23 Years a Fan

Erlingur Einarsson is a new contributor to Roundball Mining Company. He is excited to join our team and honored to be an active part of something he cares so deeply about. This is the story of his relationship with the Denver Nuggets for the last 23 years…

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Roundball Roundtable: One fan’s offseason wish list

Every now and then Roundball Mining Company receives a fan e-mail worthy of more than just a quick read and response. Last week such a letter was sent our way from avid RMC reader and loyal Nuggets fan, Joe Karlik. In his message (presented below in italics) Joe outlined three main moves he felt the Nuggets needed to make this summer to put themselves in a position of success this upcoming season. Joe kindly asked for our thoughts on these issues, to which we’ve obliged his request in the form of our latest Roundball Roundtable. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts on the following subjects in the comments section below.

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New commenting policy

Freedom is an oft-misinterpreted subject. People think they understand what freedom means — they lust for it, obsessively idealize it, even kill over it — yet when faced with unbridled liberty people often become engines of irresponsibility, abuse their privileges and go absolutely bonkers on their fellow man. This, unfortunately, is what has happened in the comments section of Roundball Mining Company as of late. It’s sad, really. I always liked the idea of giving readers as much freedom as possible to say what they want about players, coaches, executives and owners. Perhaps it was stubborn of me to think that was a sustainable policy. Or perhaps I was simply too lenient for far too long a time. Either way, something had to give — which it did — and now we’ve implemented a new commenting policy here at RMC, which you can find in the “About” section of our blog. In summary, if you’re found to have abused your privileges as a commentor on our website, we’ll send you a polite e-mail asking you to tone it down. We will also add you to our “blacklist” which will serve as a reminder for those who’ve been found guilty of breaching our commenting terms. If you then violate our policy for a second time, you will be disallowed from commenting at RMC in the future. Simple as that. Thanks for your time. And as always, thanks for reading (and commenting like a civil human being).

Link: Mulling Nuggets’ options in June draft

This past week after the Nuggets were granted no mercy by the “Basketball Gods” and failed to move up in the NBA Draft Lottery (as George Karl might deduce), I joined a distinguished panel of Nuggets writers — including fellow Roundball Mining Company contributor, Jordan White — to weigh in on the upcoming draft for The Denver Post. With the 2014 NBA Draft exactly one month from Memorial Day, RMC’s coverage of “All Things Draft Related” will soon kick into high gear. Though more detailed player analysis will follow, this article should serve as a comprehensive beginner’s guide for those wishing to get acclimated with all the Nuggets’ options come June 26. As always, feel free to leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below.

Shaw: “I’m happy where I am”

The recently reported rumors that Phil Jackson might try to lure Brian Shaw away from the Nuggets with an offer to coach the Knicks caused a minor stir, and raised the specter of yet another bout of offseason upheaval among the Pepsi Center’s top ranks. But if Shaw himself is to be believed, it appears highly unlikely that he will, in fact,  so quickly abandon his new team. (more…)

BREAKING: Nuggets have no luck, remain at 11

In a development that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the Nuggets did not move up into the top three on draft night. Instead, the Cleveland Cavaliers landed the top pick for the third time in the last four years despite having only a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery. If you want to look at the glass half empty (as I surely do right now) Denver had a 1.5 percent chance of winning the lottery between the 11th and 12th picks and not only failed to move up, but also lost the 12th pick to the Orlando Magic as part of the Andre Iguodala trade which really isn’t working out well for the Nuggets at the moment.

Please leave your thoughts and comments on this unfortunate (but highly predictable) night below.

 

Grading Tim Connelly’s first year as Denver Nuggets General Manager

On June 17 last year, the Nuggets announced that Tim Connelly had been tapped to take the helm of Denver’s front office. In the month preceding his hiring, owner Josh Kroenke had overseen a turbulent start to Denver’s offseason, and Connelly joined a Nuggets organization reckoning with the startling departure of Masai Ujiri for Toronto and the firing of Coach of the Year George Karl. Exacerbating the chaotic atmosphere, Andre Iguodala – who the Nuggets clearly had expected to return – opted out to become an unrestricted free agent just eleven days after Connelly’s arrival, and it quickly became clear that he did not intend to re-sign with Denver.

From day one, Connelly’s rookie year as general manager has been a trial by fire, albeit a fire he enthusiastically jumped into.

To many, including a fair share of the writers here at Roundball Mining Company, it seemed unrealistic that the Nuggets would be able to replicate (let alone surpass) the previous season’s success (more…)

Nuggets News: Jackson eyeing Shaw, Nuggets eyeing PGs?

According to ESPN.com, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson might turn his efforts towards prying Brian Shaw from the Denver Nuggets after missing out on Steve Kerr, who reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors on May 15. Per ESPN:

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the most likely scenario, even after Jackson was snubbed by the only candidate he has considered for the position since taking the Knicks’ job in March, remains hiring a younger coach Jackson has worked with previously and can mentor…

Sources said Jackson also intends to explore whether the Denver Nuggets are in any way amenable to releasing Brian Shaw from his contract in exchange for some form of compensation. Shaw is a longtime Jackson favorite who, after missing out on numerous head-coaching jobs, just completed his first season with the Nuggets, posting a 36-46 record despite numerous injuries to front-line players.

But Shaw told the Denver Post on Thursday: “I’m not interested in doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.”

Had Shaw not taken Denver’s job last summer, sources say he would have been at the top of Jackson’s list with Kerr — and conceivably above Kerr — for the Knicks’ opening.

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post has reiterated multiple times through direct quotes that Shaw is not interested in coaching a team other than the Denver Nuggets at the moment. Of course, quotes are just quotes. It’s actions that count in the NBA, and until Jackson has concluded his search and Brian Shaw remains a Denver Nugget, this situation is worth monitoring.

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3-on-3: Early NBA Draft forcast

With the NBA Draft Combine scheduled to kick off this week, the Draft Lottery taking place the following week and individual workouts to commence shortly thereafter, the time to talk 2014 NBA Draft has officially arrived. We’ll get into more detailed player analysis as the draft approaches (after all, we’re still six weeks away from June 26), but to get our draft coverage underway at Roundball Mining Company we offer first an appetizer — a piquant sampler of strategies and potential selections to watch for in the coming draft, all in 3-on-3 form. As always, we invite you to leave your input in the comments section below by posting your answers to the following questions as well.

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Link: Nuggets want to open contract negotiations with Kenneth Faried this summer

According to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, Kenneth Faried and the Denver Nuggets will engage in contract extension talks this summer. Faried is entering the final year of his rookie deal and Dempsey suggests he could be in for a raise of over $10 million per year. Per Dempsey:

“We’ll talk to his representation,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly told the Post. “I think Kenneth is happy here. I think he’s really embraced what (Coach) Brian (Shaw) is trying to instill. Those are the type of guys that deserve to get paid.”

Faried is coming off the best year of his career averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game overall, and 19 points and 10 rebounds per game since the All-Star break. Should he net $10 million or more per season, Faried would likely become sandwiched somewhere between Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Ty Lawson — Denver’s three highest paid players — who will earn $10.9, $11.3 and $11.6 million respectively throughout the 2014-15 season.

Slow Rise to Stardom, featuring DeAndre Jordan (and maybe JaVale McGee)

While watching the playoffs I can’t help but think of the Nuggets. I long for certain players to somehow end up on the Nuggets’ roster in the coming year, even if I know it’s not logistically possible. I try and analyze the way playoff teams are constructed, from different personalities and skill sets, to team identities, strengths and weaknesses. Watching other teams in the playoffs is always enjoyable — especially this year — as I can push aside my myopic fandom and try my best to truly think like an NBA GM. And while there are always different nuances you pick up on from year to year, one common thread I’ve noticed with playoff teams that make the jump from simply appearing in the postseason to actually advancing is inner development from long-term investments. Case in point: DeAndre Jordan and the L.A. Clippers.

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Brian Shaw: Wanted man

In the past week Brian Shaw has been tied to some interesting story developments. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, part of the absolutely baffling decline of the Indiana Pacers could be a result of Brian Shaw’s absence. Per Stein:

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers’ locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets‘ head man.

Even more intriguing are Shaw’s recent ties to head coaching vacancies in the bright lights of New York and L.A. According to The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey, the Lakers will gauge Kobe Bryant on his preference for new head coach and Shaw’s name could come up. From Dempsey:

“If it comes up, then it just comes up,” Shaw said. “My commitment is here. I’m not a disgruntled coach or anything like that. My loyalty to the Nuggets hasn’t swayed at all.”

Brian Shaw has had three stops in his brief coaching career: Los Angeles, Indiana and now Denver. Though much of this is hearsay, it’s looking as if all three still want him in some varying degree or another, while Indiana (Roy Hibbert, specifically) is in the throes of a complete meltdown without him. Brian Shaw had a rough first season with the Nuggets and certainly had an interesting record of job interviews before landing in Denver, but as the smoke clears one thing is becoming clear: Brian Shaw is a wanted man.

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