Nuggets News: Stuff you probably know already

As you can see, we’re really making no effort to write anything at the moment and I’ve very happy about that because there’s really nothing worth writing now or for at least another month. But because we care that you care, we’re still inclined to keep you somewhat updated on the slowly trickling Nuggets-related newsbits that emerge every few days or so, like…

Jusuf Nurkic. Man. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this kid to suite up in a Nuggets uni. I’m not trying to jeopardize my journalistic credentials (which, there are none) by saying this, but I simply can’t resist: Nurkic is going to surprise all of you (even the believers!) and possibly contend for the Nuggets’ starting center spot by season’s end. I’m already looking forward to berating — or even possibly verbally abusing (OK, maybe not quite that much) — those who lambasted the Nurkic pick on Twitter… endlessly and relentlessly. I will show no mercy, because I sort of hold petulant grudges like that.

Anyways, Nurkic’s deal, according to Mark Deeks of, might be unique in that it’s the first non-120 percent rookie scale contract given to a player drafted 16 or higher. I don’t know exactly what this means (the implications, rather) but he’s a millionaire now and I think he’s probably fine with that.

In other news, in an article in which he ranks Denver as the fourth most improved team in the league this summer, David Aldridge of also reports Danilo Gallinari is slated to be ready for training camp in the fall. This might be old news but I haven’t heard it before and it’s exciting and therefore worth repeating.

And that’s about it. As always, stay (remotely) tuned for more news which should appear every four days or so, maybe longer, maybe not. Thanks.


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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • joefresco

    Interesting article by Zach Lowe about NBA bigs (talks a touch about Faried)

    I tend to agree with Denver. The $9 mil range is about the right spot for Faried. I watched half of that Team USA exhibition game, and I watched him get completely burned several times. I’d hate to see him go, but without shooting range or some killer D to go with his energy, it’s just not worth it.

    • gimpcom187

      I tend to agree. Heisenberg and I have been saying since March 6.5-8 million per year or let him go. If the cap weren’t going up like crazy I think there would be a chance he wouldn’t get more than a midlevel offer, but there will be some overpays as the market solidifies after the new TV contract. The real issue is that he really brings little to the table on defense other than good not Great defensive rebounding. He would have to become an incredibly active defender on pick and roles similar to Marion in his prime AND probably develop a really good Karl Malone type low post swat for steals to become a plus on the defensive end.

      • Bobo

        He was the best big man on a 57 win team 2 years ago as a 23 year old and has made positive strides every season. He just made the cut on Team USA over Paul Millsap. Do you really think he’s not worth more than 8 mil/year?

        Jordan Hill just got 9 mil/year, Channing Frye got 8, Avery Bradley got 8, Marvin Williams got 7…

        If he makes the improvements you’re suggesting, he’ll be a max-level player. If Hayward and Parsons are worth max, you can make the case that with even mild improvements, he could get a max offer.

        He’s absolutely a flawed player, but he may be the 2nd best PF drafted in the last 4 years (behind Anthony Davis)

        • gimpcom187

          You’ve kindof made my points for me. The cut for team USA is of no concern. That has nothing to do with NBA value as Faried will likely be off the team and otherwise will be a 12th man energy guy. Other than Spain and France the US outclasses the rest of the world in talent so drastically its comical. Talk is they might take Plumlee over Cousins would you consider plumlee better then? Paul millsap is what you HOPE faried turns into as their statistical profiles were almost identical first 3 years in league. Yet when he came on the market in prime he got 2 years 18. Real Plus minus says millsap was double the value of faried last year.

          Jordan Hill got a 1 year 9 million dollar deal that was seen as an OVERPAY because he obviously couldn’t have even gotten 2 years 13 or he would have taken that. Hill is a taller slightly lesser version of faried statistically. His contract in no way supports your thoughts

          Comparing the contracts of Heyward and parsons is silly as the contracts were set up with the intention of being so toxic to the re-sign team that they wouldn’t want the valuable player at a position that is MUCH harder to find an above average replacement for. The smart team that has access to Free agents said no thanks. The Jazz who can’t get top or often even second tier free agents swallowed the bad pill.

          Faried is an undersized poor defense, limited offense hard working big who is AMAZING on the break. In other words 10-15% better than Jordan HIll or a healthy JJ hickson who were essentially midlevel players.

          Faried was the 4th best player on a 57 win team that clearly overacheived because of a HOF coach. Who played a style that fit with Faried’s game perfectly.

          Don’t get me wrong I like Faried as a player and seemingly he is a nice guy. I would be more than happy at 4 years 30 million for him. But this talk of 11-12 million a year for a guy who SHOULD be the third big and as the article clearly states (and I have on numerous occassions previously) his type of player is VERY hard to find a good complement for. You need a guy who can shoot and be at least a good rim protector (Al horford, taj gibson, etc) There aren’t too many of them around so unless faried by some minor miracle becomes consistent from 15 plus feet his value becomes diminished in the playoffs when teams have time to gameplan and take away options through preparation.

        • Heisenberg

          IF (and this is a big IF) Faried consistently produces what he did the last month and a half, he would be worth more than 8 mil per year. Denver should not overpay for that stretch however. Faried seems likely to always be a liability defensively so that needs to be considered in assessing his value. Maybe if Faried were paired with an excellent rim protector (such as Hibbert or Noah), we could see improvement on defense. The Nuggets don’t have a guy like that, though, so it’s hard to imagine him taking a big leap forward on the defensive side.

          I like Faried’s hustle and style but the fact is he’s not really that close to a max level player. He’s outside the top 10 at his own position, IMO. I think 6.5-8 mil per is more than fair for his services.

          • Native Nugget

            The only missing piece from the points made above is that Faried’s best numbers came at a time when many of our starters were hurt (this was pointed out by one of you posters in an earlier discussion). It’s never a good idea to overpay based on a small sample size, but it’s less of a good idea when that sample occurs during such an anomalous time. If Faried can keep up those numbers alongside the true starters… I say pay him $9mil.

    • D3Ntilthe3ND

      I think the exact contract the Spurs gave Tiago would be perfect for Faried. If I’m not mistaken, 4 years/36 million, front loaded.

  • Trevor

    “I’m already looking forward to berating — or even possibly verbally abusing (OK, maybe not quite that much) — those who lambasted the Nurkic pick on Twitter… endlessly and relentlessly. I will show no mercy, because I sort of hold petulant grudges like that.”

    Get em!

  • Mike

    I’m excited to see improvement this year. I hope Shaw shows he’s our leader for years to come. I’d hate to see another coach reshuffle in the next few years.

  • Andrew

    I really like the Nurkic pick, too, Kalen. Go ahead and rub it in! I’m also pretty excited to see Harris get into the mix. Somebody else said this first, but I like the idea of getting him minutes as a defensive stopper on a hot perimeter guy. Assuming Gallo comes back strong, this team is going to be a lot of fun to watch and should definitely make the playoffs. Funny to think about, but PF looks to be the weak link on this team now. If Nuggs could pick up a big PF that could defend and utilize Faried as that energy guy off the bench…look out. This team would be gold (pun intended).

  • Nugman

    I’m not sure everything David Aldridge reports is accurate. I hope he’s right about Gallo, but I will take it with a grain of salt until we know for sure.

  • trank

    can nurkic run though? nugs have to play a running game or get stuck crying about needing a superstar. if the nuggets play a reasonably fast running game, doesn’t even have to breakneck, can nurkic run?

  • FCPete

    Just thought I would pass this along for it’s novelty. This article discusses how impressed Mike Krzyzewski and the USA Basketball Staff are with Faried in general and specifically with his defensive ability and potential. If accurate, this could be a good sign for the upcoming season.

    Krzyzewski is quoted as saying “He’s a different player than the other players we have. His specialty has been rebounding, energy, good defense and running. He did that every day and he did that in the scrimmage. Guys like playing with him.” He was also quoted as saying “He’s capable of being a great defensive player because he has the energy, the toughness, the foot speed, strength and quickness. Defense should be one of his strengths.”

    It is also stated in the article that “In addition to Faried’s rebounding and hustle, USA Basketball officials have been impressed with his defensive ability in the low post.”

  • Native Nugget

    This is that time of year where I have to check myself. I’m such a basketball fiend that my mind will start taking positive comments like these and begin creating unrealistic dreams of next season. Gallo comes back stronger than ever and takes a big leap, Nurkic comes on strong and the competition rockets JaVale’s skills, Afflalo steps up his game even more as does Ty, etc. In my imagination we are already competing for a championship. This is a recipe for some big disappointments when they actually start playing and I come back to earth. But it’s also part of the fun of be an fan which is a term I believe has its origins in the word fanatic.

  • Furious_Stylez

    I hope Gallo is ready for training camp. His absence last season was a major reason for their struggles. I’m not implying they would’ve have been a playoff team with him, but he would have been worth a few more wins and a few less ugly games. Hopefully McGee comes back and we can see what this roster can do at full strength. A major reason McGee was brought here was to be the rim protector (and help make-up for Faried’s defensive shortcomings).

    Hopefully Shaw will use a Spurs-like rotation this season with such a deep roster. It’s not good to be pushing Lawson 35-42 mpg every night. If he could get down to 30 mpg, he’d be even more impressive with the extra energy. I’m not predicting anything yet as far as records go, but if Shaw isn’t better than a few games over .500 by mid-season with a fully stocked roster, it means he’s not using the roster the right way and it will be time for him to go.

  • gimpcom187

    Mel (Denver)

    Is everyone sleeping on the Nuggets a bit? As much talent here as 57 win team year before last, right?

    Kevin Pelton

    (4:15 PM)

    Andre Iguodala was an enormous part of that 57-win team, Danilo Gallinari is unlikely to be as good as he was two years ago and also there’s a significant downgrade in terms of coaching.

    • mike gomez

      i wouldnt pay attention to what Kevin Pelton says

      • gimpcom187

        Im aware you wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean you SHOULDN’T. :-) Obviously, its the last 10 words of his response where learning from lots of nuggets fans should be derived.

        • mike gomez

          one writers opinion who is looking from the outside looking in doesn’t concern me.

          • gimpcom187

            Every writers opinion is outside looking in as they don’t work for the team. And if they did work from the inside you would get an easily biased opinion. Obviously it is just one opinion but writers closer to the team aren’t going to rip shaw for fear of losing access. They might quibble with specific choices but they aren’t going to say “yeah Shaw is clearly inferior to Karl.”

            And Pelton is one of probably 10 or so National writers that has probably seen enough of the nuggets AND all the other teams to make whole league judgements like how good a coach is. Also he is amongst the 3 or 4 best writers in terms of understanding and informing himself based on a myriad of statistics (some of which fans have access to, some of which we do not). Lots of the discussions I have with people on here people have VERY myopic views of the nuggets without the context of the league and only superficial understanding of statistics.

            And lets not pretend The nuggets basketball team is some incredibly complicated system like the Iraqi political system. It’s a basketball team. An outsider with a little inside information that trickles from peers or reports, watching a significant number of games and using statistics gives you a 95% view of the team.

            • mike gomez

              again, i wouldn’t pay attention to someone that doesn’t follow denver nuggets. as learn over the years sense melo left was these writers have been wrong 80% of the time. saying we are lottery team, we are a low 7 or 8th and so on. i rather hear from someone that covers denvers thats see them play. it doesn’t have to be from denver own but people who actually see their games.

              • gimpcom187

                Yeah you’re reading bad writers or just making it up. The ESPN and Sports Illustrated guys had the Nugs making the playoffs every season since Melo left including last season. They’re not biased against your team they are being realistic. Usually in the 5-7 range which they only outplayed in 2013 in which they were 2 games ahead of the 5 seed. And Pelton being a stats oriented guy never thought of Melo as some all-time great.

                In terms of Gallo guys who have that much time off almost never come back at top form for multiple months if not the entire year. Pelton looks at the statistics of that type of stuff. I don’t think the Nuggets expect Gallo to be back to form before January at best either. That’s a fan presumption.

                It’s OK. I mostly put it up for people on the site who call the realists pessimistic.

              • mike gomez

                well it seem like they want to underrated denver again because espn has us as the 11 best team in the west.

              • gimpcom187

                Again? they had them 6th or 7th last year so they didn’t underrate them last season. Season previous to that ESPN had them 5th which they ended up 1 game ahead of the 5th seed. And that was as much Karl coaching as anything else.

                I think they have them at 38 wins for 14/15 which I think is likely lower than a relatively healthy nuggets ends up but 47 is toward the high end max for this team. 43 is a reasonable guess. Which this year has a real shot of getting you 11th in the West. Pretty Much every team that made the playoffs last season and likely the Suns will be at around 47 plus wins. New Orleans was one of the few teams close to as injured as the Nugs last year and has upgraded at Center, and Davis should have some natural minor improvement

              • mike gomez

                still 38 wins??? that’s underrating if you ask me. how is a team that added affalo, harris, nurkic and having the whole roster back only going to improve by two games?? i dobut the suns are better than a healthy nugget squad.

              • gimpcom187

                Well to reiterate I said I felt the 38 wins was low as well. I think a lot of people on here have a misperception of Afflalo. He’s really not much better than foye just paid double. He’s really not even an average defensive player at this point. Rookies drafted in the top 10 usually aren’t even league average for their positions in year 1 let alone young inexperienced less talented players like Nurkic and Harris. Nurkic I know about as much as everyone else (which is to say nearly nothing) but seems like he has the POSSIBILITY of developing into a nice piece. That would take 2-3 years though probably. He is turning 20 in a few weeks. Probably the high end Hope is that he can become a combination of Omer Asik and Pekovic’s best traits but they came into the league at 24.

                Hickson likely won’t add much to the team until February or so. Nate maybe a month earlier. Gallo likely will be rusty and tentative for a while. McGee is a downgrade to Mozgov and even hickson from last year.

                The only way they end up ahead of PHX is if bledsoe doesn’t come back or huge disparity in injury impact. Better coach, similar talent that fits together better in PHX.

              • mike gomez

                i think your perception of affalo is off. he is way more talented offensive player and i still believe he could be effective defender . im with you on nurkic it might take time with him, but harris i believe he could make a impact right away because of his defense. all the guys coming back might be rusty at first but they still could add something to this team. this team regardless of bledoe should be better than the suns. i still think that last season was a fluke year for them.

              • Tom Darrow

                … winning 38 games. After winning 36 last season without Afflalo, Gallinari, or McGee (he played hurt for a handful of games), and with Robinson, Lawson, and Chandler missing 20+ games each. Even Hickson and Arthur missed 13 and 14 games, respectively. I just don’t see how getting all of those guys back is only worth 2 wins.

                I wouldn’t have been shocked by a number like 45 wins. I think that’s an underestimate, but it’s fair given some of the concerns with health, chemistry, coaching, etc. But I don’t know how they justify predicting only 38.

        • MTIG

          Another Karl junkie….

          If Karl is so great why is he no longer coaching?

          Didn’t see NY Phil, Lakers, GS or a number of other teams calling…. It’s because he can’t take a team to a higher level. Go back in the time machine – The Nuggets (8th seed) beat his very talented Seattle team (with…two yes two superstars).

          I agree with Gomez – this team is every bit as good.. and prepared ….because… of a conventional coach. They may make waves.
          Hating on Shaw because he inherited a Karl mess is not fair. Seattle never recovered from Karl until Durrant and a move to OKC.
          Every year a team with talent shows up. Denver is a good bet to be that team.

          You had Igoudala ( I disagree that AAA does not compare – but I will give you that)

          Andre is greatly over-rated. Ask Philly, Denver and soon
          GS fans. He is a better TR Dunn model that can’t make a free throw and is not a team player. Didn’t lead our team… he was third maybe even 4th voice on that team. But… He is a great defensive player!!!! Loyalty..ha.ha… remember he had a deal with the Kings and they pulled it… Few bring that up. He wanted to play for the Kings?????

          Brewer, Andre Miller and Koufos. Are the only significant players removed.
          This year we add JaVelle McGee and Mosgov ( Karl “the great” refused to play them so it’s the same as adding them) maybe even the young Russian…., Hickson, Foye, Nate Robinson and Gary Harris.

          Two solid players for every lost player….

          I miss Brewer but Miller was a team cancer that only Karl loved and our centers / bigs are greatly improved.
          Remember Karl would play with Faried, Gallo or Igoudala as his bigs??? That is why he is no longer in the league.

          Of course… we expect our injured to come back strong. No reason not to.

          Road to the top
          SA / OKC and Portland should be locks… except odds are one will have a few injuries to knock them lower…..

          Clippers – should be there but they wasted worrying about ownership instead of building a team. Half said they would quit a few weeks back… now they turn it on? Set for a fall.

          GS? new coach and no inside game… Curry injury away from a lottery team and he is frail man like a small point guard we once had. Rauf… A lot of reasons why this team can fall.

          Houston… Hardin better hope the “role players” like him. They are a prime team to drop.

          Dallas… aging and not the young talent of SA
          Memphis – probably the most solid but every year nothing drives them to the top….

          There are other young teams that could make a statement but I believe Shaw has a pretty good hand…

          • gimpcom187

            Karl isn’t coaching because he isn’t an idiot. He’s old and is probably on his last coaching change. He likely only will take a job with a top tier player/talented team like Houston or Pelicans (anthony davis) because he knows you can’t win with a bunch of mid tier talents (especially in the west). It would be a waste of time for Karl to go into a rebuild situation. Really the only openings that fit that description are GSW (obsessed with Kerr), Memphis last year (only got rid of former coach to keep current coach, never really opened up interview process) and clippers last year (who hired doc who is one of few guys you would take over Karl). Cleveland ended up after the offseason in that class but Im not sure I can blame Karl for not realizing that was the scenario. Washington is another team he MIGHT consider as well if last seasons success against a mediocre bulls team proves a mirage.

            Seattle made it to 2nd round 6 games vs. spurs during 07? but the sonics floundering AFTER Karl left is more proof of the fact that Karl was key to their performance. Milwaukee made the playoffs 4 of 5 Karl seasons going over .500 in those 4 seasons with an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Since they have been over .500 ONE time in 11 seasons. With Karl the Nuggets made the playoffs 9 seasons in a row. Miss it the next season and are probably 60-70 percent not to make it this season either. The pattern looks pretty consistent. Karl brings a team to appropriate amount of success for talent or a little beyond in some seasons. He usually has a hiccup playoffs or two. When he leaves the team struggles to find a coach of his caliber and flounders for 4-10 years. Do the math cause we only have one season down post Karl. The reason I constantly call people out for it on this site is that they had unrealistic expectations for the nugs during Karl’s tenure and then tried to blame him for them not meeting those expectations. And then we have these types of unrealistic tear downs of teams that are clearly better. Its the lack of realistic expectations for nugs and their opponents. And this even ignores the fact that this team’s construction post melo is MADE for the regular season. There is depth of good starter to good backup level talent. You can make a contention that this team has 10-13 players who would profile to get 15 plus minutes on almost any playoff team (spurs might be exception). It makes it easier to deal with injuries in the regular season. But star talent (on defense and offense) gets to play more minutes in the playoffs and depth value is diminished as there are only 240 minutes to go around.

            Im not hating on shaw. I’ve used statistical evidence OVER and OVER on this site to PROVE shaw was a mediocre coach last year. The defense was significantly worse (which was Karl’s weakest area). Defense is the area that MOST good coaches show an ability to have a major impact on a team. Karl was easily a top ten coach in the league and it was easy to predict a change would be a downgrade. If you wanted Karl gone then the only logical choice was to rebuild the team. You among others want to pretend otherwise. Not sure how many bad seasons you will endure before you realize that.

  • wij

    Could the non 120% contract for Nurkic have something to do with his buyout from his European team, or does that still count in the contract?

    • gimpcom187

      Maybe, up to 600,000 by nuggets to Nurkic’s Euroteam does not count against the cap/tax etc. as I understand it. Honestly Im not sure the motivation as they aren’t that close to the tax apron, but maybe they are closish to the tax area. According to hoopshype he makes 250,000 thousand more per year than Gary Harris who was picked 3 spots behind. And more than James Young as well. Seems about right to me unless their numbers are off.