[Note: The first two stories are the previous entrees about Chris Andersen and Wilson Chandler; the next few, however, are stories that have come to light since this post was originally created.]
ESPN.com is reporting (Insider only) that Nuggets center, Chris “Birdman” Andersen is on the trading block with Koufos having been recently re-signed and playing solid basketball. There have reportedly not been any immediate suitors for Andersen, although as the trade deadline approaches this could change quickly. Although Birdman is 33 and still has two years at just below $10 million left on his contract, he might be an enticing option for a title contender who needs defensive help in the front court.
In other news, ESPN.com is reporting Wilson Chandler could return to the U.S. sooner than expected. According to Marc Stein, Chandler’s Chinese Basketball Association team, the Zhejiang Lions, made a deal with the former Nugget that as long as he managed to get the Lions to the Playoffs he could then come back to his home country earlier than expected. However, even though Lions management is willing to part with him, Chandler still must receive his FIBA letter of clearance in order to play in the NBA and it is unknown whether Chinese officials would be willing to bend on their harsh stance in regards to this issue. There is some speculation that if Chandler attends Sunday’s CBA All Star game officials would be more open to lending him his clearance letters at an earlier date.
Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post has composed a phenomenal piece on Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations, Masai Ujiri. It is an extensive account of his tenure in Denver, what it took to get where he is at today and some of the philosophies he has tried to instill in the process. This is as “must-read” as it gets if you’re a Nuggets fan being that this type of coverage of your team’s GM is rare to come by.
Meanwhile, SI.com’s Sam Amick, also scored an interview of his own recently, this time with former Nugget and current L.A. Clipper, Kenyon Martin. This is an extremely candid exchange with Martin going so far as to tell current Nuggets coach, George Karl, to “keep his mouth shut,” in regards to Carmelo Anthony. Furthermore, Martin goes on to explain something I’ve always firmly believed, which is, if the Nuggets were a better organization with a better coach, Anthony likely wouldn’t have left in the first place. This is another must-read for all Nuggets fans alike.
Lastly, if you haven’t yet heard, former Nugget, J.R. Smith has come to terms with the New York Knicks. This should come as no real surprise to fans, but for those die-hard J.R. supporters like myself, it’s going to be tough rooting for him given the team he’s chosen to play for.