Breaking [UPDATED]: Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos agree on extensions with Nuggets

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.

Nuggets without Nene against Wizards

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.

According to Marc Stein, Nuggets agree to five-year deal with Afflalo

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.

BREAKING: Nene re-signs for at least $67 million

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.

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Nuggets striking match for Forbes [UPDATE: Rudy Fernandez traded to Denver]

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…)

Nene on brink of making decision? [UPDATED]

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.

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Nuggets in advanced discussions 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.

Free Agency Digest: Day Two

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.

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Free Agency Digest: Day One

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.

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Denver Nuggets 2011-2012 Schedule Released (UPDATED)

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.

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Amick: Nene re-signing with the Nuggets, “possible”

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.

CBSSports.com attempting to ruin Nuggets’ dream offseason

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.

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J.R. Smith officially signs in China

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, J.R. Smith has signed a one-year deal with Zhejiang Wanma of the China Basketball Association. Smith was supposedly close to reaching a deal with Shanxi but the team backed out during the final stages of the negotiation process. The earliest Smith can now return to the NBA is March. Stay tuned for further details as more information emerges.

Nuggets select Faried, my life is now complete [UPDATED]

Words can’t even begin to describe how I feel right now. I’ll have a more detailed post up later tonight but for now Nuggets fans, just appriciate Masai. He’s… ugh… he’s brilliant. This is so gratifying, knowing Faried has been Roundball’s guy since Day 1, and for this moment to finally come to fruition — it’s unbelievable. By the way, we traded Felton to the Blazers for Andre Miller and in the process we got the 26th pick in the Draft from Dallas. This is heaven.

Andy Katz has just reported that the 26th pick, which ended up being Jordan Hamilton, will actually go to the Blazers for Rudy Fernandez. If this is true, then what exactly did Denver get by trading Felton? The only thing I can think of is maybe part  of the deal was the Blazers had to pass on Faried so that we could have him.

[SUPER UPDATE] This via Benjamin Hochman via Twitter:

from what i’ve been told – dal trades hamilton to por for rudy f. then, por includes hamilton, with andre miller, to den for felton

This makes much more sense when you think about it. Felton carries way more value than Miller, so it only seems right that we get something back in return.

[SUPER-DUPER UPDATE]

Again, Hochman via Twitter:

two sources have now confirmed to me that YES, the #Nuggets get Hamilton.

Nuggets Draft Kenneth Faried, Hopefully to Keep Him

The Denver Nuggets have drafted Kenneth Faried, the rebounding force of nature from Morehead State.  The also traded Raymond Felton to the Portland Trail Blazers at roughly the same time.  There were some reports that the Nuggets were swapping picks with the Blazers as part of the deal which would mean that the Nuggets would receive Nolan Smith, PG out of Duke and Faried would go to the Blazers.

However, it does appear the Nuggets will be Keeping Faried and they have also acquired the 26th pick from the Mavericks.

The question is did they acquire Andre Miller as a money saving option thanks to the team option, to play him along with Ty Lawson or to move his non-guaranteed deal for something else?

Stay tuned for more details.

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