Nuggets sign Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Cornelie, 6-11, 220, most recently appeared in 34 games for Elan Bearnais of the French LNB Pro A league in 2021, averaging 14.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 54.0% from the field and 44.2% from three in 28.9 minutes per game. The 26-year-old also helped earn a silver medal for the France National Team at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. In six games, Cornelie averaged 1.7 points, 2.0 rebounds while shooting 33.3% from the field.

The Calais, France native, was drafted in the 53rd pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Nuggets. He has appeared in 14 games (seven starts) for three Nuggets summer league teams in 2016, 2017 and 2018, averaging 5.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 16.8 minutes per game.

Cornelie has played professionally since 2013, playing for Le Mans from 2013-17, Paris-Levallois in 2017-18, Le Mans in 2018-19 and most recently with Elan Bearnais from 2019-21.

Nuggets re-sign Austin Rivers

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed guard Austin Rivers to a multiyear contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Rivers, 6-4, 200, appeared in 15 games (five starts) for Denver last season, averaging 8.7 points, 2.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 26.9 minutes while shooting 41.8% from the field. He also appeared in 10 playoff games (nine starts) and averaged 9.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds, shooting 41.5% from three in 30.5 minutes per game. He scored 21 points and connected on five three-pointers in a pivotal Game 3 win at Portland that helped Denver earn a third-consecutive first round playoff victory. Rivers originally signed a 10-day contract with the Nuggets on April 20, 2021 and then signed for the remainder of the season on April 30, 2021.

The 10-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 9.1 points, 2.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 41.8% from the field and 35.0% from long distance in 588 career games (156 starts) with Denver, New Orleans, L.A. Clippers, Washington, Houston and New York.

Rivers was drafted 10th overall by New Orleans in 2012 after spending one season at Duke University. In his lone collegiate season he averaged a team-high 15.5 points on 43.3% shooting in 34 games, becoming the third freshman ever to lead Duke in scoring.

Nuggets hire Popeye Jones as an assistant coach

The Denver Nuggets have hired Popeye Jones as an assistant coach on head coach Michael Malone’s staff.

Jones served as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers with the Philadelphia 76ers last season and spent the prior seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach.

Jones had a three-year tenure with the Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets front office, starting in player development before transitioning to an assistant coach role. He began his coaching career with the Dallas Mavericks where he worked in player development.

Jones played collegiately at Murray State, where he is fourth on the Racers’ all-time scoring list. In 1992, the school retired his No. 54. A second-round pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, Jones played one season in Italy before joining the Mavericks in 1993. Jones also appeared in 40 games during the 1999-2000 with the Nuggets, averaging 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game.

Jones career spanned 11 seasons, appearing in 535 games (304 starts) for Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State, holding career averages of 7.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game.

Nuggets re-sign JaMychal Green

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward JaMychal Green to a multiyear contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Per the Denver Post, “Green agreed to a 2-year, $17 million deal, according to league sources. Green has a player option on the second year of his deal, a source said, and the deal is fully guaranteed.”

Green, 6-8, 227, appeared in 58 games (five starts) for the Nuggets last season, averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 46.3% from the field and 39.9% from three in 19.3 minutes. He also played in 10 playoff games, averaging 5.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.0 minutes.

The seven-year NBA veteran has appeared in 420 career games (157 starts) for San Antonio, Memphis, Los Angeles and Denver, holding career averages of 8.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.9 assists, shooting 47.0% from the field and 38.0% from three-point range.

The 31-year-old native of Montgomery, Alabama originally went undrafted in 2013 NBA Draft after spending four seasons at the University of Alabama. He signed a multiyear contract with the San Antonio Spurs in August of 2014.

Nuggets sign guard Markus Howard to two-way contract

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Markus Howard to a two-way contract.

Howard, 5-11, 180, appeared in 37 games (one start) for Denver during the 2020-21 season, averaging 2.8 points in 5.5 minutes per game. He also appeared in nine games for the Nuggets in the playoffs, posting 4.7 points on 42.3% shooting from three-point range in 12.4 minutes per game.

Howard went undrafted in the 2020 NBA draft after a prolific four-year career at Marquette University. In 29 games (all starts) as a senior in 2019-20, Howard led the nation in scoring, averaging 27.8 points per game, adding 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists, shooting 44.4% from the field and 41.2% from three in 33.2 minutes. He was unanimously named to the 2019-20 All-America First Team.

The Morristown, New Jersey, native set the Big East all-time scoring record with 1,587 points over his four-year career and ranks 21st on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with 2,761 points. Howard also broke school records in scoring, free throws made (599) and three-pointers made (434). He scored 51 points vs. USC on November 29th, 2019 becoming the third major-conference player to record a 50-point game in three consecutive seasons, joining Wayman Tisdale and Pete Maravich.

Denver Nuggets sign Jeff Green

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Jeff Green to a multiyear contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

“We are very excited to welcome Jeff and his family to Denver,” said Connelly. “He brings a wealth of experience to our team; his impact will be felt both on the court and in the locker room.”

Green’s Nuggets contract is reportedly a two-year, $10 million deal.

Green, 6-8, 235, appeared in 68 games (38 stars) for the Brooklyn Nets last season, averaging 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27.0 minutes while shooting 49.2% from the field and a career-high 41.2% from three. Green scored in double figures in 42 games and had 16 games making three or more three-point field goals. He also played in six playoff games (one start), averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists, shooting 55.6% from three in 24.7 minutes.

The 14-year NBA veteran has appeared in 967 career games (583 starts) for Oklahoma City, Boston, Memphis, Cleveland, Washington, Orlando, Utah, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston and Brooklyn. He holds career averages of 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists, shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.0% from three-point range.

The 34-year-old native of Cheverly, Maryland was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft after spending three seasons at Georgetown University. Following his rookie season, Green was selected to the 2007-08 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Denver Nuggets re-sign Will Barton

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed free agent guard Will Barton III to a multi-year deal, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Per the Denver Post, Barton’s contract is a two-year, $32 million deal.

Barton III, 30, has spent the previous seven seasons in Denver and has been an integral part to the Nuggets ascension up the Western Conference standings, helping the team appear in three straight playoffs.

Last season, Barton III appeared in 56 games (52 starts), averaging 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 42.6% from the field and a career-high 38.1% from three-point range. He scored 20 or more points on nine occasions and made five or more threes in six games.

The Baltimore, Maryland native was acquired by Denver in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 19, 2015 and since then, has appeared in 408 games in a Nuggets uniform, the second most games of any Nuggets player since the 2014-15 season. He currently sits third all-time in team NBA franchise history with 647 career three point makes.

Barton III has appeared in 408 games (208 starts) over seven seasons with Denver, averaging 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. Barton III was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers out of Memphis with the 40th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Denver Nuggets sign rookie Bones Hyland

The Denver Nuggets a few days ago signed rookie guard Bones Hyland to a multi-year contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced. Hyland was selected by Denver with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Hyland, 6-3, 173, played two seasons and appeared in 55 games (33 starts) for Virginia Commonwealth University, averaging 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.29 steals in 25.5 minutes. This most recent season he was named the 2020-21 A-10 Player of the Year, leading the conference in scoring (19.5 ppg) and three-pointers made per game (2.9), becoming the first sophomore in VCU history to make himself eligible for the NBA draft. Hyland set a freshman record at VCU with 63 made threes and was a 2019-20 A-10 All-Freshman team selection.

On the Nuggets the night they were eliminated from playoffs

Here’s the Denver Post on a scene after the Nuggets were escorted out of the playoffs:

On the sad night the Nuggets were swept from the NBA Playoffs, center Nikola Jokic and coach Michael Malone sat down together and poured out a beer to kill the pain.

“We wind up hanging out for like two hours after that game. Talking about the season, talking about the summer, talking about his horses, talking about everything,” Malone recalled Friday. With the gratitude of a coach blessed with a good gig, he described a conversation with the league MVP and his boss in the wake of a 125-118 home loss to Phoenix that ended a ballyhooed Denver season in frustration.

Franchise owner Josh Kroenke joined Malone and his star player.

“(He) was there with me (and) Nikola … for two hours,” Malone added. “When I went home that night, I said, ‘Man, we got a really unique setup here.’ We’re all disappointed, we lost, no one was happy. … But to have an owner and an MVP who are just so down to earth and committed to doing whatever it takes to be better and find ways to win a championship, those two hours were so important.”

Losing guard Jamal Murray to injury was a huge blow for the Nuggets. It wasn’t a surprise to see their postseason hopes cut short.

Murray, Jokic, Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. are all under contract at least through next season, while Will Barton has a player option this offseason. Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee are free agents.

Some thoughts on the upcoming Denver Nuggets offseason

Here’s the Denver Post with some key points on what this Denver Nuggets offseason may look like:

To begin, the Nuggets aren’t going to have much cap room, if any at all. That depends on what JaMychal Green ($7.5 million) and Will Barton ($14.6 million) decide to do with their player options. They should have access to their midlevel exception, which is worth $9.5 million annually. If I’m Nuggets executive Tim Connelly and I decide to spend that money in my backcourt, the free-agent names I’d consider are Derrick Rose ($7.6 million last season), Patty Mills ($12 million), Ish Smith ($6 million) and Wayne Ellington ($2.5 million). The reason the Nuggets may look to spend in the frontcourt, however, is because of P.J. Dozier, who missed the whole postseason with an adductor injury. If Dozier’s healthy, he might be in the starting lineup next season as the team waits out Jamal Murray’s return.

Free agents Paul Millsap, JaVale McGee and the aforementioned Green could leave the Nuggets extremely thin in the frontcourt. In that event, the Nuggets might bolster their bench with a guy like Reggie Bullock ($4.2 million last season), who can hit from outside, or a veteran like Jeff Green ($2.5 million). The problem with any potential forward options, though, is they’d inhibit the growth of Zeke Nnaji. Ultimately, if the Nuggets decide they don’t want to play small in their second unit, Denver’s biggest need might come at center. If McGee walks, there’s one name I’d keep an eye on: Boban Marjanovic, close friend of Nikola Jokic.