Recent Nuggets news involving Nene, Mozgov’s minutes and draft prospects

Tonight Vic Lombardi released this tweet in regards to Nene’s future as a Nugget: “Karl told me Nene WILL be here”

Also from Lombardi was this little nugget: “Karl says he expects Mozgov [to] play 20-23 minutes a game next year.”

I don’t know what to make of these tweets at the moment. Though I’d love to believe Nene will re-sign, there’s still so much that can happen between now and when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is settled. Nene has been pretty vocal about his feelings, stating as recently as a few weeks ago, “I’ve been here for nine years… If that doesn’t work out how you want it, you need to sit down and evaluate everything and see what you can do… I did my best for the team, for the city. I tried to do my best for the fans. But the (Nuggets) need to understand you need to see the return on the other side, or you need to look for it… When you don’t feel appreciated, it’s hard.”

If you’d like to hear more from Karl, he’s going to be appearing on 102.3 the Ticket, Friday, May 20, at 8:45 a.m.

Also from the Twitter Universe, this time via Chris Tomasson: “Among the players the Nuggets are taking hard look at with No. 22 pick in the first round is Morehead State rugged rebounder Kenneth Faried.”

This is great news for Nuggets fans. As I detailed in my “Prospecting” piece on May 14, Faried is the No. 1 guy the Nuggets should be targeting come draft day. He’s the best rebounder in college basketball history, a ferocious defender and has a motor the size of an aircraft carrier (metaphorically speaking). He’s basically everything this Nuggets team has needed for years all in one package: toughness, tenacity on the glass, a willingness to box out, etc. The only thing that worries me is that Faried won’t be around by the time the Nuggets select at No. 22 in the first round. According to Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress as well as Chad Ford of ESPN.com, Faried was already one of the most impressive players on the first day of the NBA Combine in Chicago. If he keeps up the impressive workouts it’s hard to imagine Faried still being around by the time we pick, but we can always have hope!

(UPDATE: Here’s a link to a Kenneth Faried interview for those interested. He seems like a good kid, who’s ready to contribute to an NBA team through his hard work and rebounding right away. He supposedly lives by the motto, “If you want to score, you have to rebound.” When asked what his scoring high will be 10-15 years down the road Faried laughed, then said, “I really don’t know. I can’t tell you that one, but I plan on my rebounding high to be at 30, 30-plus.” Also when asked if he would like to be a Defensive Player of the Year down the road, he replied, “Yes, that’s a great goal of mine. I fully expect either one day becoming the Defensive Player of the Year or if I don’t, I’m gonna keep pushing myself until I become that.”

Another guy Nuggets fans might want to start keeping an eye on is Marshon Brooks out of Providence. This guy also had one of the three most impressive showings on the first day of the Draft Combine according to Chad Ford, and could still be around when the Nuggets select in the first round. He was originally penned as a second rounder, but his stock is rising fast. He’s drawn comparisons to Kobe (key word: “comparisons“) and at 6-foot-5, could be a potentially perfect candidate to replace J.R. should he leave. We’ll certainly cover these two guys more down the road, but I just wanted to give the readers of Roundball a heads up about trending prospects the Nuggets might be targeting.

Again, the best way to receive all this information fresh daily is to follow me on Twitter @24kGoldenChild.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the “Should he stay, or should he go: J.R. Smith” column where Jeremy and I share some friendly banter over whether J.R. should remain a Nugget or move on in a different direction.

(UPDATE: If you haven’t seen this video yet, well then, now’s the time. There’s a few things I hate about the Thunder — mainly the beyond mundane child-like logo, seemingly irrelevant name (until tonight, at least), garish uniform colors and the whole fact that they straight up hijacked a franchise from one of the best cities and fan-bases in America — but I’m having a really hard time not rooting for this team, and city these days. Durant is one of the most likable guys in all of sports and the everything you’d ever want in a franchise player, meanwhile Sam Presti is the best GM in the NBA and the fans are appearing to be some of the most hardcore too. The Thunder, as a franchise right now is just unreal.)

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • Andy

    I admit that I’ve never watched Faried play but doesn’t he remind you a bit too much of Balkman? Does he have any offensive ability? If we reach for him in the draft, will we be getting another Reggie Evans? What would the Nuggets have to give up to move up to take one of these prospects you mentioned?

    • Kalen

      Really good questions Andy.

      The thing people have to keep in mind, is that just because a prospect’s game resembles another established player in the NBA, that does not mean they are going to end up BEING that player.

      Faried does indeed have some similarities to Balkman, but unlike Balkman (and in this sense he’s a polar opposite), Faried has one of the best motors and hard-working attitudes we’ve seen in quite some time coming out of college.

      Faried is THE best rebounder in the history of the NCAA. Even has a freshman he was dominating the glass unlike anybody before him. Balkman never in his college career averaged more than seven rebounds per game, meanwhile Faried averaged 15 per game for his career.

      Also, yes, Faried is somewhat limited offensively, but he’s extremely athletic and because he’s such a good rebounder, he often times finds himself getting easy buckets off put-backs. His work ethic will lead to a more well rounded offensive game in time, but he’s likely never going to be known for it. Still, that doesn’t mean he can’t have an impact on the offensive side of the ball.

      For me, I just don’t see how this kid can fail. I admit, there is a good chance that he could be somewhat of a bust or a Reggie Evans type of player, but I still firmly believe that’s not going to be the case just from studying this kid and seeing him in interviews.

      As for moving up in the draft, we don’t have a lot of pieces we can offer at the moment. Felton is about the only guy who carries some value, but teams won’t be willing to give up much when he only has one more guaranteed year left on his contract. I guess we could trade Chandler, but I think he might have more value down the road after he gets a contract extension this summer, that way teams know for a fact that they’d be getting him for some time. Of course, we could always offer future first, or second, round picks, but I don’t think that’s a strategy that Masai would be too in love with given his history as a player-scout. I think he likely wants to build through the draft, which is what all great franchises (not named the Lakers or Mavs since they just spend whatever they want on players) do to remain competitive year in, and year out.

      • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

        Rebounding is the one skill that translates to all levels and teams are now aware of that fact. The player that Faried reminds me of is Paul Millsap. With so few sure things I would be shocked if he is still there at 22.

  • Kalen

    Chad Ford just said Marshon Brooks measured in with a 7-foot1 wingspan. That’s insane for a SG!

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon L.

    I’m interested to see what Mozgov will bring to the table next year. He was very impressive this year, but he is still a young guy that needs to develop.

  • http://espn.com Chris

    Well if Mosgov is going to play more can u please tell the trainers on the Nuggets to help these guys work out and get stronger so they look like professional ball player, because for years i think Denver players have been slacking in that department, and come accoss weak, especially after stick man durant just backed down a couple of Nuggets.
    Maybe a new trainer is in line……..

  • Carlos

    yeah they should go for Brooks since JR has been making it clear that he doesn’t want to be with the nuggets. And Mozgov getting more minutes is a great idea he played pretty good before he got hurt but he still is young and Nene ends up leaving, Mozgov will replace him plus he has potential to be better than Nene

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