Archive for the ‘ Denver Nuggets Blog ’ Category

JaVale McGee appears serious about raising his game

Nuggets center JaVale McGee was on his last-one-out grind. On Tuesday: free throws well after most everyone left the Pepsi Center practice court. On Thursday, post-practice offensive work, followed by full-court sprints with assistant coach Patrick Mutombo.

It is all by design.

No one does everything right in the first week of training camp, but McGee is going after it, from improving his skills on the low block to getting a better handle on his conditioning. The seriousness of his approach is in stark contrast to a year ago, when his sluggish training camp cost him a starting job — and ultimately significant playing time — just weeks after he signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension.

This McGee doesn’t resemble that McGee. And for Nuggets first-year coach Brian Shaw, who wants to play inside-out on offense, it’s a good sign. For an organization that desperately wants its faith, and investment, in McGee to be validated, it’s a good sign.

Reported by Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post

Brian Shaw

If you’re wondering if the Phil Jackson pupil has sought the advice of Phil Jackson, the answer is yes.

To a point.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has reached out to the former Lakers coach, a man he played for and coached with during his time in Los Angeles, and the best piece of advice he received from Jackson was patience.

“I’m laid back by nature, anyway,” Shaw said. “Phil had a lot of patience and he allowed for the players to kind of figure some things out on their own. I’ve been kind of trying to do the same thing, not spoon feeding them everything, but just enough and see who has the ability to figure out what they need to do.”

Reported by Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has no regrets about not landing Lakers job

“Regardless of how it ended, I don’t have any regrets,” Shaw said. “Those were some of the best times that I experienced. I will always cherish them.”

Asked if there were any hard feelings lingering now, two years after being passed over for the head coaching job with the Lakers after Jackson’s retirement in 2011, Shaw said: “No, no. You know, it’s the nature of the business. I found that out pretty quickly. I preach to our players to get on to the next play; let that last play go, and I try to do the same thing, too. Every decision is not my decision. It’s not going to work out the way I want it to work out. So I’ve just got to move on.”

Shaw not only moved on, he also flourished with the Pacers. Indiana coach Frank Vogel was big on giving his assistants a significant voice. Shaw ran with that responsibility. The Pacers’ success during his two years there vaulted him into a select group of “next in line” for a head coaching job.

The Nuggets landed him after firing George Karl following the team’s first-round playoff ouster.

Reported by Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post

Denver Nuggets plan to get nasty

Denver Nuggets plan to get nasty

Forget 57 regular-season wins for the Nuggets. That’s not going to happen. But here is the real goal for the local NBA team:

No more wimpy basketball.

The Nuggets have a new way to play.

“Smashmouth basketball,” new Denver coach Brian Shaw said.

I asked Shaw to define his terms. What qualifies as smashmouth basketball?

“Smashmouth means that you are literally going to get your mouth smashed if you’re going against us for a rebound or a loose ball,” Shaw said. “We want to have a nasty disposition, both offensively and defensively.”

Reported by Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post

Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets will open training camp with 18 players after signing forward Reginald Becton, guard Kyle Fogg and forward Damion James as non-roster invitees.

Becton, 6-9, 235, is an undrafted rookie out of the University of Mississippi. He set the school record with 326 blocked shots and is a three-time member of the SEC All-Defensive team. He also ranks second in career field-goal percentage and third in career rebounds at Ole Miss.

Fogg, 6-3, 183, averaged 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League last season. Undrafted out of Arizona in 2012, he was a two-time All-Conference Defensive Team selection and averaged 13.5 as a senior.

James, 6-7, 225, was selected 24th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft and has averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 34 career NBA games with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He spent much of 2012-13 in the D-League with Bakersfield, averaging 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in 44 games.

In four seasons at the University of Texas, James set Big 12 Conference records for career rebounds and double-doubles. He also owns the school records for career starts and rebounds.

The Nuggets, who won an NBA team-record 57 games last season, will open training camp under new coach Brian Shaw on Oct. 1. Their string of 10 consecutive playoff appearances is the second-longest active streak in the NBA.

Denver Nuggets

The managers of the Pepsi Center in Denver are installing permanent metal detectors to boost security at major sports and entertainment events.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment says all patrons entering the multipurpose arena will be required to undergo a security check beginning later this month.

The facility is home to the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, and often serves as a concert venue.

Reported by the Associated Press

Ty Lawson, the Denver Nuggets’ star point guard, was charged with physical harassment and criminal mischief stemming from a Saturday night domestic violence arrest.

Lawson’s girlfriend, Ashley Nicole Pettiford, was also arrested, Grayson Robinson, Arapahoe County Sheriff told The Denver Post.

A mandatory restraining order was issued after charges were filed surrounding a domestic violence incident, according to court records.

“They were yelling at each other and broke each other’s phones,” Robinson said. “I don’t believe it was physical otherwise.”

Reported by Ryan Parker of the Denver Post

Denver Nuggets re-sign center Timofey Mozgov

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed center Timofey Mozgov to a multiyear contract, general manager and executive vice president of basketball operation Tim Connelly announced today.

Mozgov, 7-1, 250, usually plays limited minutes and adds frontcourt depth off the bench. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 8.9 minutes while shooting .506 from the field in 41 games for the Nuggets last season. In 130 career games (50 starts) with Denver and the New York Knicks, he has averaged 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.1 minutes.

“Like all players, Timo just needs an opportunity to play,” Connelly said. “He’s got a great attitude and mindset toward improving his game, and we’re confident that he will help us on the interior in the seasons to come.”

Originally signed by New York as an undrafted free agent in 2010, Mozgov joined the Nuggets as part of a three-team trade on Feb. 22, 2011.

In addition to his three seasons in the NBA, Mozgov is a longtime member of the Russian national team program. He played a key role in helping Russia secure the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Mozgov also represented his country at the 2010 World Championships and the 2011 European Championship.

The Denver Nuggets have named Arturas Karnisovas as assistant general manager, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Karnisovas (pronounced Car-NISH-O-Vas) joins the Nuggets after five years with the Houston Rockets, where he most recently was the director of scouting. He started with the Rockets as an international scout in 2008 after spending more than four years working in basketball operations at the NBA’s league office.

Karnisovas, 42, will assist Connelly and team president Josh Kroenke with day-to-day operations related to scouting and player personnel matters.

“Arturas has a diverse and impressive background as a player, a scout and an executive,” Connelly said. “His global connections are just part of what he adds to our franchise. His basketball knowledge is off the charts, and his experience with Houston and the league office will be invaluable as we work to improve our team.”

Denver Nuggets Sign forward J.J. Hickson

Denver Nuggets Sign forward J.J. Hickson

The Denver Nuggets have signed free-agent forward J.J. Hickson to a multiyear contract, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Hickson, 6-9, 242, enjoyed his best NBA season in 2012-13, averaging 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds in 80 games with the Portland Trail Blazers. He and Dwight Howard were the only players to average at more than 12 points and 10 rebounds while shooting at least .550 from the field last season.

Hickson, 24, finished sixth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.562), seventh in rebounding and seventh in double-doubles (40). His nine consecutive double-doubles from Dec. 5-26 marked the longest such streak by a Portland player since Terry Porter in 1987.

“I thought J.J. was one of the most improved players in the league last year,” Connelly said. “He gives us a low-post option in the half-court and he’s a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run.”

Drafted 19th overall by Cleveland in 2008, Hickson has averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Trail Blazers.

Hickson made the jump to the NBA after being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team in 2007-08. He had 10 double-doubles, including a 13-point, 23-rebound performance against Clemson on Feb. 16, 2007. The rebounds were an ACC single-game freshman record.

– Via the Nuggets

Warriors get Andre Iguodala from Nuggets in three-team trade

The Golden State Warriors have acquired veteran guard/forward Andre Iguodala (E-gu-doll-a) in a sign-and-trade deal from the Denver Nuggets and guard Kevin Murphy from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade, it was announced today.  As part of the deal, the Warriors sent center Andris Biedrins, forward Richard Jefferson and guard/forward Brandon Rush, along with two future first round (2014 & 2017), two future second round (2016 & 2017) draft picks and cash considerations, to the Jazz, as well as a future second round (2018) draft pick to the Nuggets.  The Nuggets also received guard Randy Foye in a sign-and-trade deal from Utah, while the Jazz also received a future second round (2018) pick from Denver.

Iguodala, 29, is a nine-year NBA veteran, who owns career averages of 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.74 steals in 37.4 minutes per game over 695 regular-season contests (all starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets.  Additionally, he has appeared in 41 career playoff games, averaging 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.80 steals during the postseason.  The 6’6” swingman was a member of the 2012 Eastern Conference All-Star team, an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection in 2010-11 and earned First Team All-Rookie honors in 2004-05, all while playing with Philadelphia.  Additionally, the University of Arizona product earned gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey as a member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

Originally selected by Philadelphia with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Iguodala played the first eight years of his career with the 76ers before landing in Denver prior to the 2012-13 campaign as part of a four-team, 12-player trade.  Last season, the Springfield, IL, native averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.74 steals and 34.7 minutes in 80 regular-season games for the Nuggets.  He ranked 11th in the NBA in steals per game in 2012-13 and his 5.4 assists per game average ranked third among all NBA shooting guards, behind only Kobe Byrant (6.0 apg) and James Harden (5.8 apg).  In Denver’s first round playoff series against Golden State, Iguodala averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.00 steals in 40.6 minutes over six games, leading the team in assists, steals and minutes, while ranking second in points and rebounds.

“Andre Iguodala was a free agent that we targeted from Day 1 and we are thrilled that he chose to join our team,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “His versatility as a player should help us tremendously on both sides of the court and we feel that his specific, unique skill set blends very well with the players already on our roster. Additionally, he will serve as a great asset to our young team as we continue to grow and develop in the coming years.”

Murphy, 23, played his rookie NBA season with the Utah Jazz in 2012-13, appearing in 17 games and averaging 0.9 points in 3.1 minutes per contest.  Selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Tennessee Tech, the 6’6” guard also appeared in 14 games (12 starts) this past season with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League, averaging 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.6 minutes per contest.

Biedrins, 27, appeared in 53 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 0.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.79 blocks in 9.3 minutes per contest.  Selected by the Warriors with the 11th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the 7’0” Latvian national has played his entire nine-year NBA career with Golden State, appearing in 510 regular-season games (311 starts) and averaging 6.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.14 blocks and 21.8 minutes per contest.

Jefferson, 33, appeared in 56 games with Golden State last season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per contest.  A 12-year NBA veteran, Jefferson owns career averages of 15.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game over 852 regular-season games with New Jersey, Milwaukee, San Antonio and Golden State.

Rush, 28, missed the final 80 games last season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee in the second game of the regular season against Memphis on November 2, 2012. In 2011-12, his first season with Golden State, the 6’6” swingman appeared in 65 games (one start), averaging a career-high 9.8 points to go along with 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per contest.  A five-year NBA veteran, Rush owns career averages of 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 26.8 minutes in 291 games (105 starts) with Indiana and Golden State.

Andre Iguodala will join Golden State Warriors

The Nuggets are in Plan B mode.

Their top target this offseason was their own free agent, Andre Iguodala. But the swingman decided Friday to play for the Golden State Warriors, two NBA sources confirmed.

Iguodala accepted a four-year contract that will pay him $48 million. He can’t officially sign with Golden State until Wednesday.

The Nuggets are left without their most versatile player and best perimeter defender. It’s been a difficult couple of months for the franchise, which has suffered significant losses in the front office and now on the court…

Iguodala has been enamored with the Warriors for a while. When the Nuggets weren’t able to secure his services for days after the Sacramento Kings offered, then rescinded, a four-year contract worth $14 million annually, his exit from Denver seemed inevitable.

According to one source, the Nuggets offered Iguodala a five-year contract worth $60 million — with $52 million guaranteed. That’s right, the Nuggets presented a more lucrative offer than did Golden State. Yet the Warriors beat the Nuggets again.

Reported by Christopher Dempsey and Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

Warriors will land Andre Iguodala

andre iguodala

The Warriors have been informed by Dwight Howard he will not be joining Golden State, according to a team source.

According to USA Today, Howard has chosen to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to become a Houston Rocket.

The Warriors emerged from long shot to viable option after meeting with Howard on Monday. But despite adding swingman Andre Iguodala, Howard chose to pair up with All-NBA guard James Harden to become the next great center for the Rockets. Houston can offer the same four-year, $88 million contract the Warriors could offer but Texas doesn’t have state taxes, which means Howard can keep more of his money.

That means Golden State will keep starting center Andrew Bogut.

About an hour before this news, the Warriors have reached a four-year deal worth $48 million with Iguodala, multiple sources confirmed.

The Warriors cleared the cap space needed by trading the expiring contracts of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to Utah. The deal also included multiple picks, including the Warriors’ 2014 first-rounder.

Reported by Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group

The Denver Nuggets have acquired F Darrell Arthur and the draft rights to Joffrey Lauvergne from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for C Kosta Koufos, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced tonight.

Arthur, 6-9, 235, has averaged 6.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in four NBA seasons. He averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 59 games for the Grizzlies in 2012-13.

Selected 27th overall in 2008, Arthur enjoyed his best season in 2010-11, averaging a career-high 9.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. He missed the 2011-12 season while recovering from an Achilles’ injury.

Koufos, 7-0, 265, started 81 games for the Nuggets last season. He averaged a career-high 8.0 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting .581 from the field.

Lauvergne (pronounced LA-vern-yea), 6-11, 240, was selected 55th overall out of France. He played for three top pro leagues in Europe last season – France Pro A, Spanish ABC and Serbia A.

The 21-year-old averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in eight games with Partizan in Serbia, and 6.2 points in 14 games with Elan Chalon in France. He also was a member of the French junior national team in 2011 and will represent the national team this summer.

The key question for the Nuggets in the NBA draft Thursday: Is a guaranteed three-year contract for $2.8 million — $899,000 in the first season — worth it?

That’s what the 27th pick in the draft will cost the Nuggets, should they select a player in that slot. And would that player even play?

The short answer to those questions is no, and the Nuggets are expected to try to trade out of the first round. But there are complications in doing so. They aren’t the only team drafting late in the first round looking to make a move out of it. If those teams can’t find a suitor, the Nuggets would have to make that selection.

In need of a shooter, the Nuggets could get one in the draft. Among the possibilities: California’s Allen Crabbe, Providence’s Ricky Ledo and Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League last season after problems at Georgia Tech got him dismissed from the team.

Reported by Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post

Brian Shaw

At long last, Brian Shaw is getting his first chance to coach an NBA team.

The former guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson pupil has agreed to succeed George Karl as coach of the Denver Nuggets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal hadn’t been officially announced.

Still, it was the buzz of the basketball world.

“I think the Nuggets are going to benefit from his tenure,” Jackson tweeted.

“So great to see Brian Shaw rewarded with this long overdue opportunity,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel told The AP in a text. “Congrats to Brian and the Nuggets. Denver just got one of the best head coaches this league will see for years to come.”

The Denver Post first announced the agreement with Shaw, the Indiana Pacers assistant who told the newspaper he’s been “prepared by the best of the best” for his first NBA head coaching job, adding “I feel like I’ve waited and paid my dues.”

Reported by Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press

Nuggets hiring Brian Shaw as head coach

Denver Nuggets hiring Brian Shaw as head coach

Brian Shaw was hired as the coach of the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, securing his first NBA head coaching job after nearly a decade as an assistant.

Shaw confirmed that he had been hired by Denver during an exclusive interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne.

“I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to be able to lead this team and for the faith that [Nuggets team president] Josh Kroenke and [general manager] Tim Connelly have put in me,” Shaw told Shelburne. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been prepared by the best of the best for a long time. I’m just really looking forward to it.”

Shaw will replace George Karl, the NBA’s reigning Coach of the Year who led the Nuggets to a 57-win regular season but was fired following Denver’s opening-round elimination in the playoffs.

Reported by ESPN.com

The Denver Nuggets have named Ben Tenzer as director of team operations, team president Josh Kroenke announced today.

Tenzer, a University of Colorado graduate, will work closely with Kroenke and general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly on day-to-day operations, with a focus on salary cap management and the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Tenzer joins the Nuggets after receiving his law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. He worked for the Nuggets as an legal extern last summer, conducting detailed contract, salary cap and CBA analysis, as well as writing contracts for newly acquired and re-signed players.

For the past eight years, Tenzer has served as the League Operations Coordinator for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He also has overseen day-to-day operations as Event Coordinator for the Adidas Nations Camp since 2010.

Tenzer also served as minor league coordinator for the Nuggets from 2005-09, and he gained experience in sports management while working as a legal assistant for the Wasserman Media Group in 2010.

In addition, Tenzer took part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program as an instructor in South Africa and Senegal in 2007 and 2008.

Lionel Hollins

He is basketball’s Jack Del Rio, a man who thrived at playing defense and now comes alive coaching it, using deft methods to make men into maulers.

Could Lionel Hollins turn the Nuggets into defensive stalwarts as defensive coordinator Del Rio did the Broncos?

That’s part of the allure, part of why Nuggets management interviewed Hollins on Wednesday for the team’s head coaching job.

The 59-year-old Hollins, recently relieved of his duties as the Memphis Grizzlies coach, could end up swapping jobs with George Karl, the fired Nuggets coach who is a candidate to succeed Hollins in Memphis.

Hollins is coming off a trip to the Western Conference finals. In Denver, Hollins is in competition with Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who had a second interview with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, according to media reports. The next few days could clear up the picture for numerous NBA teams looking for a head coach.

Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

The Denver Nuggets have named Tim Connelly as executive vice president of basketball operations, team president Josh Kroenke announced today.

Connelly, 36, joins the Nuggets front office after three seasons as assistant general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans, where he worked closely with general manager Dell Demps. Connelly’s duties included scouting, draft preparation, trade negotiations and player contracts.

“We are extremely excited to have Tim join the Denver Nuggets organization,” Kroenke said. “He comes from a great basketball background, possesses an incredibly strong work ethic and is a wonderful person. His passion and energy for the game of basketball are contagious and I am confident that he will be a great fit with us in Denver.”

Prior to his time in New Orleans, Connelly spent 10 years with the Washington Wizards organization, rising to director of player personnel. His role included overseeing scouting, salary cap and database management, player evaluation and assisting the vice president of player personnel with all front office duties.

A native of Baltimore, Connelly began working with the Wizards as an intern in the basketball operations department in 1996 and joined the team full-time as the assistant video coordinator in 1999. He became a full-time scout in 2000 and spent four years in that role before becoming the director of player personnel.

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