Notes from Friday’s scrimmage

On Friday the Denver Nuggets kicked of the 2011-12 season with a free-to-the-public team exhibition. The crowd was lively, the players were energetic and at the sound of the final buzzer only one point separated the two squads. Here are some first impressions from a fun-filled night.

First, I’d like to thank the Nuggets organization for allowing anybody and everybody from across the Denver region to attend this game free of charge. Around this time of year far too many people in the world are unable to afford gifts for their beloved family members — especially in the current economy — so I tip my hat to everyone involved in the handling of this event, as it was truly a blast and definitely one of the better experiences I’ve ever had at the Pepsi Center.

Now for some notes/observations:

  • Nene received a standing ovation from the crowd upon entering the arena. It was awesome and I was glad to be a part of the first group of Nuggets fans to welcome the “Big Fella” back to the Mile High City.
  • Mozgov is freakin’ huge. Standing next to Nene, he towers over him by at least three inches.
  • Sadly, I confused Rudy Fernandez for a ball-boy for about ten minutes before finally realizing who he was. This has happened only one other time and that was with with Chris Quinn, who I still can’t believe actually played in the NBA.
  • When you see how deep this team is in real life, it’s even more impressive than on paper. While most rosters possess only a few stars, followed by role players then guys you’ve never heard of, the Nuggets have an entire roster full of dudes with star potential followed by great role players. It truly is a sight to see and also makes you wonder why we haven’t amnestied Al Harrington yet. OK, that was mean. I take it back. (Much to my delight, he would later make me eat my words by sinking four 3-pointers in a row.)
  • Danilo Gallinari is also much taller in person. From my angle he and Nene were the same height.
  • Hamilton looked good in warm ups. He’s got a smooth stroke and glides around the court with finesse. Love the potential here.
  • One thing I noticed during pre-game: Mozgov just doesn’t jump real high, at all. He does what he needs to in order to dunk, and that’s about it. But I guess if I only had to jump six inches to dunk I’d probably do the same thing too.
  • Blue team: Miller, Rudy, Carroll, Al and Nene with Stone, Hamilton, Koufos and Ruffin coming off the bench. (By the end of the night, Ruffin still hadn’t moved.)
  • White team: Ty, Brewer, Gallo, Moz and Bird with Higgins and Faried coming off the bench. (Those teams seem lopsided. There’s a reason I’m not a math major. Maybe I’m missing someone here…)
  • Bird still gets the loudest cheers of anyone and rightfully so. He feeds off the crowd just as much as it feeds off him. It’s still one of the better symbiotic relationships in sports if you ask me.
  • Karl actually had a great pre-game speech, and yes, I almost passed out upon hearing it as I didn’t believe my ears. Karl’s not exactly Maya Angelou when it comes to words, but tonight he did well. Everything came from the heart and he seemed genuine about wanting to prove people wrong this year, just as they did after trading Melo last season. To this point he said, “I think that was more real than fake… the NBA is overlooking a really good team in the Mile High City.”
  • Al started off the game on fire, making it splash from nearly every spot behind the arc. He finished the game 5-9 from 3-point range, and I have to admit, I was extremely impressed with his performance overall. There were a few guys who had solid games tonight, but Al probably played his game the best of anyone.
  • Because there weren’t that many people compared to what the Pepsi Center usually harbors, it got a little quiet at times, and a little bit awkward too. Of course, the one hammered-drunk moron of the entire 4,000-person crowd thought it would be a great idea to yell random, unrecognizable words in his best Oscar the Grouch voice, which unfortunately didn’t do anything to increase the decibel level. But hey, at least he tried.
  • Mozgov has really long legs. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but his legs make up about three-quarters of his frame, which should help him maneuver in the post.
  • Right off the bat Rudy was impressive. He’s got a great handle for a two-guard and was dishing out crafty assists all night long. He finished with 10 but also sank numerous 3-pointers and came up with some great steals as well. In my first game seeing Fernandez live I was incredibly intrigued. I know this is blasphemous to say around Nuggets Nation, but skill-wise, Rudy is probably a better player right now than Afflalo. He’s got an array of nifty little tear-drops, can dribble with the best of them, pass like a point guard and shoot nearly lights-out from behind the arc. Plus, he’s athletic and utilizes his motor to his advantage. Granted I’ve only seen Rudy play for a limited amount of time, but I feel pretty comfortable in saying he belongs in the NBA and should see a heavy dose of minutes this year if Karl wants to win.
  • Stone is tall y’all. I knew he was big for a guard, but I had no idea he was that big.
  • Call me crazy but I still think, at this point in his career, Birdman is a better basketball player than Koufos or Mozgov. He just plays more experienced and knows when to do certain things at the right time. If he had two more inches he’d be the unquestioned starting center for the Nuggets.
  • Now for Stone: This kid was REALLY impressive. His handles are just flat-out sick and the way he utilizes his lanky frame to penetrate then dish to open teammates is NBA-ready without a doubt. Throughout the night I just kept thinking, “Shades of Rondo, shades of Rondo,” as he made one pinpoint-precise pass after another. His court vision is phenomenal, almost as if he’s got an expanded field of peripheral vision. I’m not even kidding when I say he might be the best passer on our team already. Otherwise, his shot is a work in progress. He did hit a three but his mechanics are definitely funky as the ball seems to come out almost spinning sideways. He seems committed to fixing this aspect of his game though, and if he ever gets to the point where he can consistently knock down a 15-footer, he’ll be something else. More than anything though, I loved his aggressiveness. While training camp invitees Cory Higgins and DeMarre Carroll blended in like blue and yellow camouflage, Stone was out there trying to prove something to his coaching staff. From the very second he entered the game to the last whistle, he was showcasing what type of player he was and certainly didn’t disappoint. In his Nuggets debut, Stone finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
  • Carroll looked tentative throughout much of the game. Though he got more comfortable as time passed, his lack of assertiveness was hindering. It’s pretty clear Carroll will be nothing more than a practice player this year, but it would still be nice to see him try and step outside of his element and really challenge himself in the coming games.
  • As for Faried, what is there to say that probably hasn’t already been said? From the get-go he was active on the glass, throwing down dunks, blocking shots and running the floor like the Manimal we all know he is. Faried was probably the most impressive player out there in terms of pure physical ability and hands down was the most imposing defensive force on the floor. But the crazy thing is: Faried was clearly not going 100 percent, in fact, I don’t even know if he was going 50 percent! All I have to say is that if Faried doesn’t contribute big time minutes this year, we’ll know Karl has officially gone crazy with his vendetta against rookies.
  • I thought Koufos looked great tonight. For whatever reason Mozgov gets all the hype, but Koufos is just as good, if not better. Mozgov is more flashy but Koufos does the dirty work. He’s more active on the glass, follows up shots and seems to be moving at a faster pace than Mozgov most of the time. Either way, both guys exceeded my expectation and after seeing the game tonight I definitely feel more comfortable with them moving forward.
  • Hamilton, meanwhile, looked like a rookie — I don’t know how else to put it. He turned the ball over frequently and didn’t seem ready to handle the speed of the NBA game. His jump shot is right up there with Gallo’s and his ability to penetrate is a plus but he needs to take care of the ball more before I see Karl giving him extended minutes. The great thing about J-Ham is that he’s got loads of potential and is still very young. I think he’ll continues to grow, and with that we’ll see giant strides in his game.
  • All throughout the night autographed merchandise was being launched into the crowed. This was an extremely family-friendly atmosphere and there were tons of kids around seeming to have a great time. If you come next year, be sure to get a front-row seat however, as that’s where most of the shwag was going.
  • Karl should make it mandatory to bring Rudy and Bird off the bench together. These guys are human spark plugs who provide all kinds of intangibles and energy-boosting plays that inject life throughout the arena. If there was one thing I learned tonight, it was that these two make an excellent duo.
  • Corey Brewer was so-so. He had some steals, a few dunks and a couple layups here and there but he didn’t necessarily stand out. If he’s willing to become a the Nuggets go-to lock-down defender, then I think he’ll find a roll on this team. If not, he might find himself waived again.
  • Final score: 49-48 in favor of the Blue team.

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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.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Michael (another aussie Nugz fan)

    I was hoping for a good rundown of the game and this is probably as good as it’s going to get.

    I have been a Kosta supporter since he joined the Nuggets and it is good to see him put in a good performance, although he usually puts in a good show when given the minutes.

    It was good to hear that Rudy is putting his best foot forward and trying to make a good impression. Hopefully he can make some strides this year and use his off season play in Spain to build on.

    I was also happy to hear that Big Al has been staying an hour after practice to work on his shot and that it appears to be paying off. I would like to know how he was moving, was he at least semi-fit or was he labouring up and down the court?

    The only concerns I have for Faried is his size matching up against bigger 4’s although his athleticism and long wing span will help him there, but also his offensive game is limited.
    I suspected JHam would have some issues, mainly with his shot selection and letting the game come to him. I hope that they develop him well, he has a great stroke and isn’t afraid to shoot it, they just need to teach him and allow him to develop.

    I am really looking forward to watching the “team” play this year as they were great to watch after the Melo trade and I think we will see more of the same.
    I will not be at all surprised if we beat Dallas in the first game, as they have lost a few key members of the championship team and hopefully Brewer will give us some inside knowledge of how to match up against them.

    Are the pre-season games against Phoenix being televised in any way? I hope NBA TV covers them so I get to watch them.

    • Herman

      Al looked really good. In shape, moved pretty well. Not gonna bang but, will stretch the floor.

      Nene looked like Nene. Probably a couple extra lbs. But he’s still ridiculously quick for a big man.

      Koufos/Mosgov look solid enough to certainly not be a liability on the floor. Defensively, they both foul too much but, both are competent offensive players with good touch and range out to 15 feet.

      Faried is a beast. Plain and simple. Most impressive is his shot blocking. He’s extremely active and quick off of the floor. You can’t teach his abilities. He has to be in the rotation and get heavy minutes. He’s that good.

      Rudy can flat out ball. His game is a little quirky but, offensively there’s really nothing he can’t do. Honestly, there is no need for the other rookie point guards. Rudy can ably switch from the two and run the point effectively.

      Ty is Ty. In great shape. Lost some lbs. Boy is he quick.

      Gallo looks like he’s been in the weight room. In warm ups he’s shooting 3’s effortlessly from a few feet over half court. He should break out this season. 20 ppg in my opinion.

      Dre is Dre. He’s played the same way since Utah. Old man game. He’s one of those guys that’ll be able to play at 50. (Note to George Karl: There is no need to have Dre and TY on the floor together. STOP IT NOW. Enough with the two point guard stuff already.)

      Hamilton looked like a rookie but, he can stroke it. Plus he’s a bigger dude than I thought. He’s sneaky athletic but not super springy. At this point he reminds me of Wilson Chandler with a better jump shot.

      Bird is Bird.

      I didn’t see what the blogger saw in Stone. Just a guy in my opinion. D-League. Carroll can’t play. I liked him at Mizzou too. But, he’s overmatched. Higgins, D-League.

      Brewer can’t shoot or put the ball on the floor but, he’s active. Can defend. Can finish. Maybe he’s long and quick enough to defend Durant a little bit. Maybe.

      Needs? Afflalo. And perhaps someone other than Ty that can beat people off the dribble or create a shot. Rudy is a possibility. Need to see if Jordan can be that guy too. Bigs still need to rebound better especially if they’re going to be playing with Nene.

      I like this team. Super deep. Long. Athletic. In the West I feel the only team that is truly superior is OKC. They can hang with LAL, DAL, MEM, LAC, SAS. Should be fun out west.

      • Kalen

        I’m surprised you didn’t see what I did in Stone. He probably stood out the most of anybody except Faried in my eyes. But hey, we each see things differently.

        I agree 110% on the 2-PG lineup thing. With Rudy here now it makes it all the more mind-boggling why Karl would play Ty and Miller next to each other. Ty should play alongside Afflalo and Miller should play alongside Rudy and that should be that. There’s absolutely no way we should see 2 PGs out there together unless Stone is one of them since he’s so tall and can rebound too.

        • Herman

          I guess my thing with Stone is I wouldn’t waste a roster spot on a 3rd point guard when Rudy could easily swing and serve that role if necessary. At 6’6 or so you’d think Stone could maybe play some 2 but, he can’t shoot. Never shot over 30% from the collegiate 3 point line. Best year averaged 8.5 points playing in Conference USA. He can pass and he rebounds very well for his position but, you literally don’t have to guard him. I saw enough 4 on 5 basketball when Anthony Carter played.

    • Kalen

      Al looked good from where I was sitting. Most of the guys were wearing t-shirts underneath their jerseys so it was tough to get a firm grasp of where each guy is physically. But yeah, Al looked fine.

      As for the pre-season games, between Altitude and NBA TV you should be able to watch at least one of them. NBA TV is running highlights and box scores so that’s always helpful.

  • Rog

    Great review Kalen,
    I agree with your assessment of Mozgov and Koufos. I think Koufos is better as well and I think he and Fernandez has a nice chemistry.
    I am excited for Stone, he looked like he belongs out there. I really hope GC can find some minutes for him.
    Even if AAA comes back Fernandez has got to get some PT, and I think with our lack of depth at the 3 spot he’ll get some time there.
    Overall I think we looked pretty good on offense but I was suprised that the defense was lacking but I’m not really worried about that.
    I was really dissapointed in J-Ham, I thought he was the worst player on the court. I know he’s a rookie but he’s not good right now.
    Just watching those guys all lined up to get warmed up I couldn’t get over how tall we are and how deep this this team is. I’m excited and I think we’re going to be better than people think.

  • Rog

    I think Stone has the ability to get in the lane easily for a big guy. He looks to dish first but he can take it took the rack if he’s uncontested. He was able to get the ball to the guys for some easy buckets. He had a great line last night with 13pts 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Not bad for an undrafted rookie.

  • Ricardo

    It was good to see a re-cap of the exhibition game between the nuggets players. I would have like to see a more deeper re-cap from each nugget player performance and the stats for each player.

    • chronicnugs

      Really? It’s a blog man, not Sports Illustrated. This is about as good as you’re gonna get for a SCRIMMAGE.

      • Ricardo

        You’re right, but just wanted to know how each player plays.

    • Kalen

      I tried to find as much info as I could but there wasn’t a box score for this game so I just had to go off what I dug up on Twitter. We’ll definitely go more in depth with the real games when the season beings. That you can count on.

  • Ricardo

    I think Koufos is better than Mosgov as well, he usually plays well when he is given a decent amount of minutes. I would rather start Koufos than Mosgov, Nene and him playing together in the front-court, would be similar to the one that Memphis has with Gasol and Randolph.

  • Klules

    Overall a great night. Kudos to the Nuggets for a real fan night after the horrors of off-season.

    In general I was on board with most of the analysis. My two cents…

    I went into the night thinking these guys would be rough and tired after practice and based much on that. I thought both Moz and Koufos looked slow but serviceable in the center. Not sure if it’s enough to make Karl move Nene to PF however. Bird looked better and quicker.

    There were quite a few occasions where the offense on both sides was simply standing around with no off the ball action. I’ll rack this up to it being a scrimmage and tired legs.

    Rudy was impressive. I was really excited to see him create when he had the ball and made quite a few excellent passes. He’s a second play-maker/passer when he’s on the court and I’ll be interested to see him work with Ty. And… he punishes the team that doesn’t cover him.

    Manimal… wow. I saw a few mistakes and he is still learning positioning but he can be a natural around the glass. Saw a couple great grabs on the o-boards as well. He will get much better and get real minutes this year.

    I didn’t read into Stone what Kalen saw but I was still trying to sort through the new roster as well. But he is TALL for a guard. If he can shoot while being challenged he will be difficult to cover on the perimeter (aka. Reggie Miller)

    Bird > Koufos > Moz. I noticed Moz left at one point on in the game for the locker room and came back later on. I was wondering if he was nursing an injury. Hoping for more dominant play from him this year.

    Gallo. Buff! Standard game tonight.

    Big Al. Rocking the 3. He was making a statement to Karl tonight.

    Brewer. Meh. Ups and downs but serviceable.

    Crawford. Meh. Got better as the game went on.

    Hamilton. Rookie. Will get better.

    Everyone else has already said it but this team is DEEP. In the short, compressed season this could really be an advantage. I could see Karl rotating lines much like the Avalanche do. 😉

    Best part of the night? When the Nuggets took the floor the vets held back leaving the rookies running on the court alone. 4 guys looking silly.

    After the game Big Al made the rookies dance on center court to some groove music. Manimal will need to keep his day job.

    It will be a fun year. This team appears to be solid across the board. Not just a couple stars with some rusty add-ons.

    I’m excited to watch this team play; win or no.

  • Desean

    Yeah good analysis.
    I think koufos is better than mozgov but I think both arent starting centers. I would love to see nene at pf but I love the idea of him and faried starting. All I kept thinking though is this is a really good team that would be a championship team if you replace gallo (who looked alright but don’t see much room for growth) with someone like hey QUINCY MILLER. Dude is gaming right now at ball so hard university, and all I be thinking is is there a better way of beating the thunder and durant than our own version of durant plus our supporting class??

    • Kalen

      I agree, Miller would be a perfect fit for this team. But right now, of all the guys who are attainable for us (pretty much anybody below about the seventh pick) I still love Jeremy Lamb. He’s impressed me more than anybody outside of Anthony Davis. He’s got better numbers across the board than Harrison Barnes and has a Dwyane Wade type of game. Another guy to keep an eye on is Kidd-Gilchrist. He’d be a good fit as well.

      • Desean

        I don’t understand you kalen.

        You said you are impressed with Anthony Davis but before you said he was catching lobs from Kendal Marshall and before that you said :

        “But boy do I have some news for you. I-I-I don’t know how to say this, but… that Anthony Davis guy… the one you want to dedicate years of frustration and failure for… he’s actually not what you think. You see, that’s kind of the problem, the whole antithesis of this entire “rebuilding” plan. He’s not the next Tim Duncan nor Hakeem Olajuwon. I mean, I hate to break your hearts and everything, but he’s actually more like the next Marcus Camby or Tyson Chandler. But hey! He’s still gonna be a member of the Denver Nuggets and primary cornerstone of the franchise forever right? Right!? RIGHT!?!?!”

        • aussienuggsfan

          um yeah kalen you seem to know the nuggs pretty well but your draft knowledge is alright but definately sub par…

          • Kalen

            I think you guys missed the point. That quote is taken out of context first of all. Yes, Anthony Davis has impressed me, more than any player in college b-ball, BUT, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be the next Tim Duncan now does it? See where I’m going here. Being impressed by someone doesn’t necessarily equate to being the type of guy that will bring your franchise to the glory land. Meanwhile with Lamb, not only have I been very impressed with him, but he’s got the type of game that I feel can transfer to the NBA very well and he’s also a guy who can carry you when you need it. Anthony Davis is not that guy! That’s what this whole superstar thing is about right? That’s the very essence of this debate is the fact that you need a superstar to carry you in the Playoffs when the going gets tough in the finals seconds. If that’s the criteria, then Davis isn’t your guy. Period. That’s what I’m saying!

            As for my draft knowledge, I’m extremely comfortable with my proclamations and let my record speak for itself. Check out my coverage leading up to last years draft for example. I was the first and only Nuggets blogger who had Faried No. 1 on my big board from the Day 1. I also had Jeremy Tyler, Marshon Brooks and Iman Shumpert on there the entire time as well, all of whom have looked excellent in preseason thus far. In fact, all four of those guys have been stand-outs in pre-season more than any other rookies outside of the top few picks.

            I like that you guys are interested in the draft and NCAA b-ball as well, and thank you for keeping me on my toes, but to say my “draft knowledge is definitely sub-par” — I have to take exception to that. Keep in mind, I’m the only Nuggets blogger (I know of) that even covers the draft in-depth and I’m currently writing for the Hoops Report. I mean, sub-par compared to who? Chad Ford? OK, I’ll give you that. But if we’re just talking fans here, then I think I’m holding my own.

            • Desean

              I kinda see where you be coming from. I wasn’t trying to dismiss your draft knowledge but just wanted some clarification. I agree Anthony Davis is a special player but it is hard to project what kind of nba player he will be, Brandon wright? His best chance is another growth spurt to 7′ and fill out to play center.

              I also wanna say I am a major fan of rebuilding but not as many Denver fans believe it to be. I mean trading a way one or two key pieces for draft picks and trying to get a pick or two in the 6-11 range. There is no point entirely blowing up the team when our need is available.

              Quincy miller, Michael Kidd gilchrist, Jeremy lamb are the type of wing scorers that can create their own shot and fit our need. My hope is that if we have something like pick 20, than this is the draft to be aggressive and trade into the top 10

              • Kalen

                That’s kind of what I’m saying. We don’t have to go on a full-fledged rebuild in order to get a “franchise player” in this year’s draft. Between our own first rounder, future picks, Wilson Chandler, Al Harrington, Jordan Hamilton and whatever other pieces we have, that should be more than enough to sneak in the seven and beyond range where Miller, Kidd-Gillchrist and Lamb are likely gonna go.

    • Ricardo

      The nuggets should be looking for a shooting guard instead of a small forward for the draft next year; I think Gallinari is going to fine and there is more uncertainty if Afflalo is going to re-sign and if Rudy Fernandez is going to be a nugget next year.

      Two players which could be a good fit for the nuggets are Jeremy Lamb and Brad Beal. They would provide the similar skills that Lawson has, which I think is what we need right now.

      Jeremy Lamb would provide some clutch-shooting (which is what the nuggets need right now with the departure of Anthony and Billups). He also plays well off the dribble, make pull-up jumpers pretty well, and has good ball-handling skills.

      Brad Beal would doesn’t play as well off the dribble as Lamb does, but he is still good at it. He’s also a good three-point shooter and plays strong defensively (which is an area we have to work on, especially in the perimeter). And he is also an unselfish passer, which is an essential aspect in being a good team.

  • Desean

    If we don’t get Quincy miller I might switch to his team, unless he goes to like the jazz or the raptors or something

    • chronicnugs

      What a loss.

  • chronicnugs

    Rudy has been pegged as a bit of a malcontent, but i wonder if that didnt have something to do with circumstance. Portland was relatively deep, he was buried in Dallas, all the while he probably could have been playing more (and for more money and fame) in Spain.

    Some of these Spanish cats have different mentalities. They get basketball over there, those guys have a level of celebrity. If I was going to turn down wealth and fame in my own country I would want some PT. If he never earned it then fine, but I can’t blame this dude for wanting to play. You only get so many years at this high of a level.

    • chronicnugs

      My hope is that Rudy can fill the entertainment value void left by JR. We have guys that are fun to watch, but not too many that bring me out of my seat. The fact is JR was, at times, thrilling. Other guys had their moments, but Jerrrrrr had like a dozen a year. Lets hope Rudy can bring a little excitement with him off the bench.

      • Kalen

        I can see that too. But the level of competition over here is so much better and the style of play so much more professional. The game overseas is sloppy and plus, Rudy still has quite a following in America. I think he’s the type of guy Karl loves to be honest. He’s high energy, runs the floor well, distributes and can knock down the three. He’s simply too valuable to not play.

  • Andrew

    Thanks to everyone (particularly Kalen) for the analysis. This was fantastic and left me all the more hungry for the season to start. Other people I know have ben saying since last season that they thought Koufos was better than Moz. Hard to tell with Karl giving neither of them much paying time. Hopefully, Karl loosens up and gives people meaningful minutes early on, so that they are ready to play and better when it counts and also so that our starters stay fresher than every other team in the league. Depth does’t matter if you don’t play ’em.
    So, based on the scrimmage and the comments, what are we looking at:
    Staters: Ty/Afflalo (assuming he gets signed)/Gallo/Nene/Moz (or Koufos)
    2nd team: Miller/Rudy/Harrington/Faried/Bird
    Meaningful minutes: Brewer (as a stopper)/Moz (or Koufos, whoever doesn’t start)/maybe Stone, if he keeps it up
    Bench: J Ham/Carroll/Ruffin/Higgins

    • Kalen

      I think that sounds about right. I could see Brewer, Stone, Koufos and J-Ham getting some time here and there depending on the circumstance.

    • Ricardo

      Koufos could be a good starting center if he was given more playing time and he could cut down his fouls. Koufos and Nene would be a good complemen, playing in the front-court together.

  • Rog

    Kalen, I read that Stone is on a training camp contract so he is still in jeopardy of not making the team. Is Ruffin on this type of contract as well? Not sure why we signed him. Looks like if we ever get AAA back we will need to cut somebody, hope it’s not Stone.

    • Kalen

      Where’d you read that? I know for a fact that we signed him to a two-year deal which means he’s pretty much assured to be on the roster post-training camp. I also think this was a big reason why he turned down going to the Knicks, because we offered him a guaranteed contract. As for Higgins and Ruffin, I think those guys are the ones with only the training camp invites.

      • Rog

        Kalen, here’s the link on Stone from a Santa Barbara paper:
        I’m not sure how credible the source is, I hope they’re wrong.

        • Kalen

          That’s not so much credibility as much as it is they just got the facts mixed up. Look, I’m not 100 percent positive he’s inked for two years and not just a training camp invitee, but I’m about 98 percent sure. I’ll double check.

          • Rog

            In one of the tweets from Stone he mentions that he still needs to make the team.

      • Ricardo

        Do you think Carroll is a training-camp invitee or did he sign a contract?

        • Rog

          wikipedia says : On Dec 12, 2011, the Denver Nuggets made DeMarre Carroll a nonguaranteed training camp invitee.

  • Amel

    Problem is that we don’t have any 1st round picks in the next draft. So if we don’t acquire one we’ll just be able to select one second rounder.

    • Kalen

      How so? I don’t remember ever sending our first-rounder to anyone this year. I’ve checked a couple of different places and it appears we have a first-rounder and two second-rounders (ours and Golden State’s via the Melo trade) this year.

      • Amel

        God damn, sry, I was having a look at this site ( and I didn’t see the headline “Future Traded Pick Details”. But it seems that we only have 1 2nd rounder ’cause we traded our own one to Portland?!

        • Kalen

          That link says Portland has the rights to swap picks with us if they want. So basically if we finish with a worse record than they do they’ll probably exercise that option. Also, another site says we might have the Knicks 2012 second rounder too.

          • Ricardo

            Do you think we may have a first-rounder for next year? Next year’s draft suppose to be strong, and the nuggets should take advantage of that.

  • Omar

    we definitely have our first round pick this year.

    • Ricardo

      You already answered my question from my post above without knowing it, thanks.

  • Tyler D

    I’ve watched Hamilton play the last couple of years at Texas and the most overlooked aspect of his game is on the boards. He is a deceptively good rebounder and nearly led last year’s Texas squad, which had Tristan Thompson (7.8 for TT to J Ham’s 7.7). Offensively, he tends to settle for the 3 but when he’s on, his streak is similar to JR, can really heat up. When the 3 isn’t falling, he needs to be more aggressive to the bucket and find a way to get to the foul line. The downside of that approach is that Hamilton does not do well nor does he like contact which is surprising for a guy who is such an adept rebounder.

    As for the rest of the squad, their length and depth is unparalleled across the league. The knock I consistently hear from non-Nuggets fans is that they are a bunch of role players, no stars. While it may be true that they lack a superstar, there are a couple guys that I think can fill that void. Regardless, the sum of the parts will equal a greater whole for this team.

    In a wide open West, an overlooked Denver team has a great shot to do some damage. Pre-season prediction: playoff ceiling at the 5 seed. That could be raised once we get this belated party started.

  • Desean

    I was wondering Kalen since we brought back nene, do you like the idea of drafting Lucas nogueria as an early second pick in the 30-45 range and having him develop under nene for a few years untill he builds up strength. He doesn’t really speak English so nene may be able not only help with his play but also the language barrier.

    Obviously has massive upside but heard he can be a bit of a diva

    • Kalen

      I’m loving this draft talk! But yeah, I absolutely would be on board with Nogueira and agree entirely that the Nuggets would be the best team for him to come to with Nene acting as his mentor. I think if Nogueira is to succeed in the NBA, the Nuggets would probably be one of the few teams to make it happen. And actually there’s another Brazilian big man slated to go in the second round named Augusto Lima who might be someone to heavily consider as well. He’s more of a power forward but he’s still very long, athletic and unlike Nogueira has shown vast improvement in his play of late.

      A trending big guy currently slated to go in the second round who I like is Arnett Moultrie, although if he keeps playing like he has been he could go in the lottery. Festus Ezeli, Josh Smith and Mitch McGary are a couple more to keep an eye on.

  • Nate

    I am in Central Texas so I had the Joy (Horror) of watching Jordan Hamilton play for the last two years. This guy was a cancer in the Texas Longhorn locker room, and I was disappointed when the Nuggets traded for him on Draft day. I was excited that Hamilton left early because he does not play hard, and just plays to get his stats. Good luck with this one Nuggets. I predict he will be out of the league in 3 years unless he drastically changes his attitude and game.

    • Amel

      So he’s a JR 2.0?