Nuggets guard Jamal Murray suffers major injury: torn ACL

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee.

Via the Denver Post:

When Jamal Murray crashed to the floor with less than a minute remaining in Monday’s loss to Golden State, his reaction suggested he knew something devastating had just happened.

Murray suffered a torn left ACL, The Denver Post first reported and was later anounced by the team early Tuesday morning, ending his season and compromising the Nuggets’ title hopes barely a month out from the postseason.

His recovery, according to a league source, is expected to be anywhere from 9 to 12 months.

Not only is Murray’s injury devastating to the Nuggets this season, but his recovery is expected to come near the end of next year’s regular season, when the NBA is back on its normal schedule.

Horrible news.

Nuggets sign Shaquille Harrison, waive Gary Clark and Greg Whittington

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Shaquille Harrison to a two-way contract while subsequently waiving guard Gary Clark and two-way forward Greg Whittington, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Harrison, 6-4, 190, played in 17 games for the Utah Jazz this season, averaging 1.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 3.3 minutes per game. In four seasons, with Phoenix, Chicago, and Utah he holds career averages of 5.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 15.1 minutes. Harrison’s best season of his young career came in 2018-19 with Chicago where he played in 73 games (11 starts), averaging 6.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists, shooting 43.2% from the field in 19.6 minutes.

The 27-year-old went undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft and signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns in September 2016. He appeared in 133 games (all starts) in four years at The University of Tulsa, posting averages of 11.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.80 steals while shooting 44.4% from the field. He ranks second all-time at Tulsa with 461 career assists and third all time with 244 career steals.

Whittington, 6-8, 210, signed a two-way contract with the Nuggets on November 24th and appeared in four games totaling 12 minutes.

Clark, 6-6, 225, was acquired via trade by Denver from Orlando on March 25th, he appeared in a total of two games for the Nuggets.

Cavs trade JaVale McGee to Nuggets

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward/center Isaiah Hartenstein and two second round draft picks in a trade with the Denver Nuggets for center JaVale McGee, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

The draft picks acquired by the Cavs are the Nuggets’ 2023 second round pick (31-46 protected) and the Nuggets’ 2027 second round pick.

McGee, 7-0, 270, has appeared in 33 games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 8.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.21 blocks while shooting 52.1% from the field in 15.2 minutes per game. The 13-year NBA veteran returns to Denver after spending four seasons as a Nugget from 2011 to 2015. McGee was drafted with the 18th overall pick by Washington in the 2008 NBA Draft and appeared in a total of 734 career games (318 starts) owning averages of 7.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.50 blocks on 57.2% shooting from the field.

The Flint, Michigan native is coming off a 2019-20 campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers that saw him win his third Championship in four seasons. He started 11 games for the Lakers in the NBA Bubble in Orlando during their Championship run and he played an integral role for the Warriors during their back-to-back Championship seasons in 2017 and 2018. McGee has appeared in a total of 58 playoff games (23 starts).

Hartenstein (7-0, 249) has appeared in 30 games for the Nuggets this season, averaging 3.5 points on .513 shooting and 2.8 rebounds in 9.1 minutes. He has played in 81 games in his three-year NBA career for Denver and Houston, compiling averages of 3.3 points on .559 shooting and 2.7 rebounds in 9.4 minutes. Hartenstein also played in parts of three seasons in the NBA G-League (2017-20) with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers where, in 2019, he was named All G-League First Team and G-League Finals MVP while leading his team to the G-League Championship. The 22-year-old Eugene, Oregon native was originally drafted by Houston with the 43rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Magic trade Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark to Nuggets for Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and draft pick

The Orlando Magic have acquired guard Gary Harris, guard R.J. Hampton, and a future first round draft pick in a trade with the Denver Nuggets for forward Aaron Gordon and forward Gary Clark, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

“R.J. (Hampton) and Gary (Harris) will provide great depth to our backcourt,” said Weltman. “R.J. is a bright, young player that brings speed and athleticism, while Gary provides a solid veteran presence. We are happy to welcome R.J. and Gary to the Magic family.”

“We also want to thank Aaron (Gordon) for everything he has given to the organization during the last seven years, both on the court and in the community,” Weltman added. “We wish Aaron good luck as he continues his career.”

Hampton (6’6”, 176, 2/7/01) has played in 25 games this season with Denver, averaging 2.6 ppg. and 2.0 rpg. in 9.3 minpg. He was originally selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2020 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, then acquired on draft night by Denver as part of a four-team trade for a conditional first round draft pick.

Hampton spent the 2019-20 season in Australia, playing with the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL. He played in 15 games, averaging 8.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.4 apg. and 1.18 stlpg. in 20.6 minpg. Hampton originally intended to play college basketball in 2019-20 after reclassifying into the 2019 high school recruiting class. He averaged 32.0 ppg., 9.7 rpg.. 6.4 apg. and 3.9 stlpg. at Little Elm High School in Little Elm, Texas. Hampton won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2017 FIBA U-16 Americas Championship and the 2018 FIBA U-17 Basketball World Cup.

Hampton will wear #13 with the Orlando Magic.

Harris (6”4”, 205, 9/14/94) has played and started in 19 games this season with Denver, averaging 9.7 ppg., 2.5 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 30.6 minpg. He has led (or tied) the Nuggets in scoring once and in assists once. Harris has scored in double figures 12 times and 20+ points once, including a season-high 21 points on Jan. 9 @ Philadelphia.

Originally selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by Chicago, Harris has appeared in 387 career NBA regular season games (325 starts), all with Denver, averaging 12.0 ppg., 2.6 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.23 stlpg. in 29.1 minpg., while shooting .801 (594-742) from the free throw line. He has also played in 28 career NBA playoff games (26 starts), averaging 10.8 ppg., 3.1 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 32.0 minpg.

Harris will wear #14 with the Orlando Magic.

Gordon (6’9”, 235, 9/16/95) played and started in 25 games this season with Orlando, averaging 14.6 ppg., 6.6 rpg. and 4.2 apg. in 29.4 minpg., while shooting .375 (42-112) from three-point range. Originally selected in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by Orlando, he has played in 428 career NBA regular season games (339 starts), all with the Magic, averaging 12.9 ppg., 6.4 rpg. and 2.5 apg. in 28.6 minpg.

Clark (6’6”, 225, 11/16/94) played in 35 games (11 starts) this season with Orlando, averaging 3.4 ppg. and 3.2 rpg. in 18.2 minpg. Undrafted by an NBA franchise, he has played in 128 career NBA regular season games (18 starts) with Houston and Orlando, averaging 3.3 ppg. and 2.6 rpg. in 14.4 minpg.

Nikola Jokic named a 2021 NBA All-Star Game starter

The NBA announced today that Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been selected as a starter for the 2021 NBA All-Star game on Sunday, Mar. 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

He becomes the first Nugget to start in an All-Star game since Carmelo Anthony in 2011 and joins Alex English and David Thompson as the only Nugget players to be selected to three straight NBA All-Star games.

Jokić, 25, is averaging 27.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.57 steals (all career-highs), while shooting .570 from the field and .402 from three in 35.9 minutes per game. He has recorded the most double-doubles (25) in the NBA this season and became just the second player since 1976 to post a double-double in each of the first 20 games of a season (B. Walton).

Among the NBA ranks, Jokić is first in PER (31.48), third in triple doubles (6), fifth in assists (8.6), sixth in steals (1.57), eighth in points (27.4) and eighth in rebounds (11.1). He is also tied for the league lead with three games of 40+ points.

Jokić won Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in December/January, averaging 27.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.80 steals while shooting .565 from the field in the month of January. It was the second time in his career he averaged at least 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting above 55.0% from the field in a month (min. 10 games) and he is the only center since 1983 to record those numbers.

On Dec. 29th at Sacramento, Jokić recorded his 44th career triple-double with 26 points (9-14 FG’s), 12 assists and 10 rebounds in 39 minutes, overtaking Fat Lever for the most triple-doubles in franchise history. He now has 47 career triple-doubles, ranking him ninth all-time in NBA history. Jokić also became the first center since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to record 50 points and 10 assists in a game after he posted a career-high 50 points (20-33 FG’s, 3-6 3FG’s, 7-7 FT’s), 12 assists, eight rebounds and three blocks in 41 minutes at Sacramento on Feb. 6th.

The Sombor, Serbia native was selected with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 409 career games (368 starts) over six seasons with Denver, averaging 17.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.10 steals per game.

This marks the third NBA All-Star selection for Jokić and he becomes the fifth Nuggets player to be selected to three or more All-Star games (Anthony, English, Mutombo, Thompson).

Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic named NBA Players of Month

The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in December and January.

In his fifth NBA season, it’s Embiid’s second career Player of the Month selection. Embiid joins Hall of Famers Allen Iverson (four times), Charles Barkley (twice), Moses Malone (twice) and Julius Erving (three times) as the only 76ers players to win the award multiple times.

In 16 games between December and January, Embiid averaged 28.3 points (fourth in the NBA, second in the East), 11.1 rebounds (ninth in the NBA, sixth in the East), 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game. He was one of three NBA players to average 25 points and 10 rebounds through the season’s first month-plus, joining Western Conference Player of the Month Nikola Jokić and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 76ers were 14-2 in Embiid’s 16 games and are 15-6 overall on the season, leading the Eastern Conference.

Embiid scored in double figures in 13 of his 14 games, including two 40-plus point performances and a team-best 12 double-doubles. He’s the only player in the NBA with multiple 40-point, 10-rebound double-doubles. Embiid made 152 free throws during the season’s first month-plus, ranking second in the NBA, while leading the league in free throws made (9.5) and attempted per game (11.3). He was the only player in the league to make 16 free throws in multiple games. Iverson and Malone are the only 76ers ever to make at least nine free throws per game for an entire season.

Between Jan. 20-29, over a five-game span, Embiid averaged 35.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, while shooting .560 from the field and .429 from three-point range as the team went a perfect 5-0. He became just the third 76er ever to average 35 points and 10 rebounds over a five-game stretch, joining Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Barkley.

On Jan. 12 vs. Miami, Embiid tallied a season-high 45 points (16-23 FG, 13-13 FT), 16 rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals in the team’s 137-134 overtime victory. It was his ninth career 40-point, 10-rebound game, adding his 10th such performance eight days later on Jan. 20 vs. Boston. In that game against the Celtics, Embiid had a game-high 42 points (12-19 FG, 17-21 FT) to go along with 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 117-109 win. He committed just one turnover in the contest. Embiid scored 38 points on both Jan. 6 and Jan. 22 against Washington and Boston, respectively. In the Washington game, he added a game-high-tying eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks.

Jokić wins the award for the first time in his career and becomes the first Nugget to win since Carmelo Anthony in 2009 (Oct./Nov). Jokić joins Anthony, Fat Lever and Alex English as the only players in franchise history to be honored as Player of the Month.

Jokić, 25, averaged 27.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.80 steals while shooting .565 from the field, .381 from three-point range and .849 from the charity stripe in the month of January. In four games in December, he averaged 24.5 points, 13.5 assists, 11.5 rebounds and 1.50 steals, shooting .625 from the field and .400 from three. He helped lead the Nuggets to an 11-5 January, including a 7-2 road record, where currently they sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with a 12-8 record.

Jokić recorded five triple doubles, ranking second in the NBA, and had five games with 35+ points and 10+ rebounds. He also has posted a double-double in all 20 games, becoming the second player since 1976 to have a double-double in each of the first 20 games (Bill Walton). For the second time in his career, Jokić averaged at least 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting above 55.0% from the field in the month of January (min. 10 games) and is the only center since 1983 to record those numbers.

January was highlighted with a win vs. Utah on 1/31, where he tied a career-high 47 points (17-26 FG’s), 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes, becoming the first Nugget to ever post those numbers. He scored 22 points in the first quarter and 33 points in the first half. It was the most points in a first half for a Nugget since 2007 (Iverson) and both were career-highs in any single quarter or half. Jokić had another huge performance at Phoenix on 1/23 on the second night of a back-to-back, finishing with 29 points (11-14 FT’s), a career-high 22 rebounds, six assists and one steal in 42 minutes. He started the season by recording a triple double in four of the first six games, including his performance on opening night vs. Sacramento where he posted 29 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists and two blocks in 42 minutes. Jokić became one of five players all-time to record 350 points, 125 rebounds and 125 assists in the first 15 games of a season.

The Sombor, Serbia native, was named Western Conference Player of the Week in consecutive weeks to close out January. Amongst Western Conference players, he ranks first in PER, second in steals per game, second in total assists, third in points per game, fourth in assists per game and fourth in rebounds per game. In 20 games this season, Jokić is averaging 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.75 steals, shooting .574 from the field and .384 from three in 35.8 minutes.

James Harden, Nikola Jokic named NBA Players of Week

The NBA announced today that Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 31.

The honor is Harden’s first as a Net and the 25th Player of the Week award of his career.

Harden led Brooklyn to a 3-1 week, including a 3-0 mark in games he appeared in. Harden recorded averages of 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 11.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 37.6 minutes per game, while shooting 56.8 percent from the field, 55.0 percent from 3-point range and 88.2 percent from the free-throw line. His assists per game were the highest in the league for the week. Harden opened the week by recording 20 points, four rebounds and eight assists in 34 minutes in a 98-85 victory over the Miami Heat at Barclays Center on Jan. 25. He followed up that performance by posting 31 points, eight rebounds, a Nets season-high 15 assists, two steals and one block in 46 minutes in a 132-128 overtime win at the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 27. In that game, Harden became the second player this season, and the first player in the Eastern Conference, to register 30 or more points and 15 or more assists in a game. He also became the first Nets player since Stephon Marbury on Jan. 20, 2000, versus Detroit to notch 30 or more points and 15 or more assists in a game. Harden rounded out his week by logging his third triple-double in eight games as a Net, registering 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in 32 minutes in a 147-125 victory on Jan. 29 at Oklahoma City. The 147 points for the Nets matched a franchise record for points scored in a regulation game. Harden sat out Brooklyn’s fourth and final game of the week last night at Washington with a left thigh contusion.

Harden is the 27th player in franchise history to earn Player of the Week honors and the second this season, joining Kevin Durant, who captured the award on Jan. 18. Harden and Durant are the first Nets teammates to win Player of the Week awards in the same season since Brook Lopez and Deron Williams in the 2014-15 campaign, and the second set of teammates to earn Player of the Week honors in the NBA this season, joining Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (Jan. 25) and Tobias Harris (Jan. 4).

In his 12th NBA season, Harden has appeared in 16 games this season, including eight with the Nets. In those eight games as a Net, he’s registered averages of 24.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 11.8 assists (first in the NBA) and 1.1 steals in 39.9 minutes per game, shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 87.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Jokić wins the award in consecutive weeks, becoming the first Nugget to win in back-to-back weeks since Carmelo Anthony in 2006 (11/27/06 & 12/4/06). He has now earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors eight times in his career, the second most in franchise history.

Jokić, 25, averaged 30.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.30 steals while shooting .623 from the field and .455 from three-point range. He helped lead the Nuggets to a 3-1 week, including a home win over the Utah Jazz on 1/31, snapping their 11-game winning streak and two road wins over the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. The 3-1 week moved Denver’s record to 12-8, fourth best in the Western Conference.

Jokić started the week by registering 20 points (8-13 FG’s), 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in a road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on 1/25. Denver then headed to Miami, where he put up a stat-line of 21 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes. Jokić followed that performance up with another massive game, finishing with 35 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and one steal at San Antonio on 1/29. He finished the week with arguably the best game of his career vs. Utah, tying a career-high with 47 points (17-26 FG’s), 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes, becoming the first Nugget to ever post those numbers. He scored 22 points in the first quarter and 33 points in the first half, both career-highs in any single quarter or half.

Jokić leads the NBA in PER, is third in total assists, fifth in assists per game, sixth in rebounds per game and 12th in scoring, while averaging 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.75 steals in 35.8 minutes. He has also produced a double-double in all 20 games, becoming just the second player since 1976 to record a double-double in each of the first 20 games (Walton).

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray fined for hit to Tim Hardaway Jr.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has been fined $25,000 for striking Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. in the groin area, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Murray received a Flagrant Foul 2 and was ejected, occurred with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter of the Nuggets’ 117-113 victory over the Mavericks on Jan. 25 at American Airlines Center.

Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic named NBA Players of Week

The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 24.

In his fifth NBA season, it’s Embiid’s fifth career Player of the Week selection. Embiid joins Hall of Famers Charles Barkley (six times) and Allen Iverson (20) as the only players ever to earn the award at least five times as 76ers since its inception in 1979-80.

Embiid led the 76ers to a 3-0 week, with two wins over Boston and one over Detroit, producing at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in each contest. He posted no fewer than 33 points and 10 rebounds in any game. The last Philadelphia player to tally 33-10 in three straight games was Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain from Dec. 16-20, 1967.

He made 12-or-more free throws in all three games last week and attempted at least 15 in each. For the week, Embiid led the NBA with 113 total points (37.7 per game) and 43 made free throws, while shooting .611 from the field, .444 from beyond the arc and .811 from the free-throw line. On the season, Embiid’s average of 8.9 made free throws per game leads the league, while his 27.7 points per contest rank fifth and his rebounding average of 11.5 sits seventh. He, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Denver’s Nikola Jokić are the only NBA players averaging at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.

In last Wednesday’s 117-109 home win over Boston, Embiid posted 42 points (12-19 FG, 17-21 FT) and collected 10 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. It was his second 40-point game in eight days, and he, Washington’s Bradley Beal and Boston’s Jaylen Brown are the only NBA players with multiple 40-point efforts this season. Embiid is the only player to post 40 points and 10 rebounds in game this season, and he’s done so twice. He turned the ball over just once against the Celtics, the second time since 1979-80 a 76er has posted 40 points and 10 rebounds with one-or-fewer turnovers. The only other such performance was also by Embiid on March 17, 2019 at Milwaukee.

The 76ers hosted the Celtics again last Friday night to complete a two-game series. In a 122-110 victory, Embiid notched 38 points (11-15 FG, 2-2 3FG, 14-15 FT), collected 11 rebounds and handed out three assists. It was his fifth straight game (regular season or playoffs) against Boston with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, dating back to Aug. 19, 2020. Embiid and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players since 1976-77 with five straight 30-point, 10-rebound games against the Celtics.

Embiid closed out his week with a 33-point (10-20 FG, 12-17 FT), 14-rebound, two-block effort in a 114-110 win at Detroit, kicking off a two-game road series. It was his third consecutive 30-point, 10-rebound performance, marking the fourth time in his career he’s posted at least 30-10 in three-or-more straight games. The only other 76ers ever with as many such three-game streaks as Embiid are Barkley and Chamberlain. Further, it was the 50th 30-point, 10-rebound effort of Embiid’s career, a mark he reached within 223 career games. The only player to reach 50 such career games sooner than Embiid is Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who did so in 190 contests.

Jokić wins the award for the first time this season and has now earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors seven times in his career, tying him with Alex English for the second most in franchise history.

Jokić, 25, averaged 29.0 points, 14.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.70 steals while shooting .522 from the field and .778 from the charity stripe. He helped lead the Nuggets to a 3-0 week, including a home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and back-to-back road wins over the Phoenix Suns on consecutive nights. The 3-0 week also moved Denver’s record over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Jokić started the week by registering 27 points (12-21 FG’s), 12 rebounds, six assists and one steal in a home win over the Thunder, his first career game with 27+ points, 12+ rebounds and 6+ assists in 28 minutes or less. Denver then headed to Phoenix for a back-to-back where he put up a stat-line of 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes as the Nuggets won in overtime. Jokić followed that performance up the next night with another massive game, finishing with 29 points, a career-high 22 rebounds, six assists and one steal in 42 minutes as the Nuggets prevailed in double overtime. He became one of five players all-time to record 350 points, 125 rebounds and 125 assists in the first 15 games of a season.

Jokić leads the NBA in total assists and is second in assists per game, while averaging 25.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 9.6 assists and 1.90 steals in 35.7 minutes. He has also produced a double-double in all 16 games, becoming one of five players since 1976 to record a double-double in each of the first 16 games (Walton, Antetokounmpo, M. Malone, D. Sabonis).

Nuggets promote Wes Unseld Jr. to Associate Head Coach

The Denver Nuggets promoted Wes Unseld Jr. to Associate Head Coach today.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Wes as part of our organization,” stated Connelly. “He’s one of the most respected coaches in our league, and for good reason. He’s a tireless worker with a fantastic mind for the game. He’s been a vital part of our success and will make a fantastic head coach in the very near future.”

“Wes is extremely deserving of this promotion. He is one of the hardest working people I’ve come across in this league and he has been an integral part of my coaching staff since we both arrived in Denver in 2015,” said Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone. “I’ve said many times over the years that Wes is ready and deserving of a head coaching position in the NBA and it’s only a matter of time until that day comes.”

Unseld Jr. begins his sixth season with the Nuggets coaching staff in his primary role of overseeing the defensive game plans.

Prior to joining the Nuggets, Unseld Jr. spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic (2012-2014) and spent the 2011-12 campaign as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

Prior to his time in Golden State, Unseld Jr. spent 13 seasons with the Washington Wizards organization, including six seasons as an assistant coach from 2005-11. He played a key role in player development for the Wizards, helping Washington to four consecutive playoff appearances from 2004-08.

Unseld Jr. began his NBA career in 1997, just four days after graduating from John Hopkins University, as a professional and college scout for Washington. He was promoted later that same year to advance scout. In addition to his nine-year tenure as advance pro scout for the Wizards, he also spent three seasons (1998-2000) as an advance scout for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and one season serving as assistant coach as well (1998).

A native of Maryland, Unseld Jr. played on the men’s basketball team at John Hopkins for three seasons.