In an off-season that started with discussions of George Karl’s future before rapidly shifting to the future of Masai Ujiri everything has now suddenly come full circle as Yahoo! has reported the firing of George Karl.
According to the report the main reasoning was that Karl was adamant on getting a contract extension before the start of the season while the Nuggets brass was unwilling to work one out with the murky front office future ahead.
From the Yahoo! piece:
With one year left on his contract, Karl was pushing for a contract extension and ownership was unwilling to make the commitment. With a sense that Denver could be facing a year of acrimony with the 2012-’13 NBA Coach of the Year, CEO Josh Kroenke decided to part ways with Karl.
For Kroenke, this was a bold move for the franchise, but multiple sources said that Karl had been so unhappy about going into the final year of his contract without a new deal that things could’ve become untenable with him.
Nuggets management believes it can attract an elite coach with its talented, young roster.
One would assume based on the timing of the move that the Nuggets are going to throw themselves right into the running for Brian Shaw and possibly Lionel Hollins, the two biggest name coaches on the market at the moment.
What it does though is leave the future of the team and most of its members, brought in to play to Karl’s specific system, up in the air. The biggest question mark in that regard is now Andre Iguodala.
Will he still consider the Nuggets, now in the market for a new GM and head coach, or will he move on to a place with much more structure and consistency?
Obviously stay tuned here at Roundball Mining Company for more reaction.
The news Nuggets fans have been dreading for a week straight became a reality Friday afternoon. The Toronto Raptors ongoing pursuit of former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri is complete with Masai agreeing to a five year deal to become the Raptors’ next general manager.
Masai Ujiri has agreed to a 5 year deal for $15 million with Toronto, league sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 31, 2013
Woj’s tweet was corroborated a few minutes later by CBS4′s Vic Lombardi, who confirms Ujiri himself has announced he’s out as the Nuggets’GM.
Just received a text from Ujiri. Confirmed. He’s a Raptor.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 31, 2013
It’s a tough reality for the Nuggets, who now have to start looking forward to an uncertain summer after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. Obviously we will have a lot more coverage of what this means going forward, but Masai ended up signing the rich deal we all feared a savvy NBA team might offer in order to pry away the executive of the year.
Toronto did what it took to get him and for a hard worker with as humble beginnings as Ujiri, it is major success story. Congratulations to Masai.
UPDATE: The Nuggets have released a statement regarding Masai Ujiri. Team president Josh Kroenke announced a search for a new executive and the departing Masai Ujiri offers a few quotes as well. Read the full text on the Nuggets official website here.
Earlier today Yahoo!Sports.com’s Adrien Wojnarowski reported the Nuggets ownership granted the Raptors permission to speak with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri in Denver. In his article Woj states that, “Unless Denver responds soon with a market-value contract extension to keep its general manager, Ujiri is prepared to leave Denver,” and how, “Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke is aggressively pursuing Ujiri to become the Raptors’ general manager.”
As Joel announced a few minutes ago Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has won this season’s NBA Executive of the Year award, becoming the third Nuggets executive to win the award after Vince Boryla in 1984-85 and Mark Warkentien in 2008-09.
UPDATE: Just minutes after posting this, it was announced on the official Denver Nuggets Twitter feed (@DenverNuggets) that Ujiri has officially won the Executive of the Year award. More details at Nuggets.com here.
Benjamin Hochman (@nuggetsnews) of DenverPost.com has reported that just on the heels of George Karl winning Coach of the Year, Masai Ujiri will also receive a prestigious NBA honor by being named 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year: (more…)
After a historic 57-win season including a franchise record 15 straight wins, George Karl has become the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy for 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year. Karl received 62 first place votes followed by the Miami Heat’s Eric Spoelstra with 24. Mike Woodson and Greg Popovich finished third and fourth respectively. Karl becomes the second Nuggets coach in history to win this award after Doug Moe took home the honors in 1987-88.
As was suspected from the beginning, Gallinari will miss the remained of the season with a torn ACL, according to the official Denver Nuggets website. Most ACL injuries require about a year for recovery so Nuggets fans should get used to not having Gallo around. We’ll have much more detailed analysis on this subject over the weekend, so stay tuned.
Leading up to Thursday’s 1 p.m. (MST) trade deadline, not all is quiet on the Nuggets front. While it’s certainly wise to take Adrian Wojnarowski at his word when he recently said the Nuggets would stand pat at the deadline (I mean, really, when was the last time this guy was wrong about a trade rumor?), it’s equally unwise to support the notion that the Nuggets won’t even consider a minor move, especially given how much Timofey Mozgov’s name has been thrown about lately. Whatever the case may be, rumors will remain rumors and we’d all be lying through our teeth if we said we don’t eat them up with a voracious appetite. So, to satisfy your trade-rumor cravings, here is a short list of what people are talking about right now.
According to Ty Lawson himself, the young point guard and the Denver Nuggets have reportedly come to an agreement on a 4 year, $48 million extension. The extension will kick in for the 2013-14 season at which point the Nuggets will begin to feel the financial ramifications of retaining their core players at a market value level assuming of course they retain the services of Andre Igoudala beyond this season. The contract negotiations had become somewhat of a distraction according to George Karl so it is good to have that behind them prior to the start of the season.
Congratulations to Ty Lawson on converting on his tremendous athleticism and talent financially. Now we just need to see him continue to convert on those abilities on the court. Lawson is a fantastic player, but still has untapped potential.
Look for more in depth analysis on this news coming soon.
According to NBA.com the Denver Nuggets have decided to exercise the third-year option on both Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton’s contracts. Each player will make slightly north of $1 million during the 2013-14 season. This move is a no-brainer. Count on the Nuggets doing this same thing sometime next year.
With training camp a little more than three weeks away, the Nuggets’ 2012-2013 roster appears to be set with Thursday afternoon’s announcement that the team has signed second-round pick Quincy Miller to a multi-year contract.
Terms weren’t disclosed, but it appears to be a 3-year deal at the minimum. As is standard with a lot of second-round picks, Quincy’s contract probably contains partial guarantees or team options on the later years of the deal.
It’s good news that the Nuggets were able to come to terms with Quincy and lock him up for a three year period. I had the pleasure of meeting Quincy and getting acquainted with his game at Summer League, where it became apparent that he’ll be more of a long-term project. Quincy’s offensive skills are going to translate to the NBA, but he’ll really need to fill out his body and round out his game in other areas in order to be effective.
Expect Miller to spend a good bit of next season either inactive or with the Nuggets’ D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy. With a year of strength training under Steve Hess and a little more seasoning in terms of his overall feel for the game, the Nuggets can get a head start on molding Quincy into a future rotation player.
For now, the Nuggets can enjoy some quality depth at the end of their bench while guys like Anthony Randolph and Jordan Hamilton stand ready to fill rotation roles when needed. Backcourt depth is the one area of potential concern as the Nuggets struggled to make shots last year and will be extremely reliant on the point guard duo of Ty Lawson and Andre Miller. Hamilton, Fournier, and Stone form the reserve corps of backup guards and have almost no combined NBA experience among them.
When the news of a potential four team trade that would send Dwight Howard to Los Angeles involving the Denver Nuggets first surfaced this afternoon, I was skeptical. Generally when a rumor involving the Nuggets gets out, it is a sure sign that the Nuggets have moved on and the trade is not happening. Of course, my interest was piqued due to the fact the Nuggets were reportedly pursuing Andre Igoudala, the one player I have gone on record coveting. Even so, I was not going to allow myself to get too excited.
The Nuggets just officially announced the re-signing of restricted free agent JaVale McGee. He signed the deal in Las Vegas with members of the Denver front office and his mother present.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal is 4 years for $44 million, a larger annual amount but a smaller guarantee than the previously rumored 5 years, $50 million.
With JaVale’s contract signed Denver’s roster now stands at a full 15 players, not including second round pick Quincy Miller. Julyan Stone has an unguaranteed year left on his contract and could be waived to create a roster spot. Stone had surgery to repair a hip labral tear in early July and is out five months.
According to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, the Nuggets have decided to use their lone amnesty provision on Chris “Birdman” Andersen and will sign free agent forward, Anthony Randolph, in his place. According to Yahoo!Sports’ Marc J. Spears, Randolph’s contract is a three-year deal worth $6 million total. If true, this is a steal. More information and analysis will be posted as news trickles in. As it stands this appears to be an excellent move by the Nuggets and one that will make our colleague Jeremy very, very pleased.
ESPN 1500 Twin Cities is reporting the Denver Nuggets have been involved in trade discussions with the Portland Blazers and Minnesota Timberwovles with the possible intent of dealing Wilson Chandler. Portland notified Minnesota of a list of players they’d like to receive for free agent Nicolas Batum and on that list was a member of the Denver Nuggets. Portland general manager Neil Olshey reportedly “made it clear he was looking for a wing-type/small forward or center.” Perhaps a three way trade with Chandler going to Portland, Bautm to Minnesota and Derrick Williams coming back to Denver was in the cards? Whether discussions between the three teams are continuing is unknown.