Archive for the ‘ Denver Nuggets Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on a very talented, important part of the Nuggets:

Nikola Jokic an offensive talent for Nuggets

Nikola Jokic makes little secret about what side of the basketball he prefers.

“Offense will always beat defense,” Jokic said back in January, a couple weeks before he arrived in New Orleans during all-star weekend to showcase a skill set with more varied components than a bowl of gumbo.

Jokic will never be known for his defensive prowess the way he is for his passing and playmaking ability, but Nuggets coach Michael Malone pointed to several ways the 22-year-old big man can make improvements as a defender.

“Getting stronger is one,” Malone said before Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans. “Obviously he’s never going to be Karl Malone. We don’t want him to be that. But he can work on his body and get it as strong as possible.”

Here’s the Palm Beach Post reporting on a talented Nuggets forward who may be an option for the Heat this offseason:

Danilo Gallinari may become free agent this summer

Did Heat fans get a glimpse of the future on Sunday?

Denver’s 6-foot-10 wing man, Danilo Gallinari, who dropped 29 on Miami in the Nuggets’ win, is expected to decline his $16.1 million player option this summer and become a free agent. He likely will be second best player at his position behind Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

But is he a viable option if the Heat cannot sign Hayward?

Gallinari, 28, is having his second best scoring season, averaging 17.7 points, a bit under the 19.5 points he averaged in 2015-16. Both years he averaged a little more than five rebounds and two assists per game.

Nuggets assign Malik Beasley to D-League

The Denver Nuggets have assigned rookie guard Malik Beasley to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

This will be Beasley’s sixth assignment to Sioux Falls, where he has appeared in 12 games (eight starts) and averaged 17.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.30 steals in 30.8 minutes per game. He scored a D-League career-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and three steals in a win over the Oklahoma City Blue on Feb. 22.

Beasley has appeared in 19 games for the Nuggets, averaging 2.6 points in 4.7 minutes.

Bucks trade Roy Hibbert to Nuggets

Bucks trade Roy Hibbert to Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets have acquired center Roy Hibbert from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for a protected 2019 second round draft pick, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Hibbert, 7-2, 270, was acquired by Milwaukee from Charlotte in a trade on Feb. 2, 2017, and had yet to appear in a game for the Bucks. He played in 42 games (13 starts) for the Hornets this season, averaging 5.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.10 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game. Overall, the big man has appeared in 656 career games (586 starts) over nine seasons with Indiana, L.A. Lakers and Charlotte, averaging 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.75 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game.

Hibbert, 30, is a two-time former Eastern Conference All-Star, having been named as a reserve for the Pacers in both 2012 and 2014. He was also named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 2014. The Georgetown University product was originally selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors before being traded to Indiana on July 9, 2008.

He will wear #34 and the Nuggets roster currently stands at 15 players.

Jamal Murray wins MVP of 2017 Rising Stars Challenge game

Denver Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray was named MVP of the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-139 Team World victory.

Murray, 19, is the first Nugget to win MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge since teammate Kenneth Faried was named MVP in 2013. He is the third Nugget in team history to be named MVP of the game (Carmelo Anthony, 2005).

The Kitchener, Canada native connected on 9-of-14 (.642) threes in the game, the second most made three-pointers in the history of the Rising Stars Challenge (Daniel Gibson of the Cavaliers made a record 11 three-pointers for the Sophomore Team in 2008). Murray’s 11 assists were the most by any player in the Rising Stars Challenge since John Wall handed out 22 assists in 2011.

The University of Kentucky product has appeared in 56 games (three starts) for Denver this season, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.9 minutes per game. He has made the second-most threes of any rookie this season (72) and was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November after averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the month.

Murray’s teammate Nikola Jokić added a near triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Team World.

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Johnny O’Bryant to a second 10-day contract, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

O’Bryant, 6-9, 257, has appeared in two games with the Nuggets averaging 3.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg in 8.1 mpg since signing a 10-day contract on January 26.

Nuggets waive Alonzo Gee

Nuggets waive Alonzo Gee

The Denver Nuggets have waived forward Alonzo Gee, it was announced today by General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

Gee, 6-6, 225, signed with Denver on Nov. 16, 2016, appearing in 13 games and averaging 1.1 rebounds in 6.9 minutes. The seven-year NBA veteran has appeared in 417 career games (213 starts) for Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Portland, New Orleans and Denver posting averages of 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes.

Will Barton hopes to stay with Nuggets

Will Barton hopes to stay with Nuggets

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton doesn’t have to seek it out to know what’s going on. The information comes to him.

In the past calendar year he’s been one of the most coveted players on the Nuggets roster. The Nuggets were offered a first-round pick for him last year, but they declined.

Barton hopes he stays with Denver.

“It’s tough but you hear a lot of stuff going around,” Barton told The Denver Post. “I don’t pay any attention to it, I try not to let it enter my mind and enter things that I’ve got going on. I’m here, I like it here. I just try to work hard every day, perform, and just get wins for my teammates. That’s all I care about, just focusing on the Denver Nuggets.”

– Denver Post

Quick Take: Averaging 14.3 ppg, Barton is the third leading scorer on the 12-17 Nuggets this season, behind Wilson Chandler (16.8 ppg) and Danilo Gallinari (16.4 ppg). He’s having a solid season.

George Karl takes shots at Carmelo Anthony in new book

It has been more than five years since Carmelo Anthony played for George Karl, but that hasn’t stopped his old coach from taking shots at him.

Karl has a new book coming out in January, Furious George, which might make his former Nuggets players angrier than anyone. Karl’s book features a number of blindsided attacks on Anthony, who he coached in Denver from Anthony’s second season until he was traded in 2011.

““Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight, and very unhappy when he had to share it.

“He really lit my fuse with his low demand for himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal – probably every coach’s ideal – is when your best player also is your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain and simple he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”

Anthony knew the questions were coming and he took the high road after the Knicks beat the Magic, 106-95, mostly laughing off the comments.

“Nothing disappoints me anymore,” Anthony said. “I’m past being disappointed. I just hope that he finds happiness in what he’s doing. His book, hopefully will bring him happiness.

– Bergen Record

Quick Take: This is great publicity for the book. We’ll be reading it.

Nuggets sign Alonzo Gee

Nuggets sign Alonzo Gee

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Alonzo Gee, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Gee, 6-6, 225, is a seven-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 404 career games (213 starts) for Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Denver, Portland and New Orleans. He owns career averages of 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 22.2 minutes per game. He played in 39 games for the Nuggets during the 2014-15 campaign, averaging 4.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.1 minutes. He most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2015-16 season, averaging 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 73 games (38 starts).

The Nuggets roster stands at 15 players.

Nuggets waive Jarnell Stokes

Nuggets waive Jarnell Stokes

The Denver Nuggets have waived F/C Jarnell Stokes, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Stokes, 6-9, 263, signed with Denver on Sept. 15, 2016, appearing in two games and averaging 1.5 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 3.5 minutes. The third-year big man has appeared in a total of 28 career games (two starts) for Memphis, Miami and Denver, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.4 minutes per game. He joined Denver after being named MVP of the D-League and leading the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a championship during the 2015-16 season.

Nuggets exercise contract options on Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic and Emmanuel Mudiay

The Denver Nuggets have exercised the fourth-year options for both Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkić and exercised the third-year option for Emmanuel Mudiay, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Harris, 6-4, 210, was drafted with the 19th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by Chicago and was acquired by Denver in a draft-night trade. He has appeared in 131 games (82 starts) in his first two seasons, averaging 8.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.03 steals in 24.1 minutes per game.

Nurkić, 7-0, 280, was drafted with the 16th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by Chicago and was acquired by Denver in the same draft-night trade along with Harris. The Bosnian center has appeared in 94 games (30 starts), averaging 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.19 blocks in 17.6 minutes per game.

Mudiay, 6-5, 200, was selected by Denver with the seventh overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. He played in 68 games (66 starts) as a rookie last season, posting averages of 12.8 points, 5.5 assists (1st among rookies) and 1.00 steals in 30.4 minutes per game.

Nuggets waive JaKarr Sampson, D.J. Kennedy and Axel Toupane

The Nuggets waived guard D.J. Kennedy and forwards JaKarr Sampson and Axel Toupane on Saturday, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced.

Kennedy, was signed by Denver on Aug. 16, 2016 and has appeared in one preseason game for the Nuggets, posting four points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals in 12 minutes of play.

Sampson was signed by Denver on Feb. 22, 2016 and played the final 26 games (22 starts) of the 2015-16 season, averaging 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.0 minutes. He has appeared in one game this preseason, tallying 10 points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 20 minutes.

Toupane signed with the Nuggets on Mar. 24, 2016 and averaged 3.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 14.5 minutes over the final 21 games of the 2015-16 season. He has appeared in one game this preseason, posting 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes.

The Nuggets roster now stands at 17 players.

Gary Harris closer to return for Nuggets

Here’s the Denver Post with an update on Nuggets guard Gary Harris, who last season averaged 12.3 points on 46.9% shooting:

Gary Harris closer to return for Nuggets

Gary Harris took his first shots on the court Thursday afternoon since going down with a right groin strain in the first preseason game. The post-practice shooting was light, but poignant for a player inching his way to a return.

“That was the most I’ve done in a while,” Harris said. “Really haven’t tried anything (until today). Just tried to be cautious with it, make sure everything is cool. Don’t want to reaggravate it and make sure I’m feeling nothing when I’m doing things.”

The Nuggets have signed F Robbie Hummel, G/F D.J. Kennedy, F Jarnell Stokes and G Nate Wolters to contracts.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume these are non-guaranteed deals that merely bring these players to Nuggets training camp.

Hummel, 6-8, 220, spent the 2015-16 season playing for EA7 Olimpia Milano in both the Italian League and Euroleague. He appeared in 11 games (four starts) in the Italian League, averaging 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game. He played in nine games (one start) in Euroleague play, averaging 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. The Purdue University alum was selected with the 58th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he spent the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

Kennedy, 6-6, 215, went undrafted out of St. John’s in the 2011 NBA Draft and spent the majority of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons playing for Erie and Rio Grande Valley of the NBA D-League. He also appeared in two games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12, averaging 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. The 26-year-old has spent the last three years overseas, most recently appearing in 40 games (38 starts) for Enisey Krasnoyarsk of the VTB United League (Russia), averaging 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Stokes, 6-9, 263, joins Denver after being named MVP of the D-League and leading the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a championship in the 2015-16 season. He appeared in 28 games (all starts), averaging 20.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.11 steals per game. He also spent the majority of the 2014-15 season in the D-League, appearing in 23 games (14 starts) for the Iowa Energy and averaging 15.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. The Memphis, Tenn. native was drafted by Utah with the 35th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft and he has appeared in a total of 26 NBA games (two starts) with Memphis and Miami, averaging 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.6 minutes per game.

Wolters, 6-4, 190, was selected out of South Dakota State with the 38th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. His draft rights were then traded to Philadelphia and then Milwaukee. Wolters appeared in 58 games (31 starts) as a rookie for the Bucks in 2013-14, averaging 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 22.6 minutes. During the 2014-15 season, he appeared in 21 total games for both Milwaukee and New Orleans, as well as 12 games (eight starts) with the Grand Rapids Drive of the D-League. The Minnesota native most recently spent the 2015-16 season with Besiktas Sompo Japan of the Turkish league, appearing in 31 total games (28 starts) and averaging 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.06 steals in 30.5 minutes per game.

The Denver Nuggets training camp roster now stands at 20 players.

Nuggets coaching staff announcement

The Nuggets have announced promotions of assistant coaches Wes Unseld Jr., Micah Nori and Ryan Bowen, and player development coach Ognjen Stojakovic and assistant video coordinator Tommy Massimino Jr.

Also, the team has hired assistant coaches Jordi Fernandez and Chris Finch, player development coach Stephen Graham and head video coordinator Travess Armenta.

Wes Unseld Jr. joined the Nuggets prior to the 2015-16 season after spending the previous two seasons with the Orlando Magic and one with the Golden State Warriors (2011-12). He began his coaching career with the Washington Wizards where he spent 13 seasons (1998 to 2011) in various capacities, the final six as an assistant coach. In his new role, Unseld Jr. will be Michael Malone’s lead assistant on the bench.

Micah Nori also joined Denver’s staff prior to the 2015-16 campaign. He was previously an assistant coach in Sacramento from 2013 to 2015. Before arriving in Sacramento, he spent a total of 15 years with the Toronto Raptors organization, the last four as assistant coach. With this promotion, Nori will move to the front of the Nuggets’ bench.

Ryan Bowen returned to the Nuggets’ coaching staff for the 2015-16 season after also spending two seasons in Sacramento. Bowen was selected by the Nuggets in the second round of the 1998 NBA Draft and spent the first five years of his 10-year playing career as a fan-favorite in Denver. He also spent two years on Denver’s coaching staff from 2011 to 2013 before heading to Sacramento. Bowen will now be the first coach behind the Nuggets bench going into the 2016-17 season.

Ognjen Stojakovic began working with the Nuggets prior to the 2013-14 season, serving as the assistant video coordinator for three seasons. Stojakovic, a native of Belgrade Serbia, has been promoted to player development coach.

Tommy Massimino Jr. came to Denver in the role of video intern for the 2015-16 season after serving as the assistant video coordinator for the University of Iowa Men’s Basketball team in 2014-15. He also spent four years (2009 to 2013) as team manager for the Villanova Wildcats Men’s Basketball team. Massimino has been promoted to assistant video coordinator.

Along with the above promotions, the team has hired Jordi Fernandez as an assistant coach. He comes to Denver after spending six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers organization, most recently as head coach of their NBA D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.

The Nuggets have also added Chris Finch as an assistant coach heading into the 2016-17 season. Finch joins Malone’s staff after serving as the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers from 2009 to 2011 and as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets from 2011 to 2016.

Joining John Beckett and Ognjen Stojakovic in the player development department will be Stephen Graham. Graham enjoyed a long playing career, including six years in the NBA with Cleveland, Houston, Chicago, Portland, Indiana, Charlotte and New Jersey. He also spent one season playing for Fort Wayne of the D-League and finished his career with two seasons overseas. Graham served as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2015-16 before joining the Nuggets staff. Also, his twin brother, Joey, played for the Nuggets during the 2009-10 season.

Additionally, the Nuggets have hired Longmont, CO native Travess Armenta as head video coordinator. Armenta arrives on Denver’s staff after working as the assistant video coordinator for the Sacramento Kings from 2011 to 2016. Armenta played basketball and received his degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

Nuggets sign Jamal Murray, Juancho Hernangomez, Malik Beasley

The Nuggets have signed guard Jamal Murray, forward Juancho Hernangomez and guard Malik Beasley to multi-year contracts, it was announced today by General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

Murray, 6-4, 207, was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 7th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

The 19-year-old appeared in five games (all starts) for the Nuggets at the 2016 Samsung Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 29.5 minutes per game. Among players that played at least five games, Murray ranked fourth in scoring while also tallying three straight games of 20+ points.

Murray played one season for the Kentucky Wildcats in 2015-16, appearing in 36 games and averaging 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 40.8% from three-point range.

Hernangomez, 6-9, 230, a native of Madrid, Spain, was selected with the 15th pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He appeared in five games (all starts) for the Nuggets at the 2016 Samsung Summer League, holding averages of 10.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 55% from the field. Hernangomez ranked fifth in rebounds among players that appeared in at least five games, while posting a double-double in two contests.

Hernangomez, played for Movistar Estudiantes of the Spanish ACB league in 2015-16. Appearing in 24 games, he averaged 9.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 23.5 minutes.

Beasley, 6-5, 196, was drafted with the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He did not participate in the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League after recovering from a pre-existing injury. He appeared in 34 contests during the 2015-16 season with the Florida State Seminoles, averaging 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 29.8 minutes.

Murray will wear jersey #27, Hernangomez will wear jersey #41 and Beasley will wear jersey #25.

Nuggets re-sign Mike Miller

Nuggets re-sign Mike Miller

The Nuggets have re-signed forward Mike Miller to a multi-year contract,

Miller, a 16-year NBA veteran, appeared in 47 games (two starts) for Denver during the 2015-16 season and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game. Overall he has played in 1,012 career games (570 starts) and posted averages of 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.3 minutes per game for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, Miami, Cleveland and Denver.

“We’re thrilled that Mike will be back with us going forward. He exemplifies what it means to be an ultimate teammate and professional, and his resume certainly speaks for itself,” said General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. “Last season Mike made a major impact on our young core and we look forward to continuing to have his veteran leadership both on the court and in our locker room.”

Miller won two NBA championships with Miami in 2012 and 2013 and has appeared in four NBA Finals, three with Miami (2011-2013) and one with Cleveland (2015). The 6-8 forward was named the 2005-06 Sixth Man of the Year and also earned the 2000-01 Rookie of the Year Award for Orlando after being drafted fifth overall out of the University of Florida in the 2000 NBA Draft.

The South Dakota native is one of the most prolific three-point shooters in NBA history, ranking 20th all-time in made three-pointers (1,582) and 21st all-time in career three-point percentage (.407). He has made at least 70 three-pointers in 12 seasons, has made 100-or-more in eight of those seasons and connected on a career-high 202 threes during the 2006-07 campaign. He has shot at least .400 from beyond the arc in nine separate seasons.

Nuggets re-sign Darrell Arthur

Nuggets re-sign Darrell Arthur

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed free agent forward Darrell Arthur to a multi-year contract, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Arthur, 6-9, 225, appeared in 70 games (16 starts) for Denver in 2015-16, averaging 7.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in a career-high 21.7 minutes per game. He made a career-high 45 three-pointers while shooting a career-best 38.5% from beyond the arc as well.

The 27-year-old forward has spent the last three years of his career with the Denver Nuggets, appearing in 196 total games (21 starts) while posting averages of 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

“Darrell embodies all of the values and characteristics that we look for in a player,” said Connelly. “D.A.’s commitment to our team, organization and city has always been evident and we were thrilled that he chose to stay in Denver and continue being an integral part of what we are building here.”

The Denver Nuggets finished 33-49 this season. Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson wasn’t a big part of the team this season, and his best days are behind him. Here’s the Denver Post blog with insight on next season:

Jameer Nelson hopes for increased role on Nuggets

Jameer Nelson is back in Philadelphia, spending time with his family and doing more than a little bit of thinking about his future with the Nuggets.

“We’ll see how things go,” he said. “We all have decisions to make.”

Nelson’s preference is to return to the Nuggets next season. Not only just return, but get back to playing a big role on the court. He’s got two years left on the three-year, $13.5 million deal he signed with the team last summer. But he played a total of just seven minutes in the Nuggets’ last 24 games of the season as D.J. Augustin took over the primary reserve point guard role. Nelson doesn’t want a repeat of that next season.

If it appears that a drop off in playing time is in store again, Nelson wouldn’t be apprehensive at all to authorize his agent to request he be traded. His first choice, however, is to return to the Nuggets with his role restored.

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