The Way Forward

Yesterday I wrote about the previous year in Nuggets basketball, and ended by noting the challenge facing Tim Connelly and Brian Shaw following such a wild season.  Here are some issues from the previous year that they will have to deal with going forward:

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Delayed Reaction: 2012-2013 season in review

A look at the rollercoaster year of Nuggets basketball

Hopes were high for the Nuggets at the end of the 2012 offseason, with some analysts predicting up to 59 wins and a top two playoff seed.  Masai Ujiri had acquired Olympic gold medalist and star defender Andre Iguodala in a trade, and extended Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee with long-term contracts.  He surrounded the team’s young core with veteran Andre Miller and cheap talent like Anthony Randolph and Evan Fournier.

But a difficult early schedule loomed.  The Nuggets would play 22 of their first 32 games on the road, including 8 sets of back-to-back games.  By the end of November, the team had a pair of four game winning streaks sandwiched in between three losing streaks of three games each, including worrying losses to the lowly Suns and Magic.

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Rapid Reaction: 2013 NBA Draft

The 2013 NBA Draft is officially in the books. After months of disheartening analysis regarding its lack of superstars, the draft took a turn for the wild early on and never reverted back to the uneventful night many had anticipated. The Nuggets were active, trading last year’s starting center Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur. Additionally, Denver traded out of the 27th pick to ultimately possess the 46th and 55th picks instead. Here’s what the Nuggets’ draft puzzle looked like at the end of the night…

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[UPDATE] BREAKING: Nuggets select Erick Green at 46, Lauvergne at 55

More analysis to come but for those who are unaware of Green’s game, see the video below. He led the nation in scoring last year, won ACC Player of the Year and is generally seen as an excellent selection (perhaps even a steal) at 46. This is now the second year in a row that the Nuggets have selected a shooting guard who worked out for them prior to the draft.

[UPDATE] The Nuggets have also selected Joffrey Lauvergne with the 55th pick in the draft. He is a french big man known for his high motor and athleticism. Here is his profile on DraftExpress.

[UPDATE] Nuggets trade Rudy Gobert to Utah for 46th pick and cash; trade Koufos for Arthur?

According to The Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman, the Nuggets will trade Rudy Gobert to Utah for the 46th pick in the draft and cash. More analysis to come!

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UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Nuggets are also working on trading Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur and the 55th pick in the draft.

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Digging for gold in the 2013 NBA draft

As many of you already know, writing about the NBA draft is one my favorite aspects of covering the Nuggets. And I’m not just a casual fan who watches YouTube clips on a handful of players slated to drop in the Nuggets’ range come June. I really do love the draft. Throughout the entire season I’m listening to podcasts, watching real games (imagine that!) and exercising my free ESPN INsider account to read every single bit of news and information Chad Ford posts about each year’s draft class. I don’t know why, but I’m nearly obsessed with the process. This year I haven’t had time to go as in depth as I would have liked due to the constant barrage of hirings and firings that have taken place within the Nuggets organization over the last month, but I’ll try and get you as up to date as I can on the guys I like.

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In Josh Kroenke we trust?

“In Ujiri We Trust.”

The phrase could be found in the blog comments, in the tweets, in the message board posts, and on the lips of many a Nuggets fan over the past few years, as Masai Ujiri skillfully shepherded the Nuggets through the Melodrama and crafted a roster which achieved historical success for the franchise, and earned him the Executive of the Year award.

So when the news broke that Ujiri would not be staying with Denver, a shocked, loud and angry “WTF?!?” reverberated through the halls of Nuggets fandom. (more…)

Who is Brian Shaw?

On Monday evening Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post reported Brian Shaw has accepted an offer to become the Denver Nuggets new head coach. Though Shaw has been a longtime player and assistant in the league, this will be the first head coaching job of his career. By all accounts, this appears to be a very solid hire as Shaw is one of the more well respected coaches in the NBA. Here is what we know about Shaw and the hire thus far…

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BREAKING NEWS: Brian Shaw to be Named Nuggets Head Coach

According to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, Brian Shaw has agreed to become the new coach of the Nuggets.

Shaw most recently worked as an assistant under Frank Vogel in Indiana and has also worked on the staff of Phil Jackson when he was with the Lakers.

Shaw has been a hot name in many coaching searches the past few offseasons and last year turned down an offer to coach the Bobcats, preferring to wait to be in a better situation.

While the signing answers one question for the Nuggets it opens up many others.

Does Shaw try to run the triangle? Will his offense be post-up based like his stops in Indiana and L.A.? Can he shape the Nuggets into a better defensive team without the likes of an Andrew Bynum or Roy Hibbert on the backline? Who will round out his staff?

Stay tuned to Roundball Mining Company for more news and analysis on a big decision for the Nuggets.

Report: Spurs assistant in the lead for Nuggets’ head coaching position?

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!Sports.com, San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown is now a “serious candidate” to fill the Nuggets’ current head-coaching vacancy. Brown reportedly traveled to Denver on Sunday night to meet with Josh Kroenke and new general manager Tim Connelly. In a different report Wojnarowski claims Kroenke was prepared to offer Doc Rivers an annual salary of $7 million had agreed to coach the Nuggets. So much for the cheap ownership narrative.

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Nuggets’ new front office taking shape in familiar fashion

The Nuggets announced the hiring of Ben Tenzer as director of team operations on Friday, a move that signifies the first management shakeup under new GM Tim Connelly and one more step in a complete tear-down of the front office responsible for the 2012-2013 executive of the year award.
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Report: Nuggets to interview Vinny Del Negro

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Vinny Del Negro will join the short list of candidates for the Nuggets head coaching job, and interviews for the job this weekend. He joins Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins and Indiana assistant Brian Shaw as leading candidates for the coaching vacancy.

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Should Denver Nuggets Continue Pushing For Doc Rivers?

If you’ve been following the rumor mill lately, you’re probably aware of the frenzy that a potential blockbuster trade between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers has caused, momentarily even overshadowing the NBA Finals. But before Boston and LA engaged in negotiations, Josh Kroenke made a call the Celtics, offering a first-round pick for the release of Doc Rivers.

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What to make of the Nuggets’ front office exodus

On Wednesday, Josh Kroenke continued his all-out assault on the Nuggets front office after the most successful regular season in franchise history. The Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey is reporting the Nuggets have lost two more front office members in director of player personnel, Mike Bratz, and scouting director Dan Tolzman. While Bratz’s future remains up in the air, the Post’s Benjamin Hochman is reporting Tolzman has taken a “director-level scouting job” with the Raptors. The number of front office members to leave the Nuggets organization this summer now stands at four — and counting.

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Who is Tim Connelly?

On Monday morning it was revealed that Tim Connelly, former assistant general manager of the New Orleans Hornets, would be the Denver Nuggets’ new Vice President of Basketball Operations. Not much is known about Connelly at this time in terms of his abilities. Those talents can only be revealed after he has assumed his (somewhat titular) GM position in Denver and made moves that can be analyzed. Here is what we do know about his background…

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