According to the Denver Post, Nuggets shooting guard, Rudy Fernandez, will miss the rest of the 2011-12 campaign with a back injury. He has already missed over one-third of the season with various injuries. Fernandez is set to become a restricted free agent after this season although it’s hard to see him remaining with the Nuggets moving considering how crowded the roster already is. This should open up more playing time for Corey Brewer and Wilson Chandler, as well as Jordan Hamilton when the team is depleted.
In a shocking trade deadline move the Denver Nuggets have agreed to trade Nene for Wizard’s center JaVale McGee. Nene has been struggling this season and his contract is bound to get onerous as he gets into his 30′s and McGee is a uber-athletic center who will be great running the floor and is a much better rebounder and shot blocker than Nene.
In the long run it probably is a decent trade for Denver, McGee is entering his prime while Nene is exiting his, but McGee has shown significant shortcomings on both ends of the floor. Plus he wants a contract averaging $14 million a year after this season.
Former Denver Nuggets beat writer Marc J. Spears has posted a story on Yahoo! Sports that Wilson Chandler wants to resign with Denver at the close of his service in China. While on the face of it, a quick return appears imminent, I think some caution is in order.
The quote from Chandler’s agent, Chris Luchey, that caught my attention was this one:
“The ball is in their court. If Wilson is comfortable, he will be a part of their core group.”
According to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, the Denver Nuggets have agreed on a four-year, $42 million dollar extension with Danilo Gallinari as well as a three-year $9 million dollar extension with Kosta Koufos. It had been made public that the Nuggets wanted to re-sign Gallinari before Wednesday’s deadline to extend restricted free agents passed and it appears they have achieved this goal. This now ensures the Nuggets will have Arron Afflalo, Nene and Gallinari locked down for the foreseeable future. Next in line would seemingly be Ty Lawson although because he doesn’t become a restricted free agent until after the 2012-13 NBA season concludes, the Nuggets have time to work with him.
As for Koufos, this move is quite the surprise. It’s not often that third-string players get multi-year extensions, however after this signing it’s clear the Nuggets front office has the utmost amount of confidence in Koufos and his role on the team moving forward. Now if only George Karl shared this same amount of confidence in the young center and actually gave him minutes, this deal would seem more apt.
Candid thoughts: The Gallinari signing was an excellent move and only further corroborates the notion that Masai Ujiri is a “players” general manager. On his watch, not only have the Nuggets pulled off a phenomenal trade for its superstar who could have easily walked for nothing, but they’ve also managed to re-sign the best player that came to Denver in that deal, in addition to Nene and Afflalo.
So what’s the next big move for what is now one of the best front offices in the entire NBA? As mentioned above, Lawson needs to be re-signed in order to fully secure this young, improving roster for the future. Nene, Afflalo, Gallinari and Lawson are undoubtedly the franchise pillars with guys like Harrington, Brewer, Koufos, Mozgov, Faried and Hamilton acting as the other young role players (excluding Big Al; he’s the veteran leader) to compliment Denver’s solid starting rotation.
But even before Lawson is addressed, current restricted free agent, Wilson Chandler, needs to be first. As I’ve mentioned in the comments section, if the Nuggets desire is to re-sign Lawson (which it rightfully should be), that doesn’t leave much room for Chandler. In fact, it doesn’t leave any room for Chandler unless Masai Ujiri can somehow convince him to take a backup role and accept less money along the way — which certainly isn’t likely. As of right now the Nuggets have roughly $57 million committed to 12 players on the roster for next year, which obviously leaves three more spots that will need to be filled before the start of the 2012-13 campaign. The Nuggets do have three draft picks in the 2012 NBA draft, which in all likelihood they’ll need to hit on, as rookies are by far the best bargain in the league when it comes to salaries.
So, where does this leave Chandler?
My guess is the Nuggets will try and shop him. Current rules set forth by the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement disallow teams to match a restricted free agent’s contract offer from another team, only to then turn around and trade that player; therefore, the Nuggets will have to work with Chandler and teams who are interested in his services to come up with a beneficial sign-and-trade that will see him moved in return for assets most likely in the form of future draft picks given the Nuggets nearly-full roster and lack of financial flexibility. One thing is certain however: The Nuggets, under no circumstances will allow Chandler to walk for nothing. Ujiri proved this sentiment correct with the Carmelo Anthony trade last year. If for some reason a deal cannot be struck Ujiri will have no problem signing Chandler then reissuing one of the Nuggets two second-round draft picks to another team for a return pick down the line. If the Nuggets are forced to pay a small amount of luxury tax for one year, I’m pretty sure Kroenke would understand, especially if the Nuggets keep on the up their current pace.
The Denver Post is reporting the Nuggets will be without Nene tonight against the Wizards. After coming off an injury of his own, Timofey Mozgov will likely start alongside Kosta Koufos in the front court. Additionally, Rudy Fernandez will attempt to play after missing the last several games due to an achilles problem. It should be noted that over the last four games Nene is averaging 17.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while playing some of the most aggressive basketball of his career with the Denver Nuggets. Nene will no doubt be sorely missed against one of the taller front lines in the NBA. Let’s just hope this is a legitimate injury and not simply a “rest day,” as even though the Wizards don’t have greatest of records, they’re still an NBA team that has a lot of talent, and one that just beat the team most consider to be the best in the league: the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The deal is reportedly worth close to $43 million over five years. Though the previous link says the Nuggets are close to a deal, Marc Stein recently tweeted that his sources tell him a deal has been finalized. More news will continue to proliferate, but until then feel free to relieve yourselves thorough screaming and shouting in the comments section.
According to Marc Stein, who has been all over Nuggets rumors today, Nene has re-signed with the Nuggets for five years at at least $67 million.
I can’t even begin to describe how awesome this is right now. Like it or not, Nene deserved this type of money. He has showed great loyalty to this organization and I’m glad to see he’s been handsomely rewarded yet again. If the Nuggets are now able to re-sign Afflalo, they will have had the best off-season of any team in the NBA by my estimation.
HoopsHype’s Raul Barrigon is reporting the Nuggets are leaning towards matching the Raptors contract offer for Gary Forbes. Meanwhile, Anthony Carter, who recently chose Toronto over Denver as his next one-year destination is petitioning for the Nuggets not to match. Maybe next time he asks to use our practice gym post-lockout, we’ll just slam the door in his face. (more…)
According to CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger, the Nuggets are awaiting word from Nene on whether he’ll accept New Jersey’s contract offer or re-sign with Denver. Additionally, Berger is reporting that Marreese Speights continues to be of interest to the Nuggets regardless of where Nene ends up. Philadelphia 76ers beat writer, Kate Fagan, insists that the Nuggets are “definitely in the mix” for Speights.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com the Nuggets have explored the possibility of sending a second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for 6-10 center, Marreese Speights. The deal is currently on hold until Denver further understands the future of Nene, but chances are that should he not return, seeing Speights in a Nuggets uniform is highly likely. Stay tuned as more information continues to proliferate.
For those that followed our last installment yesterday, this is more of the same. News and commentary updated here as it comes out. Feel free to follow Jeremy, Kalen and Charlie on twitter to find out when we post an update. Not to get anyone’s hopes up but rumors are out that more decisions are expected today, particularly in the case of Nene to the New Jersey Nets.
Free Agency hasn’t started yet, but that has caused no shortage of drama in what is sure to be the craziest NBA offseason ever. By now you’ve all heard news of the Chris Paul deal that wasn’t. The league office will open for business at 12pm MST today and it will be very interesting to see how fast the frenzy will unfold one day after the infamous Veto. This post will be updated with any Nuggets developments and our thoughts on them, so check back throughout the day.
This post is a compilation of analysis and breakdown of 2012 schedule in the hours after it was released. To view the official schedule visit the Nuggets website at NBA.com. If you prefer a printable version of the schedule to reference click here for a link to the PDF. Scroll down to read updates and new developments on all things schedule related.
In a recent article for SI.com, Sam Amick revealed information regarding Nene’s willingness to re-sign with the Nuggets that seems contrary to popular belief. According to Amick, “a source with knowledge of the situation said the prospect of Nene returning to Denver remains entirely possible — if not probable.” He later goes on to point out how the discrepancy between what Nene would earn on the open market and what he would earn be re-signing with Denver is clearly enough motivation for the 6-11 center to forgive and forget past misunderstanding with the Nuggets.
Maybe Masai was able to cajole Nene with his superpower GM skills we’re all so familiar with? Maybe Nene just finally realized that forgoing so much money over damaged feelings isn’t worth it? Who knows. Bottom line: Things might be looking up for the Nuggets yet again under Masai’s watch, but as always these types of situations are fluid, so stay tuned for more updates. And please do read that article as it brings a lot of valid points to the table that Nuggets fans should understand about Nene’s situation.
Two reports filed in the last 24 hours by CBSSports.com are undoubtedly heartbreaking for Nuggets Nation. First, Royce Young published this article claiming — contrary to owner, Michael Heisley’s earlier statements last season — that the Grizzlies will match any contract offer presented to Marc Gasol, according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. Today, Ken Berger is reporting that, “One of the surest bets of the soon-to-begin 2011 NBA free-agent period is that Nene wants out of Denver.” Berger later goes on to state how Dallas and Miami are on top of Nene’s wishlist, but due to neither team having enough cap room to sign the 29-year-old free agent, a sign-and-trade would have to be completed in order to finalize the deal.