Nuggets assign Hamilton, Stone to D-League

NBA.com is reporting the Denver Nuggets have assigned rookies Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede. Although this comes as a bit of a surprise to Nuggets’ fans, it should be noted this move has come in unison with other NBA teams — including the Rockets with Marcus Morris — doing the exact same thing just in time for the annual D-League Showcase on Jan. 9.

In reality, this is a good decision. Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone are both extremely talented players who have done nothing but ride pine since the start of the regular season a few weeks ago. As NBA D-League blogger Scott Schroeder put it, “The assignment of all of these players seems to coincide with something I’ve believed for quite some time: Young players are better off playing in games rather than sitting on NBA benches — especially when practice time is sparse during the lockout-truncated schedule.”

But perhaps the best part of Hamilton and Stone being assigned to the D-League is that Nuggets fans will finally get the opportunity to watch these promising young rookies in real-life game action for the first time this year. Because the D-League Showcase has expanded rapidly both in popularity and legitimacy over recent years, NBA TV will employ full coverage of the event which will include the airing of four games from each day’s action with the Stampede getting national exposure on Monday, Jan. 9, against the Erie Bayhawks at 11 a.m. EST, then on Wednesday, Jan. 11, against the Bakersfield Jam at 1:45 p.m. EST.

In case you’re unable to watch these contests, Roundball Mining Company will have a full scouting report on both Hamilton and Stone should either get the opportunity to play.

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  • SmokinNugs

    So this means we’ll have 2 spots open for players coming back from China in March? Which two will it be? Wilson and one of the other two idiots, my guess/hope would be Kenyon over JR

    • Sam

      Idiots – LOL. Apt choice of words. The PG position seems a little thin to me though. Maybe Rudy can spell Dre and Ty occassionally?

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Charlie

      Hamilton and Stone both occupy roster spots until they are waived. There are no spots open.

      There is only a very small chance, almost a laughable chance – that JR and Kenyon would return to the Nuggets. Wilson Chandler is restricted, but even the chances of him coming back aren’t certain at all.

      The Nuggets have to do something with Chandler one way or another – they’ll keep his restricted status so his path back into the NBA goes directly through Denver and Masai will make some decision.

      Whatever happens, signing anyone would have to mean cutting a player or opening up a spot in a trade. My guess would be Carroll/Stone getting cut if it came down to that – Hamilton’s multi-year contract is guaranteed.

      • Kalen

        Stone also has a multi-year contract so if anybody had to be cut it would be Carroll I’d think. Bottom line with the Nuggets roster is there’s simply no room for the guys in China. I’m not exactly sure how it’s gonna work out in the end but my guess is that we find some way to trade Chandler for some assets — maybe a first-rounder given our roster is already full.

  • Ernie

    How do they only carry 2 PGs on the roster? It’s a bear of a schedule, odds are Ty or Miller will have an injury. Is Fernandez the 3rd PG? Faried?

  • Erlingur Gretar

    Why the outcry in the comments? So they’re assigning them to the D-League, fittingly before that league’s biggest showcase. And if Miller or Lawson goes down, it’s not like Stone is Forever Traversed Beyond the Living. He’s just in Idaho. It’s a few hours’ flight, and he’ll get in better game shape there than from waving towels at the end of the bench in Denver.

    • Ernie

      Suppose Miller or Lawson go down in the 1st quarter of a game? It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

      • Shawn

        Well that could happen but we weren’t dressing Stone to begin with so it’s a mute point. Rudy would get some sparring minutes at the PG. I have no doubt that Ty could go 40+ minutes in a game and Andre should be able to do high 30’s, if not 40+ for one night. We could call up Stone the next day from the D-League and we’re all set. I think it’s best to get these guys some burn so they’re more confident and in better game shape when they do get their number called.

        Also, if Wilson Chandler were to come back, I believe it’s obvious we would cut Carroll. Stone has a two year deal (not sure if it’s all or partially guaranteed?) and is at least coveted by at least a couple teams (Heat, Lakers, etc.). It’s probably best we keep him and let Carroll walk.

        • Ernie

          Wouldn’t the smarter move be keeping Stone up (or getting a different 3rd PG GK does trust) and playing them for 7-10 minutes a game so that Ty doesn’t play 38+ minutes a night. Then you have a fresher team that has a 3rd PG primed and ready to go in case of injury. And it makes it less likely your PGs go down in the first place.

          • Shawn

            The thing I was trying to get at is Andre or Ty could go high 30’s or low 40’s minutes in any given night where one or the other goes down with an injury. We could use Rudy as a PG whenever Ty or Andre isn’t in the game. After that, we could call up Stone from the D-League the next day and he’d probably get 10-15 minutes off the bench. There’s no chance Karl will get him a few minutes here and there as a 3rd PG on this team. Too many guys ahead of him deserve the minutes when the other two PGs are healthy, which brings me to my next point.

            Karl has done a great job managing the minutes of both PGs as Ty is only averaging 33 minutes per game while Dre is averaging around 30 I believe. Obviously those minutes will go to our SGs/SFs (Rudy, AAA, Brewer, Gallo) if one of them goes down with an injury and Stone can fill in for 10-15 to spell Ty/Dre at the PG position.

            In my opinion, it makes sense to put Stone in the D-League for now to get him some burn. Same with Hamilton. They won’t see the court unless there are injuries to some of our core guys. Faried is useful to have on our practice squad and bench in case some of our bigs go down. We are pretty thin at the PF position and most of our bigs are injury prone. We’ll need all the depth we can get there for this season.

            • Ernie

              OK, fair point about the minutes per game. I had seen that Ty was in for 37 minutes against the Lakers in game 2 and was under the impression that was typical after seeing your above statement. I would still rather have Stone develop chemistry with these guys and 10 minutes a night, especially in the back to backs that are regularly occuring this season and with Miller being 35 and likely to break down. Guess we will know in a few months which was the right way to go.

              • Kalen

                Karl has gone on record saying the reason he doesn’t expand the rotation more is because he’d rather give that extra 5-to-10 minutes of playing time to guys who deserve it (i.e. guys already in the rotation and logging consistent minutes) so that they can continue to improve.

                I agree with you though Ernie. I’ve never seen the harm in giving someone like Faried or Stone five minutes here or there just to see how they do. But then again, I’m not an NBA coach.

    • dynamo.joe

      “it’s not like Stone is Forever Traversed Beyond the Living. He’s just in Idaho.”

      Spokane like someone who’s never been to Idaho.
      .
      .
      .
      Ya, you see what I did there.

  • bill

    Nuggz have a tough decision to make, I don’t think they can keep both Gallo and Chandler. I am also assuming that Gallo and Chandler would be willing to sign a long term contract with Denver assuming the other one leaves. Another problem is money. Paying Afflalo 8 Mil and Nene 13, and needing to save money for Ty, I highly doubt Denver could pay Chandler and Gallo the 8-11 Mil per year that they will expect.

  • bill

    I am glad to see that Hamilton and Stone will get to play somewhere. But I remain highly concerned for Faried and his development. I hope that he can sneak his way into the rotation (maybe a hair cut would help his cause). GK is a stubborn guy, he doesn’t like the Balkman hairdo.

  • SmokinNugs

    I had no idea that every person in the D-League was occupying an actual NBA roster spot. Well that’s good they’ll get playing time

    • Kalen

      No, that’s not the case. Only certain players who are on NBA rosters, but have been assigned to the D-League still occupy a roster spot. The D-League is mostly filled up with guys who aren’t on NBA rosters.

  • steve

    This is a good thing. Get them down there to play against some decent competition. riding the pine wont do much for them.

    Karl seems to like Rudy at PG at times so not worried about an injury at PG. obviously if ty or dre went down, stone would be called up the next day.

    As far as chandler, i also agree either him or gallo need to be traded. We wont let chandler get away for nothing that’s for sure. ill bet on a sign and trade involving chandler.

    • JR15

      I’d take Gallo over Chandler any day of the week, so I agree with you on the S&T of Chandler. We already have a wing for the future in Hamilton, so I am fine with trading Chandler.

  • http://roundballminingcompany.com Cory

    too bad we have bot chandler and gallo that would be sick

  • Aaron

    This doesn’t do any thing bad for Denver at all, just good, puts them both in better shape an it should build more confendents, we should probably do a sign and trade with chandler maybe put 2 first round picks (sense George Karl hates rookies) and trade for a big defensive center that can run like Andrew Bogut, Al Horford, Tyson Chandler, maybe even Andrew Bynum. Denvers pretty much set everywhere else besides the genteel position.

    • Aaron

      Sorry I mean Center position, not genteel. Lol