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Nuggets sign DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Emanuel Terry

The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie free agent DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell to a two-way contract and rookie free agent Emanuel Terry to a training camp contract.

Akoon-Purcell, 6-5, 200, most recently appeared in four games for the Nuggets’ Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 12.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.00 steals in 19.3 minutes per game. Akoon-Purcell went undrafted in 2016 out of Illinois State University and has spent the last two seasons playing for the Bakken Bears of the Danish league.

The Orlando, Florida native averaged 18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.65 steals in 49 games (45 starts) for the Bakken Bears in 2017-18. He appeared in 53 games (43 starts) during the 2016-17 campaign, posting averages of 20.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.89 steals while being named both the Danish League MVP and Finals MVP.

Terry, 6-9, 220, also played for the Nuggets’ 2018 Las Vegas Summer League team, appearing in all five games while averaging 7.4 points and 5.0 rebounds on .607 shooting from the field in 17.6 minutes per game. The Birmingham, Alabama native went undrafted in 2018 after spending four years at Lincoln Memorial University.

Terry started all 31 games as a senior in 2017-18, averaging 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.19 blocks while shooting .711 from the field. He was named the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as well as earning SAC All-First Team, SAC All-Tournament Team and NABC Division II All-American Team honors that season.

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Monte Morris to a multi-year contract.

Morris, 6-3, 180, spent the 2017-18 season on a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets. He appeared in 37 games (35 starts) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League, averaging 17.8 points, 6.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 47.2% from the field. Most recently, Morris appeared in four games for the Nuggets 2018 Las Vegas Summer League team, posting averages of 17.5 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 28.1 minutes.

The 23-year-old was drafted by Denver with the 51st pick in the 2017 NBA draft after playing four seasons at Iowa State University. Morris appeared in 140 career games (121 starts) for the Cyclones and was named All-Big 12 First Team as a senior in 2017 after setting the NCAA single-season record with a 5.17 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Denver Nuggets signed rookie center Thomas Welsh to a two-way contract today.

Welsh, 7-0, 255, appeared in two games for the Nuggets Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 6.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 31.3 minutes per game.

Welsh was selected by Denver with the 58th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He played four seasons at UCLA where he averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the field. He was one of five finalists for the 2017-18 Kareem Abdul-Jabar award, given to the nation’s top center, and finished his Bruins career ranked third in career rebounds (1,035), third in blocks (143) and sixth in career double-doubles (37). As a senior the California native posted averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.7% from three (45-of-112 3FG) and 82.8% from the free throw line. His 10.8 rebounds per game was UCLA’s highest per game average since David Greenwood in 1977-78.

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, along with a protected 2019 first round draft pick and a 2020 second round draft pick, from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Isaiah Whitehead.

According to the New York Post, “the Lin trade erases his $12.5 million expiring deal from the books.”

More from the Post: “Nets get Faried, and his $13.8 million expiring salary, as well as Darrell Arthur to get a 2019 first-round pick (protected 1-through-12) and a 2020 second-rounder.”

“DA is one of the best guys I have ever come across in all my time in the league,” said Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly . “When we traded for him, he and his amazing wife Niecy instantly impacted our community. They have done so much to help those in need, and almost all of it was done with no fanfare. As a player his toughness, ability to guard multiple positions and stretch the floor will be sorely missed. As a person it’s hard to quantify what he has meant to our team. Brooklyn is getting one of the league’s true gentleman.”

“There aren’t many players in the league who play with more energy or passion than Kenneth Faried,” stated Connelly. “To watch him develop as a player and a man in Denver has been a joy to watch. Last season he handled a diminished role like a consummate professional. I’m excited for his next opportunity, but he will certainly be missed.”

Faried (6’8”, 228) averaged 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game over 32 games for the Nuggets during the 2017-18 season. The Newark, N.J., native played seven seasons for Denver, registering averages of 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per contest through 441 career games. Selected with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Nuggets, Faried earned All-Rookie First Team honors following his inaugural season. The Morehead State product was a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and three-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year.

Arthur (6’9”, 235) played in 19 games for the Nuggets during the 2017-18 season, averaging 2.8 points in 7.4 minutes per contest. The Dallas, Texas, native has posted career averages of 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game in 503 career games over nine NBA seasons with Denver (2013-18) and Memphis (2008-13). Arthur was selected with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by New Orleans. He spent two years at the University of Kansas, where he earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a sophomore and helped lead the Jayhawks to the 2008 National Championship.

Whitehead played in 89 games for Brooklyn over the past two seasons, recording averages of 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 20.5 minutes per game. He was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by Utah and was acquired by Brooklyn in a draft-night trade.

Nuggets sign Torrey Craig

The Nuggets signed free agent forward Torrey Craig to a multi-year contract today.

“We are thrilled to have Torrey back on our roster. His journey to the NBA was an atypical one and this contract is a testament to his tremendous work ethic and drive,” stated Connelly.

Craig, 27, was signed to a two-way contract with Denver during the 2017-18 season where he averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 39 games (five starts) for the Nuggets. He also appeared in 15 games (12 starts) for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of G League last season, averaging 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.00 blocks and 1.13 steals in 5.0 minutes per game. He also shot .477 from the field and .386 from three for the Skyforce.

The South Carolina native went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft and prior to joining the Nuggets he spent three seasons starring in the Australian National Basketball League. He played for the Brisbane Bullets during the 2016-17 season where he was named both the Australian NBL Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player while earning All-NBL Second Team honors. He played collegiately at the University of South Carolina-Upstate for four years, earning NABC All-District First Team honors three times and was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year as a sophomore.

The Denver Nuggets have traded forward Wilson Chandler and a future second round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for cash considerations.

“We want to thank Wilson for seven years in Denver,” said Connelly. “As good as a player as he is, he’s an even better person. He will be a great addition in Philly and we will certainly all be rooting for him.”

Chandler, 31, spent seven seasons with Denver, averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 357 games (267 starts). Overall he has appeared in 590 career games (447 starts) with New York and Denver, averaging 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

Nuggets sign rookie Michael Porter Jr

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Michael Porter Jr. to his rookie contract.

All players selected in the first round of the draft, as Porter Jr was, are guaranteed to receive a contract. Therefore, this signing is standard and was expected.

Porter Jr., 6-10, 215, was selected by the Nuggets with the 14th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of the University of Missouri. He began his collegiate career as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit as a high school senior out of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior while leading Nathan Hale to a perfect 29-0 record en route to the Washington Class 3A State Championship, the first-ever state title for the school.

The native of Indianapolis was named the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game as well as winning both the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, joining Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988) as the only players to ever accomplish the feat. Porter Jr. was named a 2017-18 consensus preseason All-American, the 2017-18 preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year and the 2017-18 preseason SEC Co-Player of the Year.

The Denver Nuggets selected forward Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall pick in tonight’s 2018 NBA Draft. Denver also acquired the draft rights to forward Jarred Vanderbilt at 41st overall from Orlando in exchange for the 43rd pick and a future second round pick and also selected center Thomas Welsh with the 58th pick.

Porter Jr., 6-10, 215, signed with the University of Missouri as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit as a high school senior out of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior while leading Nathan Hale to a perfect 29-0 record en route to the Washington Class 3A State Championship, the first-ever state title for the school.

The 19-year-old native of Indianapolis was named the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game as well as winning both the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, joining Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988) as the only players to ever accomplish the feat. Porter Jr. was named a 2017-18 consensus preseason All-American, the 2017-18 preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year and the 2017-18 preseason SEC Co-Player of the Year before a back injury limited him to just three games during his debut campaign.

Vanderbilt, 6-9, 214, appeared in 14 games as a freshman for Kentucky, averaging 5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.0 minutes per game. The 19-year-old from Houston averaged 28.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists as a senior at Victory Prep School. Vanderbilt played for the USA Junior National Select Team at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit and was also a member of the U.S. U16 National Team that won Gold at the 2015 FIBA U16 Americas.

Welsh, 7-0, 255, played four seasons at UCLA where he averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the field. He was one of five finalists for the 2017-18 Kareem Abdul-Jabar award, given to the nation’s top center, and finished his Bruins career ranked third in career rebounds (1,035), third in blocks (143) and sixth in career double-doubles (37). As a senior the California native posted averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.7% from three (45-of-112 3FG) and 82.8% from the free throw line. His 10.8 rebounds per game was UCLA’s highest per game average since David Greenwood in 1977-78.

Kenneth Faried had been thought of as the future of the Nuggets. That’s in the past. As for the future, here’s the Denver Post reporting as the team looks forward to free agency and the draft:

One potential anchor to rid is forward Kenneth Faried. He was inactive from Feb. 3 through the end of the season, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported the Nuggets have been shopping to trade him for a year. Faried is Denver’s third-highest-paid player with a base salary of almost $13 million, according to Sportrac, and successfully packaging him with the No. 14 pick would give the Nuggets $26.7 million in cap space to work with. Another veteran with a hefty price tag who played sparingly in 2017-18 is Darrell Arthur; he carries a dead cap figure of $14.6 million and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

They’re not the only variables in play as the Nuggets re-evaluate their finances for next season. There’s also Wilson Chandler, who has a player option this season and is due $12.8 million should he choose to return, and Connelly said the Nuggets want to bring back guard Will Barton, who’s an unrestricted free agent…

Connelly said Wednesday that with the No. 14 pick in the draft, the Nuggets are looking for a player with positional versatility who is skilled on the defensive end.

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Mason Plumlee undergoes surgery

Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee has undergone a surgical repair of a core muscle injury this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.

The Nuggets say that Plumlee will resume basketball-related activities this summer and should be at full-strength when the team opens training camp for the new season.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment today announced the promotion of Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets President Josh Kroenke to Vice Chairman of KSE and KSE UK.

“This appointment is a well-deserved and long overdue recognition of Josh’s many contributions to not only the Avalanche and Nuggets organizations but also his role in the overall global growth of KSE and our sister companies,” said Jim Martin, KSE CEO and President. “Josh has evolved into a respected leader and innovator in sports business, and is already leading many of our organization’s investments in forward-thinking multimedia platforms and emerging technologies.”

Kroenke, 37, serves on the Board of Governors of the NHL and NBA. He is also a member of the NBA’s influential Planning Committee. In addition to his NBA and NHL responsibilities, he is an Alternate Governor for the Colorado Rapids (MLS), and sits on the board of Arsenal Football Club of the English Premier League.

“While the business of sport has transformed in recent years, we are still just getting started,” Kroenke said. “Our current management structure won’t change, and Joe Sakic of the Avalanche and Tim Connelly of the Nuggets will continue reporting directly to me. This new position allows me the opportunity and flexibility to work closer with employees, fans, sponsors and community leaders to strategize and celebrate the power of sports and entertainment.”

Kroenke’s first role at KSE was with the Nuggets in 2007, where he began learning the organization from the ground up working with departments ranging from scouting to marketing and sales. He was promoted to President of the Nuggets and Governor of the Avalanche in 2010, before assuming the additional title of President with the Avalanche in 2013.

Kroenke has held numerous leadership positions for the Nuggets and Avalanche, playing a pivotal role in hiring Coach of the Year recipients in the NBA and NHL as well as multiple NBA Executive of the Year honorees. As Alternate Governor of the Colorado Rapids, Kroenke helped bring the MLS All-Star Game to Denver in 2015 and helped the Rapids acquire U.S. World Cup goalie Tim Howard in 2016.

The Nuggets and Timberwolves play in Minnesota tonight. The winner makes the NBA playoffs. The loser has to go home and stare at a wall. Or they can watch TV. Maybe eat something. Or hop on a plane and fly to an exotic overseas beach destination. Which sounds cool. But making the playoffs is better. Beaches can wait.

The Western conference playoff seeding situation is complicated. Regarding these two teams, here are the possibilities:

If the Nuggets win tonight, they will either be the 6 or 7 West seed.

If the Timberwolves win, they’ll be the 6, 7 or 8 West seed.

Why? Because a big stack of West playoff teams have almost identical records, and therefore tiebreaker rules come into effect.

Here’s what’s set in the West through Tuesday:
Rockets are the 1-seed.
Warriors are the 2-seed.
Blazers or Jazz are the 3-seed.
The rest will be determined tonight.

InsideHoops.com will turn things things up for the 2018 playoffs. Roll with us daily.

The New York Knicks have acquired guard Emmanuel Mudiay in a three-team deal with Denver and Dallas. In the deal, New York sends forward Doug McDermott to Dallas and its 2018 second-round draft pick to Denver (Subject to Philadelphia’s right to swap that pick with the Los Angeles Clippers second-round pick). Dallas also sends guard Devin Harris to Denver, with Denver sending a 2018 second round pick to Dallas.

“We welcome Emmanuel to New York and are excited to add this talented player to our roster,” said Scott Perry, General Manager, New York Knicks. “He is a young, athletic guard who we feel will be a valuable addition to the Knicks moving forward.”

Mudiay, 6-5, 200-pounds, holds career averages of 11.1 points, 4.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds over 25.6 minutes in 165 games (107 starts) through three seasons with Denver. The Democratic Republic of Congo-native is averaging 8.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 17.9 minutes in 42 games this season. He was originally selected by Denver with the seventh overall selection of 2015 NBA Draft. He represented the Nuggets in the 2016 Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend and was named to the 2015-16 All NBA Rookie Second Team.

“We can’t thank Emmanuel enough for his time in Denver” President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly said. “Emmanuel has been nothing but a complete professional both on and off the court and has done so much to help improve our organization and the city of Denver. New York is not just getting a good basketball player but a fantastic individual and we wish him the best moving forward.”

McDermott (6-8, 225) holds career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 20.4 minutes per game in 238 games (10 starts) with Chicago, Oklahoma City and New York. He has shot 44.9 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from beyond the arc and 81.8 percent from the foul line for his career.

The fourth-year man out of Creighton averaged 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 21.3 minutes per game in 55 games (one start) for the Knicks this season. He is shooting a career-high 46 percent (151-of-328) from the floor and 38.7 percent (53-of-137) from deep in 2017-18.

McDermott was originally selected by Denver with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but had his draft rights traded to Chicago along with Anthony Randolph in exchange for the draft rights to Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic and a future second-round pick.

On Feb. 23, 2017, McDermott was traded, along with Taj Gibson and a future second-round pick, to Oklahoma City in exchange for Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne. On Sept. 25, 2017, he was dealt, along with Enes Kanter and a future second-round pick, to New York in exchange for Carmelo Anthony.

The 6-8 forward played four years for his father, Greg McDermott, at Creighton from 2010-14. He finished his college career ranked fifth on the NCAA Division I all-time scoring list with 3,150 points. As a senior in 2013-14, he led the nation in scoring (26.7 ppg) en route to being named the consensus national player of the year.

McDermott was a high school teammate of Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes at Ames High School (Ames, Iowa). Barnes and McDermott led the Little Cyclones to back-to-back Iowa 4A state championships and a combined 53-0 record during their junior and senior years (2008-09 and 2009-10).

McDermott will wear No. 20 for Dallas.

Devin Harris, 6-3, 192, appeared in 44 games (one start) for Dallas this season, averaging 8.5 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. Over 14 seasons, Harris has appeared in 890 career games (446 starts) for Dallas, New Jersey, Utah and Atlanta averaging 11.2 points, 4.1 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game.

The 34-year-old has played in 64 playoff games (31 starts) holding averages of 9.1 points, 2.6 assists and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 45.0% from the field in 23.7 minutes per game. The University of Wisconsin product was also named to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team during the 2008-09 season while playing for the New Jersey Nets.

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The Nuggets are 21-20 this season, being led in scoring by SG Garry Harris (16.9 ppg), PG Jamal Murray (16.1 ppg), C Nikola Jokic (15.7 ppg), PF Paul Millsap (15.3 ppg, though he’s been injured and played in just 16 games so far this season, and may return in February), and SG Will Barton (14.5 ppg, mostly off the bench. But right after Barton is young power forward Trey Lyles. Now in his third NBA season, Lyles in just 19.9 minutes per game is putting up 10.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Solid backup numbers. Here’s the Denver Post with more:

At the start of the season, Trey Lyles was the odd man out amongst Denver’s crowded frontcourt. But since Paul Millsap went down, Lyles has used his versatile inside-outside game and admirable work ethic to thrive as the Nuggets’ first big man off the bench. While playing both forward spots and center, Lyles has compiled 13 consecutive double-figure scoring outings while also averaging 7.5 rebounds per game during that span. His emergence is partially why Kenneth Faried has essentially been pushed out of Denver’s rotation. A tip of the cap here should also go to Torrey Craig, who has parlayed a career in Australia into an NBA two-way contract and, now, a rotation spot as a perimeter defensive stopper.

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Gary Harris scoring big for Nuggets

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The Nuggets are 20-17 this season, good for sixth in the Western conference, narrowly ahead of the Trail Blazers and Pelicans. A solid record, considering they’ve been without new addition Paul Millsap for much of the season. Leading the team in scoring this season has been guard Gary Harris at 16.6 ppg. As for what he’s been producing lately, here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Gary Harris went 9-of-10 from the field in Wednesday’s first quarter against the Suns, unleashing a combination of “easy” cuts and finishes, jumpers from all over the floor and transition buckets.

So when Nikola Jokic glanced up at the scoreboard and saw 20 points next to Harris’ name, any initial surprise quickly subsided.

“I was like, ‘What?! That’s a lot,’ ” Jokic recalled after the game. “You see how he’s aggressive. That’s how he’s supposed to be.”

That was the start of the latest offensive gem for Harris, who went a blistering 14-of-17 from the floor Wednesday night to tie his career-high with 36 points. And that offensive gem was the latest example of the fourth-year guard’s blossoming offensive repertoire, which is now stretching well beyond his reputation as an outside catch-and-shoot threat and benefactor of backdoor passes from Denver’s big men.

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Nuggets coach Michael Malone suspended

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has been suspended one game without pay for entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter of Denver’s 127-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 19 at Staples Center.

Malone will serve his suspension tonight when the Nuggets face the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Arena.

The NBA also rescinded the ejection fine given to Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic, who properly received a technical foul for his actions but should not have been ejected from the game.

The Denver Nuggets have assigned rookie Tyler Lydon and transferred rookie Monte Morris to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and transferred rookie Torrey Craig to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Craig, 6-6, 215, appeared in four preseason games for Denver, averaging 6.8 minutes per game. He also played in six summer league games (two starts) for the Nuggets, averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.33 steals and 1.00 blocks per game.

Lydon, 6-10, 225, was acquired by Denver along with Trey Lyles in a draft night trade with Utah. He appeared in all five of Denver’s preseason games, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game.

Morris, 6-3, 175, was selected by Denver with the 51st pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He played in three preseason games for the Nuggets, averaging 3.0 points and 4.3 minutes per game.

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Richard Jefferson and waived guard Jameer Nelson.

Jefferson, 6-7, 233, most recently averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 79 games for the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17. He was also a member of the Cavaliers 2015-16 NBA Championship team, appearing in all 21 (two starts) of their playoff contests with averages of 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. In 16 NBA seasons, Jefferson has averaged 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,161 career NBA games (809 starts) with New Jersey, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Golden State, Utah, Dallas and Cleveland.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, was acquired by Denver in a trade with Boston on January 13th, 2015, and re-signed on August 15, 2015. Nelson appeared in 148 games (59 starts) for Denver in two and a half seasons, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 25.6 minutes. The 13-year NBA veteran has played 828 career games (639 starts) for Orlando, Dallas, Boston and Denver, averaging 11.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

The Nuggets roster remains at 15 guaranteed players and two two-way players.

Nuggets sign Gary Harris to contract extension

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Gary Harris to a contract extension, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced.

According to ESPN.com, it’s a a four-year, $84 million contract extension that “includes $74 million in guaranteed money, and team and individual bonus clauses worth the remaining $10 million.”

Harris, 23, had the most productive year of his young career last season, averaging 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.25 steals per game in 57 contests (56 starts). He also shot .502 from the field and .420 (107-255 3FG) from beyond the arc in 2016-17, ranking eighth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage and first among all shooting guards in field goal percentage.

Additionally, out of the 155 NBA players that made at least 60 three-pointers this past season, Harris was one of just two that shot over 50% from the field and 40% from long range. He became just the second Nugget in team history to accomplish this feat as well.

The Fishers, Indiana native was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-night trade after he was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 19th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 188 career games (138 starts) over three seasons with Denver, averaging 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.10 steals in 26.3 minutes per game. Harris has improved his points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, field goal percentage and three-point shooting percentage in each of his first three seasons.

Denver Nuggets President and Governor Josh Kroenke has announced that in conjunction with the season-long celebration of 50 years of Mile High Basketball, the Nuggets will be retiring legendary player Lafayette “Fat” Lever’s #12 jersey on Saturday, December 2, 2017 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

“With what Fat Lever has meant to this team, this city and our community for the past 30-plus years, it makes perfect sense to honor him by retiring his jersey during this special season,” Kroenke stated. “He is not only one of the best Nuggets in franchise history, but a great ambassador of Denver basketball as well. It is going to be an honor to have his jersey hanging in our arena.”

Lever was a member of the Nuggets from 1984 through 1990. In 474 games spanning six seasons with Denver, he averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.46 steals per game. The Nuggets reached the postseason in all six of Lever’s years while playing under Head Coach Doug Moe and his up-tempo system, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 1985.

Lever earned an All-Star spot in both the 1988 and 1990 seasons and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1986-87 and the All-Defensive Second Team in 1987-88. He is scattered throughout the Nuggets’ all-time leaderboards, ranking 1st in steals (1,167), 2nd in assists (3,566), 7th in points (8,081), 7th in made field goals (3,304), 7th in minutes played (16,867) and 8th in rebounds (3,621).

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas native also earned the reputation as a prolific triple-double threat during his time in Denver. He registered 46 triple-doubles as a Nugget (including three in the playoffs), far and away the most in franchise history. He is currently one of only seven NBA players since 1983-84 to have registered a triple-double with steals and is the only Nugget in team history to ever do so. Lever led the NBA in triple-doubles (16) in 1986-87, tied for the most in the league (12) in 1987-88 and came in 3rd (10) in 1988-89. Over that three-year span, Lever ranked 2nd in the NBA in total triple-doubles with 38, trailing only Magic Johnson (43) and ahead of Michael Jordan (18).

Lever will become the sixth Nugget player to have his jersey retired and seventh member of the organization overall. He will join Byron Beck’s #40, David Thompson’s #33, Dan Issel’s #44, Alex English’s #2 and Dikembe Mutombo’s #55. Iconic head coach Doug Moe and his 432 career wins with the Nuggets are also memorialized with a banner in Pepsi Center’s rafters.

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