Is Stone a diamond in the rough?

Yesterday, the Denver Nuggets made its first free agent signing of the 2011-12 season. No, it wasn’t the front-court anchoring, 6-11 Nene, nor the soft-spoken, loyal Arron Afflalo. Instead, the Nuggets signed an undrafted rookie out of the University of Texas El Paso by the name of Julyan Stone. Now, if you’re not a big draft head like me then you’ve probably never heard of Julyan Stone in your entire life — unless of course you happened to stumble upon the list of Tom Cruise monikers that didn’t make his final cut. But considering the fact that Stone signed a contract for not one, but two years (at $1.1 million dollars), I think its fair to say Julyan Stone is name you’ll be hearing a lot over the next several seasons. (more…)

Free Agency Digest: Day One

Free Agency hasn’t started yet, but that has caused no shortage of drama in what is sure to be the craziest NBA offseason ever. By now you’ve all heard news of the Chris Paul deal that wasn’t. The league office will open for business at 12pm MST today and it will be very interesting to see how fast the frenzy will unfold one day after the infamous Veto. This post will be updated with any Nuggets developments and our thoughts on them, so check back throughout the day.

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Fan Mail, featuring Tom Ley

Every now and then we receive mail from our loyal readers that’s a passionate account of a favorite player, game or experience involving the Denver Nuggets. In this case, it was all three. Tom Ley is a writer for several different websites and was planning on posting this article about his favorite player, J.R. Smith, in one of those publications before he reached out to us, figuring Roundball Mining Company might be a better medium for this type of story. We’re certainly glad did, as his perspective on the now China-dwelling Smith is nothing short of a thrilling and yet, poignant examination of J.R. Smith’s tenure as a Nugget.

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Denver Nuggets 2011-2012 Schedule Released (UPDATED)

This post is a compilation of analysis and breakdown of 2012 schedule in the hours after it was released. To view the official schedule visit the Nuggets website at NBA.com. If you prefer a printable version of the schedule to reference click here for a link to the PDF. Scroll down to read updates and new developments on all things schedule related.

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Amick: Nene re-signing with the Nuggets, “possible”

In a recent article for SI.com, Sam Amick revealed information regarding Nene’s willingness to re-sign with the Nuggets that seems contrary to popular belief. According to Amick, “a source with knowledge of the situation said the prospect of Nene returning to Denver remains entirely possible — if not probable.” He later goes on to point out how the discrepancy between what Nene would earn on the open market and what he would earn be re-signing with Denver is clearly enough motivation for the 6-11 center to forgive and forget past misunderstanding with the Nuggets.

Maybe Masai was able to cajole Nene with his superpower GM skills we’re all so familiar with? Maybe Nene just finally realized that forgoing so much money over damaged feelings isn’t worth it? Who knows. Bottom line: Things might be looking up for the Nuggets yet again under Masai’s watch, but as always these types of situations are fluid, so stay tuned for more updates. And please do read that article as it brings a lot of valid points to the table that Nuggets fans should understand about Nene’s situation.

3-on-3: Biggest storylines heading into the 2011-12 season

By now, most of you are well aware of ESPN’s 5-on-5 segments where, for some reason or another, illustrious sportswriters from across the country team up alongside basement-dwelling bloggers, like yours truly, in order to discuss the NBA’s hottest topics. Because this series was so successful, ESPN has been gracious enough to create an icon (seen above) to go along with an entirely new sub-series titled, “3-on-3″ (also seen above) specifically tailored for its fellow TrueHoop family network of basketball blogs. Instead of five sportswriters, there’s only three and instead of five questions… wait for it… there are only three, as well. Most of the time it’s gonna be Jeremy, Charlie and I conveying our most humble opinions to our loyal readers in all parts of the world (we see you Australia!), however occasionally we’ll be bringing in other TrueHoop bloggers, ESPN writers and even you to the conversation. That’s right, every now and then we’ll invite a member of the Roundball Community to have their voice heard in the 3-on-3 segments, but the only way you’ll know is by following us on Twitter or Google+ (see bottom of page). In the meantime though, we encourage everyone to go ahead and give their own take on the following questions in the comments section anyways, because after all, we do love to hear from you guys. So without further ado, I give you the very first 3-on-3 in Roundball Mining Company history! Be sure and keep an eye out for more in the future as these should become a staple of our blog as times goes by. (more…)

Nuggets News: Winning without a Superstar?

Free agency is right around the corner, and with it comes somewhat of a watershed moment for the Denver Nuggets franchise. Two of their best starters are among the most desired free agents and the Nuggets want to keep both while being extremely careful with their salary cap. Masai Ujiri can try all he wants to accomplish all three of these goals, but the most likely solution means compromising on one or two of them. Most importantly, each and every one of these choices must fall in line with a plan that makes progress towards the ultimate goal of a championship. Do we know what that plan is yet?

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Five under-the-radar free agents the Nuggets should target

Leading up to Dec. 9 when free agency officially begins there will be constant speculation regarding who the Nuggets might be eying in this year’s class. Names like Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Jamal Crawford have been floated around for months, but chances are none of these guys actually end up on the Nuggets roster before the upcoming season kicks of on Christmas Day. Naturally, it’s always beneficial to have a backup plan. So without further ado, here are five free agents nobody is talking about that could end up playing a major roll on the Nuggets this year if signed. (more…)

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