3-on-3: The summer of one

The latest edition of our ongoing 3-on-3 series centers around one — one player that intrigues each of our writers in three different areas of the game. With hardly any roster space left for free agents, a serious need for star power and a Summer League team boasting with young talent, the fact remains: The Nuggets could certainly use an adjustment or two. Though we aren’t general managers and don’t control the fluidity of the roster, we can at least point out several players that we feel would benefit the Nuggets in some fashion — which is exactly what we aim to do, 3-on-3 style.

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JaWilt McChamberlain update

Recently, CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger reported negotiations between JaVale McGee and the Denver Nuggets are “going well.” On July 6, NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported the Nuggets are continuing to “grind it out” with McGee and his team of representatives.

All has been fairly quiet on the McGee front this summer. Considering how well Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke cajoled Nene, Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari into re-signing last year, fans have almost come to expect Nuggets free agents to be back with the team when their deals expire.

McGee has been open about his desire to re-sign with the Nuggets. While he has yet to discuss contract details with other teams, Aldridge is reporting that Indiana and Portland could both be in the mix for his services should negotiations with the Nuggets deteriorate. Other teams with considerable cap room include Charlotte, Houston, Minnesota, Toronto, Cleveland, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Phoenix, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

It’s worth noting that this is McGee’s first opportunity to cash in on a big payday. In the life of an NBA player, these windows are usually few and far between. When coming off their rookie contracts players are eager as ever to hit the jackpot. Being that McGee is a legitimate, starting-caliber center (a rare commodity in today’s NBA), his value is that much more inflated.

The number to watch is 10… million, that is. Anything below that figure for an annual paycheck is reasonable; anything above it is exorbitant. It’s likely McGee settles close to that number even though his true value lies somewhere in the $6-9 million per year range.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Denver Nuggets Zeitgeist: Coach in control?

The 2012 NBA Draft went like a lot of people thought it wouldn’t. With their first selection the Nuggets took a European player on virtually nobody’s radar and with their second selection they took someone high on everyone’s radar… the first-round radar, that is. Immediately following the Draft there was, for the most part, a negative and visceral outburst by fans (and columnists) in reaction to the surprise selection, and while the visceral part is understandable, the negative deserves some perspective.

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Fernandez to return to Spain

In a move that should surprise nobody, Rudy Fernandez has elected to sign a three-year contract with his former team, Real Madrid. The move is expected to be announced sometime July 4, of all days.

Fernandez never made the mark many thought he would after coming to the Nuggets via trade last summer. His skill set was always incredibly intriguing however his ill-advised shot attempts and injuries prevented him from ever fulfilling the expectations set forth by fans and media members alike.

We wish Fernandez the best both in life and with his future basketball endeavors in Spain where he seems to be happiest.

Viva la “tip in.”

Denver Nuggets and Andre Miller agree to 3 Year Deal

According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets have agreed to a three year contract with veteran Unrestricted Free Agent Andre Miller.  Terms have not been disclosed as of yet.  I can only hope that the contract is for less than MLE money.  I also suspect the last year of the deal is only partially guaranteed.

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Free Agency: Nuggets to meet with JaVale, Rudy unrestricted

It was more or less a foregone conclusion that JaVale McGee would become a restricted free agent, but Masai Ujiri’s penchant for secrecy couldn’t help but get a few fans worried when free agency opened without any official confirmation on McGee’s qualifying offer one way or the other. In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Ken Berger of CBS Sports broke the silence and confirmed that the Nuggets have in fact gone through the obvious formality of extending the qualifying offer to McGee, making him a restricted free agent and allowing the Nuggets to match any offer he could receive from another team.

Berger went on to reveal that Rudy Fernandez did not receive a qualifying offer, essentially ending whatever slim hope there was of Rudy returning to the Nuggets or eventually being signed and traded to another team. Rudy will now be unrestricted and free to sign with any NBA team, but he’s currently rehabbing in Spain with an eye on playing in the London Olympics. From what I’ve been told about Rudy’s contract with Real Madrid during last year’s lockout, a deal is already in place for him to return to the Spanish team for multiple seasons after he has fulfilled his NBA contract. Considering Madrid just lost up-and-comer Kyle Singler to the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, I think it’s a safe bet they go hard after Rudy and even if they don’t, holding onto Rudy’s rights isn’t likely to pay off for the Nuggets anyway. I’m pretty certain this is farewell for Rudy and the Nuggets, and quite possibly the NBA as well.

Woj followed up with the latest bit of interesting free agency news today, revealing that Masai Ujiri will meet with JaVale McGee on Monday to talk extension. I expect there to be a pretty competitive market for JaVale’s services, but the Nuggets do have the leverage of restricted free agency and Berger mentioned that JaVale has yet to receive an offer from another team.

As of now, that’s all to report on where the Nuggets currently stand in free agency.  JaVale is obviously the top priority with unrestricted free agent Andre Miller not far behind. Jeremy already did a great job previewing free agency last week, and while I do not mean to rehash his entire post, I’ll bring up a lot of the same points to preview how I think free agency is likely to play out for the Nuggets.

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