA guard with a great name and even better game:

Arguably one of the most underrated players in NBA history, Lever had 46 triple-doubles in his career with the Nuggets, more than two-thirds of the total triple-doubles in franchise history.

He was a triple-double threat every night. In six seasons with the Nuggets, Lever averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game.He was named to the second-team all-defense in 1988 and is among the Nuggets’ top 10 all time in steals (1,167), assists (3,566), field goals made (3,304) and rebounds (3,621).

“When you’re playing, you really don’t pay attention to it that much,” Lever said. “As I look back now, and every time someone throws a stat at me that I wasn’t aware of now sticks out. The triple-doubles come up more now because of (Oklahoma City guard) Russell Westbrook. If I had that kind of athleticism I’d still be playing. But at the same time it’s one of those things where you remember it, you enjoy it and then you move on. And then you try to share some of those experiences with someone else — your family, your kids, people that I run across.

“I enjoy it.”

Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the 27-45 Nuggets and forward Darrell Arthur, who is averaging 6.6 points in 17.0 minutes per game as a reserve:

Nuggets: Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Darrell Arthur feels today — and everyday — as if it was Feb. 25.

The problem: He feels it in his strained right calf, which has given him problems ever since he sustained an injury that day against Phoenix. And it is making the end of his season with the Nuggets a daily struggle, not only to play but make it through a game. And then be able to bounce back for the following game.

“I’ve been sore for about a month,” Arthur said. “The only thing that’s going to help is time. Time and treatment.”

It is an all-too familiar feeling for Arthur, who endured constant nagging injuries and pain late last season due to a left hip strain and then a knee sprain.

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

The 20-39 Denver Nuggets, who have lost six straight games and nine of their last 10, have fired head coach Brian Shaw, it was announced today by General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

Melvin Hunt has been named the Nuggets’ interim head coach for the rest of the 2014-15 season.

“I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization,” said Connelly. “You won’t find a better guy than Brian and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I’ve ever been around. Unfortunately things didn’t go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Shaw was hired as head coach of the Nuggets on June 25, 2013 and in one-plus season he compiled a record of 56-85 (.397).

“On behalf of everyone in the Denver Nuggets organization, I would personally like to thank Brian for his services the past two seasons in Denver. He is a champion and a gentleman and I wish him nothing but the best for himself and his family moving forward. Since we purchased the franchise in 2000 we have constantly strived to field a competitive team, culminating in 10 straight playoff appearances and a franchise record 57 wins in the 2012-13 regular season. Expectations have been raised and we want more.

“This season our management staff has remained patient and supportive as decisions of this nature are never taken lightly. Patience is encouraged, as long as the organization continues to show progress toward a greater goal. However, competing for championships is our goal, and therefore we decided to make this decision now and look forward to conducting an extensive head coaching search upon the season’s conclusion. This has been a trying season for all of us, and we appreciate Nuggets fans continued faith and patience as we build our proud organization back to the NBA’s elite.”

Nuggets struggling this season, even at home

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who through Thursday’s games are 20-37 this season: 12-16 at home, 8-21 on the road:

Once one of the NBA’s most-feared home court advantages, the Nuggets have fallen back to earth at the Pepsi Center in the last two seasons. Since winning a franchise-record 38 home games in the 2012-13 season, the Nuggets haven’t won 38 home games in the last two seasons combined. They are 34-35 in that span, which includes this season’s 12-16 mark. The Nuggets went 22-19 at the Pepsi Center last season.

With 13 home games left, the Nuggets have to go 9-4 in order to avoid having their first losing home record since 2002-03. That team finished 13-28 at home.

Shaw talked about the Nuggets’ challenge to win home games — and fast.

“What starts to happen is guys start to look forward to playing on the road because the home crowd starts to get antsy, and things don’t go well then they start to get on us,” Shaw said.

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

The Denver Nuggets have waived forwards Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Both Claver and Robinson were acquired along with Will Barton and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee on February 19, 2015.

Jusuf Nurkic replaces injured Steven Adams in 2015 Rising Stars Challenge

Denver Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic will replace injured World Team selection Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015 NBA Rising Stars Challenge event that will take place Friday, February 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The NBA’s annual showcase of premier first- and second-year players at NBA All-Star 2015 features a new format that pits first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.

Nurkic, the 16th overall pick of the 2014 draft, who was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-day trade with Chicago, has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 6.8 points, 6.2 rebounds (second among rookies) and 1.26 blocks (third) in 16.7 minutes. The 20-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina native spent the 2013-14 season playing in Croatia.

Adams underwent successful surgery on Monday to address a fracture in the fourth metacarpal of his right hand. In 50 games this season, he has averaged 7.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 24.3 minutes.

The Brooklyn Nets are 18-28, have won just 2 of their last 10 games, and are on a 4-game losing streak. Center Brook Lopez, playing just 26.9 minutes per game, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Those stats look good when taking the court time into account. But his actual impact has been limited. And when you factor in Brook’s massive contract, things get bleak. Changes are being discussed. Here’s ESPN.com reporting the latest:

The Brooklyn Nets continue to explore the possibility of trading center Brook Lopez but to date have resisted a serious push from the Denver Nuggets, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nuggets have offered big men JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson, as well as one of the two draft picks Denver recently acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Timofey Mozgov, in exchange for the Lopez.

But Brooklyn, sources say, has rebuffed those advances so far.

Nuggets assign Erick Green to D-League

The Denver Nuggets assigned rookie guard Erick Green to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League today, according to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

The Nuggets drafted Green 46th overall (second round) in the 2013 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 3.3 points in 7.3 minutes per game.

Green will be available for Fort Wayne’s game at Rio Grande Valley on Jan. 23.

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