Pelicans sign Chris Copeland and Robert Sacre

The Pelicans have signed free agents Chris Copeland and Robert Sacre.

We assume these are non-guaranteed contracts that merely bring Copeland and Sacre to Pelicans training camp.

Copeland, 6-8, 235, appeared in 24 games with Milwaukee last season, posting averages of 2.1 points in 6.5 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Colorado in 2006, Copeland has appeared in 171 career regular season games (26 starts) with New York, Indiana and Milwaukee, posting averages of 5.8 points and 1.6 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game.

Sacre, 7-0, 270, appeared in 25 games last season for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 3.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. Drafted 60th overall by the Lakers in 2012 out of Gonzaga, Sacre has spent his entire career in Los Angeles, averaging 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds over 189 career regular season games (35 starts).

Khris Middleton suffers hamstring injury, needs surgery

Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton suffered a left hamstring injury in preseason workouts that will require surgery, General Manager John Hammond announced Wednesday. Middleton is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months, with surgery planned in the next week.

“We’re obviously disappointed for Khris and our team, but injuries are an unfortunate part of the game,” said Hammond. “We’ll rely on our overall roster depth to help us while Khris is out for a significant period of the season.”

The Bucks were a disappointment last season, finishing with a 33-49 record and not living up to expectations that came with being a young but talented roster. Losing Middleton for the next six months certainly hurts their quest to rise up in the East.

Middleton, 25, averaged a career-high 18.2 points, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals last season along with 3.8 rebounds in 79 games. Originally selected by Detroit (39th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft, Middleton has career averages of 13.2 points, 2.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 267 career games (201 starts).

2016 Bucks Fan Fest info

2016 Bucks Fan Fest info

The fourth annual Bucks Fan Fest will return to the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 12:30 – 4 p.m. The Fan Fest will once again be highlighted by the team’s annual open practice, which will take place from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and FREE! (tickets are required, but can be downloaded and printed for free at www.bucks.com/fanfest).

The Bucks’ annual open practice provides a rare peek into the inner-workings of an NBA team, including a first look at the new faces on the Bucks squad including Bucks rookies Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, and free agents Matthew Dellavedova, Mirza Teletovic and Jason Terry. The practice will take place on the BMO Harris Bradley Center court and last for approximately one hour. General admission seating in the lower bowl will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All fans that download tickets at www.bucks.com/fanfest before the event will be entered to win a pair of courtside seats to watch the open practice.

Following the team’s open practice, the arena will be transformed into a festival celebrating the new season of Bucks basketball. Fan Fest will run from 2-4 p.m. and include opportunities for autographs and photos with current players, coaches and broadcasters, the chance to shoot a free throw on the Bucks court, appearances by Bucks game night entertainment crews, the opportunity to purchase Bucks gear and memorabilia, and “Bango’s Backyard” with interactive games.

2016 Thunder Blue and White Scrimmage info

2016 Thunder Blue and White Scrimmage info

Fans will have the first opportunity to see the 2016-17 Thunder squad in action as the team brings its annual Blue and White Scrimmage to John Marshall Mid-High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The Thunder team will take the court at 7 p.m. for an open practice that also includes several Thunder game-night features such as Rumble the Bison, the Thunder Girls, Thunder Drummers and Storm Chasers. Prior to the scrimmage, the team will hold Thunder Alley starting at 4 p.m. outside the school, where fans will be able to enjoy the OG&E ThunderBolt, pop-a-shot, sport court, the Thunder merchandise trailer, appearances by Thunder entertainers, and interactive games and sweepstakes at the U.S. Cellular tent.

“We are thrilled to bring the Thunder experience to John Marshall Mid-High,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “Our tradition of the Blue and White Scrimmage gives us an outstanding opportunity to connect with communities across the state and show them how deeply we appreciate their support.”

Tickets for the scrimmage are being distributed by the John Marshall Mid-High School administration in order to best serve the school community.

The Jazz have promoted Richard Smith to executive director of international scouting and Bart Taylor to Jazz director of scouting/Salt Lake City Stars vice president of basketball operations.

Additionally, the team has hired Nixon Dorvilien as director of rehabilitation.

Smith is promoted to executive director of international scouting and will now head the Jazz’s global scouting efforts. He is entering his 22nd year with the organization having worked in a variety of capacities within basketball operations. For the past three seasons he served as the Jazz executive director of player services, following prior stints as director of basketball operations, director of scouting services, video coordinator and advance scout. A native of Norwich, Conn., “Smitty” earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Central Connecticut State College.

As Jazz director of scouting/Stars vice president of basketball operations, Taylor will serve the dual role of coordinating the Jazz’s scouting efforts while also directing all basketball-related decisions for the Jazz-owned NBA Development League team, which is set to begin its inaugural season in Utah in November. Now in his fifth season with the Jazz, Taylor had most recently served as the Jazz coordinator of scouting. Born and raised in San Antonio, Taylor served basketball operations internships with both his hometown Spurs and their NBA D-League affiliate the (then) Austin Toros after attending Trinity University in San Antonio, where he played basketball for three years and earned a degree in mathematics.

In his newly created role, Dorvilien will work closely with the Jazz’s medical and sports science staffs on injury prevention, athlete recovery and return to optimal performance after injury.

Dorvilien comes to the Jazz after spending the previous two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (2014-16), the first as assistant athletic trainer before being promoted to head athletic trainer for his second season. He also spent time with the Brooklyn Nets (2012-14) as assistant athletic trainer. Dorvilien started his career with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 as the team’s equipment manager and assistant athletic trainer. He spent six seasons with the Spurs organization, including the team’s NBA Championship campaign in 2006-07. During his time in San Antonio, Dorvilien also served as the head athletic trainer and strength coach for the Austin Toros (now Austin Spurs) during their 2011-12 D-League Championship season.

A native of the Bahamas, Nixon received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Park University before earning his master’s degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2004. After completing his education, Dorvilien served one year as the Red Raiders’ athletic trainer for track and field, winning the men’s Big 12 championship, before joining the Spurs.

The Warriors today announced promotions in the team’s Basketball Operations department, highlighted by the promotions of Bob Myers to the role of president of basketball operations/general manager, Travis Schlenk to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager, Kirk Lacob to vice president of GSW Sports Ventures/assistant general manager, and Larry Harris to assistant general manager/director of player personnel.

Additional promotions include Nick U’Ren as director of coaching operations/special assistant to the head coach, Jonnie West as director of player programs, Nanea McGuigan as director of basketball administration/player programs, Chelsea Lane as head of physical performance and sports medicine, Drew Yoder as head athletic trainer, Roger Sancho as assistant trainer, James Laughlin as video coordinator, and Sammy Gelfand as manager of basketball analytics.

Myers is entering his fifth season as general manager of the Warriors and adds the title of president of basketball operations. In this role, he reports directly to Owner & CEO Joe Lacob and oversees the entire Basketball Operations department on a day-to-day basis. Myers earned the 2014-15 NBA Executive of the Year for constructing a roster that won a then-franchise-record 67 regular-season games (67-15, .817) and won the 2015 NBA Championship – the fourth title in franchise history.

Schlenk is entering his 13th season with the Warriors, his first as vice president, basketball operations. In this role, Schlenk assists in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters. He also continues to serve as assistant general manager, a title he has held for each of the past five seasons. Prior to being named assistant general manager prior to the 2011-12 campaign, Schlenk spent the previous two seasons as the team’s director of player personnel. Before joining the team’s front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors, having originally joined the organization prior to the 2004-05 season as a video scout.

Kirk Lacob is in his seventh season with the Warriors, his first as vice president of GSW Sports Ventures. He also continues to serve as assistant general manager, a position he has held for each of the past four seasons. As part of his newly added vice president role, Lacob is in charge of the organization’s new sports ventures, including continued efforts to develop partnerships for basketball operations and leading investments for GSW in sports related areas.

Harris is entering his ninth season with the Warriors, and his first as assistant general manager/director of player personnel. In this role, Harris serves as one of the organization’s key talent evaluators of players at both the professional and collegiate levels, assisting with the team’s year-round preparation for the NBA draft, free agency and trades. Harris originally joined the Warriors in 2008 as an assistant coach under Don Nelson before moving to the front office after one season on the bench.

Raptors sign Brady Heslip

The Raptors have signed Canadian free-agent guard Brady Heslip.

Toronto will open training camp September 27 in Vancouver. The roster stands at 20 players.

Heslip, a native of Burlington, Ontario and a member of the Canadian Men’s Senior National Team, spent the 2015-16 season with Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Serie-A) in Italy, averaging 12.7 points and shooting .455 from three-point range in 29 games.

He averaged 13.0 points and 1.2 rebounds for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and 10.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City.
Heslip was selected 11th overall by Reno in the 2014 NBA D-League Draft and averaged 24.5 points in 20 games with the Bighorns. He set an NBA D-League record by making 13 three-point field goals November 29, 2014 at Idaho as part of a 45-point performance.

The Hawks have signed free agents Will Bynum, Ryan Kelly and Richard Solomon, it was announced today by General Manager Wes Wilcox. The training camp roster now stands at 20 players.

Bynum, a Georgia Tech alum and eight-year NBA veteran, has played in 360 career games (29 starting assignments) with Golden State (2005-06), Detroit (2008-14) and Washington (2014-15). The 6’0 guard owns career averages of 8.1 points, 3.3 assist and 1.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes (.442 FG%, .799 FT%). Bynum has also played professionally in Israel (2006-08) and China (2014-16), and was named the NBA Development League Rookie of the Year with the Roanoke Dazzle in 2005-06. He played his final two collegiate seasons at Georgia Tech, where he joined current Hawks teammate Jarrett Jack in helping the Yellow Jackets to the 2004 Final Four.

The 6’10 Kelly has spent the last three years with the Los Angeles Lakers after being selected in the second round (48th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft, averaging 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.5 minutes in 147 games (59 starts). He has also seen action in the NBA Development League with the L.A. D-Fenders. A four-year letterman at Duke, Kelly was a member of the Blue Devils’ 2010 NCAA Champion team.

Solomon played last season in Japan after spending 2014-15 in the NBA D-League with the Oklahoma City Blue. In 28 games (one start) with the Blue, he tallied 8.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 17.9 minutes (.618 FG%). The 6’11 Solomon had a four-year collegiate career at California, seeing action in 109 games and averaging 8.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.5 minutes (.512 FG%).

Bynum will wear uniform no. 6, Kelly no. 30 and Solomon no. 7.

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Players often keep this sort of thing to themselves. Rudy Gay telling this to the Kings actually helps the team. It means the team will almost surely try to trade him this season, and even if they get a lot less for him than they wanted, something good better than nothing. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Forward Rudy Gay has told the Kings he will out of his contract after the season, meaning he likely will leave the team as an unrestricted free agent.

Gay signed his three-year, $40-million extension, with a player option for the third year, early in the 2014-15 season, when the Kings appeared on the rise under coach Michael Malone.

Gay was on the trading block this summer, according to multiple league sources, but his ability to opt out of his deal made it difficult for the Kings to acquire equal value in a trade.

Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo agree to contract extension

The Bucks today reached an agreement with Giannis Antetokounmpo on a contract extension, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

The team is betting their future on Giannis. According to multiple reports, the deal is for four years for a total of $100 million.

The contract will be finalized tomorrow afternoon at a press conference to be held at the recently-launched Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center (WESC) Preview Center.

Antetokounmpo, 21, appeared in 80 games (79 starts) last season and averaged career highs in points (16.9), rebounds (7.7), assists (4.3), blocks (1.4) and minutes (35.3). He became the first player in franchise history to record five triple-doubles in a season, and now ranks third on the Bucks’ all-time list for career triple-doubles.

Selected by the Bucks with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Antetokounmpo has career averages of 12.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 238 games (173 starts). He has improved his averages in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage and minutes over each season he has played in the NBA.

Mavericks sign guard C.J. Williams

The Mavericks have signed free agent guard C.J. Williams.

We will assume this is a non-guaranteed contract that brings Williams to training camp.

Williams (6-5, 225) spent the 2015-16 season with JDA Dijon Bourgogne in France, where he averaged 11.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steal per game in 34 games. Williams also played for the San Antonio Spurs’ 2016 summer league teams that competed in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

Before joining Dijon in 2015-16, Williams played for Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia in Cyprus (2012-13), the D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders (2013-14) and Giorgio Tesi Group Pistoia in Italy (2014-15).

A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Williams played four years at North Carolina State (2008-12), where he helped the Wolfpack reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 as a senior in 2011-12. In 37 games as a senior, Williams averaged 10.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.1 minutes. He went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.

The Mavericks’ 2016-17 training camp roster is now set at 20 players.

Knicks re-sign Lou Amundson

Knicks re-sign Lou Amundson

The Knicks have re-signed forward Lou Amundson.

He provides bench depth and is not expected to receive much playing time.

Amundson, 6-9, 220-pounds, appeared in 70 games over the last two seasons with New York – including 29 games in 2016-17, averaging 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds over 15.2 minutes. He holds career averages of 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds over 12.9 minutes in 428 games over 10 seasons with Utah, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, Minnesota, Chicago, New Orleans, Cleveland and New York.

He was originally acquired from Cleveland as part of a three-team deal on Jan. 5, 2015.

Thunder renounce rights to Tomislav Zubcic

You probably don’t know forward Tomislav Zubcic, and if you’re a Thunder fan, you still won’t know him. OKC gave up the rights to him today, according to the Oklahoman:

The Thunder has renounced the rights to Tomislav Zubcic on Sunday, making the 6-foot-10 forward a free agent.

In June 2015, Zubcic, 26, was acquired along with a $2.85 million trade exception by the Thunder from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Luke Ridnour and cash.

We’ve all been waiting to see Sixers center Joel Embiid finally make his NBA debut for what feels like an eternity now. But you can now hold your breath. Then, go ahead and breathe. Hold it again. Breathe again. Do this a lot. Even if you aren’t waiting for Embiid.

Back to the topic at hand: Embiid will finally make his 76ers debut, and his most important contributions should be on the defensive end, according to the team’s head coach. Here’s CSN Philly reporting:

Sixers coach says Joel Embiid should be defensive centerpiece

Joel Embiid has yet to make his NBA debut, but after two years of watching him rehab from foot injuries and develop on the court, Brett Brown has a clear picture of the big man’s role on the Sixers.

“He needs to be the crown jewel, the centerpiece to our defense,” Brown said Thursday at his annual preseason luncheon with the media.

Over the course of his rehab, Embiid has been wowing with videos knocking down three-point shots. Brown, though, envisions him making an impact on the other end. He believes Embiid’s 7-foot-2, 276-pound presence is best utilized at the basket. Last season, the Sixers ranked last in the league in rebounds (41.2), opponents’ rebounds (47.6) and rebound differential (minus-6.4) per game.

“I think he’s a rim protector,” Brown said.

Suns forward P.J. Tucker underwent lower back microdiscectomy procedure today. He is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Dennis Crandall.

Preparing for his sixth NBA season and fifth with the Suns, Tucker is a four-time winner of the team’s Majerle Hustle Award. In 2015-16, he averaged 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, a career-high 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals while playing all 82 games (80 starts).

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.

The Cavaliers will prelude the 2016-17 season with their annual FREE “Wine & Gold Scrimmage” on Sunday, October 2nd at 3:30 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. The intrasquad scrimmage will give fans a chance to see the Cavs players take the court at The Q for the first time since the conclusion of the historic 2016 NBA Finals.

FREE tickets will be available starting Tuesday, September 20th at NOON at any Discount Drug Mart’s northeast Ohio location, or online at Cavs.com. Fans 17 years of age and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Seating will be general admission and there is a limit of six (6) tickets per transaction. Doors to the arena will open at 2:30 p.m., one hour prior to tipoff.

In addition to getting a first look at this year’s squad, fans will be treated to a sample of the Cavs award-winning game presentation, featuring lights-out player introductions and Humongotron flames, performances from the Cavalier Girls dance team, Scream Team hip-hop troupe, the always-entertaining antics from mascots Moondog and Sir C.C, and more.

The Windy City Bulls, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, have announced Nate Loenser as the organization’s first head coach.

The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the professional and collegiate levels, including stints with the Chicago Bulls, the University of Southern Mississippi and Iowa State University.

In 2015-16 with Chicago, Loenser served as the Video Coordinator for the Bulls. In that position, Loenser assisted and led on-floor skill development sessions with Bulls players and worked with Head Coach Fred Hoiberg and his staff to organize and present all scouting breakdowns for opponents and edits of practice and game video. He also updated and maintained the Bulls’ offensive and defensive playbooks.

While with Iowa State, he served as Director of Player Development and was a part of the coaching staff for two seasons in which the Cyclones won back-to-back Big 12 Conference Championships and made the NCAA Tournament twice, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2014. As Assistant Coach for six seasons at Southern Mississippi, which was coached by former National Coach of the Year Larry Eustachy, Loenser was responsible for all aspects of the basketball program, including recruiting, opponent scouting and on-court coaching.

“Nate’s work ethic and knowledge of our player development program make him a great fit to be the head coach of the Windy City Bulls. He has been involved in every aspect of basketball operations at both the collegiate and professional levels,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “The timing is perfect to apply his experience and skills in this new role.”

Loenser graduated from Iowa State and lives with his wife, Jackie, and daughter, Delaney.

Windy City also announced that Chicago Bulls Assistant General Manager Brian Hagen will serve as the NBADL franchise’s General Manager. Hagen will continue to serve as Chicago’s Assistant General Manager, a role he has maintained for the last four seasons. Prior to his time with the Bulls, he worked nine seasons for the New Orleans Hornets in multiple roles with the team’s Basketball Operations department. As General Manager of the Windy City Bulls, Hagen will oversee the team’s Basketball Operations department, including personnel, player development and D-League scouting.

Jeff Feld, a Denver native, has joined the organization as Windy City’s Manager of Basketball Operations after spending the previous four years with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a member of the basketball operations department, including serving as the Assistant General Manager for the Cavaliers’ NBADL team, the Canton Charge. The University of Arizona graduate began his career working under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson and Sean Miller at Arizona.

The Windy City Bulls are preparing for their inaugural season in the heart of Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Beginning in November, the team will play 24 home games at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The NBADL, which is entering its 16th season, will expand to 22 teams for the 2016-17 season with the additions of the Windy City Bulls, Greensboro Swarm and Long Island Nets. Last season saw 32 D-League players called up to the NBA a total of 42 times.

Donatas Motiejunas is a 7-foot, 222-pound power forward averaged 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game for the Rockets two seasons ago, but just 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game, in just 37 games played, for the Rockets last season. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Rockets, Donatas Motiejunas apart in negotiations

The agent for Houston Rockets restricted free-agent power forward Donatas Motiejunas expressed some concern with the team about a lack of progress on a new contract.

“They haven’t made us a serious offer,” Motiejunas’ agent, BJ Armstong, told ESPN on Wednesday. “Our moment of truth will be Oct. 1. We’ll make a decision on that day.”

The Rockets, who don’t comment publicly regarding pending player contracts, made a $3.4 million qualifying offer this summer.

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.

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