Nuggets sign Benimon

According to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, the Denver Nuggets have signed undrafted rookie Jerrelle Benimon out of Towson. The deal is for two years and is partially guaranteed. This brings the number of players on the Nuggets’ roster to 16, which is allowable over the summer, however the team must have the final roster trimmed to 15 by the start of the regular season. Given Quincy Miller and Erick Green also have non-guaranteed contracts, there might be a chance Benimon snags the last roster spot at the expense of those two if he impresses enough over the next few months.

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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…

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Ink dry on Nurkic, Harris, Green contracts, Nuggets roster set at 15

What was already anticipated has now become official, as the Nuggets announced over the past two days that they have signed first round draft picks Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris, as well as last year’s second rounder Erick Green.

The signings bring the roster up to the maximum of 15 players, and unless Tim Connelly and the front office unearth a trade deal they can’t refuse, they will go into the 2014-15 season with the current crew. (more…)

Reports: Nurkic, Green signings to top off Nuggets roster at 15 players

Barring any further trades which would open up additional roster spots, the Denver Nuggets may well be finished with free agency this offseason.

Today it was reported by Mark Deeks of ShameSports.com that Denver has signed first round draft pick Jusuf Nurkic following the successful completion of a buyout with his Croatian team earlier this month. Additionally, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post also reported that the Nuggets will soon sign last year’s second round pick Erick Green, who played in Italy last season and showed significant improvement in his Summer League play.

When completed, the signings will top off the Nuggets roster at the maximum 15 players. (more…)

Report: Nuggets still hot for Love

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!Sports.com, the Denver Nuggets are still relevant in Kevin Love trade talks and are offering an inciting package in exchange for the disgruntled superstar. Per Woj:

The Denver Nuggets have remained a strong contender for Love, offering a package that sources said has been the most appealing to Minnesota outside of the Cavaliers and a possible Golden State deal including Klay Thompson. So far, the Warriors have kept Thompson out of their offer to Minnesota.

Wojnarowski maintains the Cavaliers are still the Wolves preferred trading partner as long as Andrew Wiggins is included, but it appears the Nuggets could be a close second as long as Golden State continues to refuse parting with Klay Thompson.

All indications points towards the Cavs inching closer to completing a deal for Love. If Wiggins is available, Denver simply can’t compete with that type of an asset, especially considering the Nuggets have only two players signed beyond the 2015-16 season. Still, this is a situation worth monitoring, so stay tuned to RMC for updates throughout the summer.

Vesely signs overseas, Brooks with the Bulls, also don’t expect a lot of us now

As you probably are aware by now, Aaron Brooks and Jan Vesely will not return to the Nuggets next season. Vesely has signed a three year deal with Fenerbache in Istanbul while Brooks is reportedly near completing a deal with the Chicago Bulls.

These developments come as no surprise. The Nuggets are already stacked at the point guard and power forward spots. While I personally would have preferred the Nuggets make an attempt at keeping Brooks — given his penchant for playing defense — neither of these moves will have a lasting effect on how the Nuggets’ fare next year. But given these players spent time — although brief — in a Nuggets uniform, I figured it was only right to make note of their departure. In periods of future reflection we will always maybe remember Jan Vesely’s extreme maladroitness and occasional deft post-up move, dunk or defensive play that redefined the paradigms of how simultaneously good and bad someone could be at the same time. Brooks, meanwhile, provided an excellent makeshift starting point guard in Lawson’s absence. I think I speak for all when I say: May these players do things elsewhere with basketballs.

On a nonrelated subject, I’d just like to formerly announce Roundball Mining Compnay will be taking it easy for a while. Our writers have spent a lot of time this past year writing about the Nuggets pro bono and now that nothing’s happening we think it’s a pretty good time for a break. We’ll obviously keep you updated on any free-agent signings, trades or general news we feel is relevant, but the 2,000-plus word analysis is likely over for a while. In other words, enjoy your summer — you can bet your ass we are — and let’s do this thing again a few months down the road.

As always, thanks for reading.

Nuggets sign Harris, buy out Nurkic, and reportedly close in on signing Mike Miller

In the wake of the excitement and bustle of draft day, the Nuggets offseason quieted to a calm, standing in stark contrast to the frenetic rumor mill whirling around the league’s superstars.

But Denver finally got its first flurry of activity over the last day, as they finalized a contract with first round draft pick Gary Harris, cleared the way to doing the same with Jusuf Nurkic by buying out the contract of his Croatian team, and, if “sources” are to be believed, closed in on a deal to sign veteran small forward Mike Miller. (more…)

Rumor: Chandler and McGee may be on the block

Rumors surfaced in mid-June that the Nuggets might be in the hunt for Kevin Love. Several names were floated as possible inclusions in a trade proposal, including Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and (even though he was still with the Magic) Aaron Afflalo.

Although not in the context of a Love trade, Chandler’s name has now been dropped once again as a player the Nuggets may be attempting to deal, and this time rather than the Manimal or AAA, he’s joined on the hypothetical trade block by JaVale McGee. As tweeted by Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com:

The Denver Nuggets have considered trading JaVale McGee and/or Wilson Chandler, according to league sources.

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Free agency begins: Assessing the Nuggets’ salary and a potential Faried extension

It’s time to take stock of the state of Denver’s salary structure, as the NBA free agency period has officially begun, and with it the annual ritual of Nuggets fans speculating which players – if any – the team will target this summer.

With just one roster spot currently open, it seems unlikely that Denver will be overly active in free agency unless they make a trade or two to trim down the payroll and free up roster space. And while GM Tim Connelly will have the full $5.3 million mid-level exception at his disposal, using it would likely propel Denver over the luxury tax threshold, territory where the Kroenkes have generally been loathe to tread.

This may not only be an issue this season, but could be in 2015-16 considering that a Kenneth Faried extension may be in the works. Zach Lowe of Grantland.com recently tweeted: (more…)

News: Robinson and Arthur to stay with Nuggets in 2014-15, Saric and Lauvergne to remain overseas

There are a slew of questions surrounding how things will play out for the Nuggets this offseason. And it appears the first of them may have now been answered. Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports has reported on Twitter that Nate Robinson intends to stick around for another season:

Also, agent Aaron Goodwin says Denver PG Nate Robinson – as he stated in March – will indeed exercise the $2.1 mil player option for ’14-15.

This is good news for Denver. Guard depth will be an issue for them to address this offseason, and as Ty Lawson’s backup, Nate-Rob provides solid production, an offensive spark off the bench, and great leadership — all on a very reasonable contract.

[UPDATE] According to the Denver Nuggets, Darrell Arthur has also exercised his player option for the upcoming season. Arthur is slated to earn $3.4 million while Robinson is on the books for $2.1 million, raising the Nuggets’ overall salary to roughly $5 and a half million more than it was just days ago.

[UPDATE No. 2] In other news, Chad Ford of ESPN.com is reporting Dario Saric has signed a three-year deal with Anadolu Efes in Turkey. As part of the deal Saric is prohibited from playing in the NBA for at least two years. The Nuggets have been linked to Saric in the past few days, reportedly promising to draft him if he was still on the board at 11. Though you can’t rule out the possibility of the Nuggets still selecting Saric, this would appear to diminish those odds — at least from a pragmatic standpoint.

[UPDATE No. 3] As if the Nuggets didn’t have enough rumors swirling around them leading up to the draft, according to Sportando.com Joffrey Lauvergne has reached a two-year agreement with Russia’s Khimki Moscow. The Nuggets have reportedly desired to bring Lauvergne to Denver for the upcoming season, however this news would (once again) appear to drastically diminish those odds.

Rumor: Nuggets offering Faried, Chandler, former Nugget not on roster for Love

According to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, the Denver Nuggets have made a worthwhile offer to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Per Bulpett’s twitter account:

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How Denver would go about obtaining Arron Afflalo, then subsequently flipping him to Minnesota, is still unknown. Though Bulpett points out how Denver’s first-round pick in the upcoming draft wouldn’t be sent to the Timberwolves, he doesn’t deny that it could go to the Magic, giving them back-to-back picks at 11 and 12, as well as three lottery selections overall. If this were the case, Orlando would assist the Nuggets in bringing a star player to Denver on the final year of his contract in exchange for a first-round draft pick for the second time in three years, with Arron Afflalo acting as a trade chip each time.

Though the above tweets are only rumors at this point, this news remains unequivocally exciting, and somewhat scary, from a Nuggets fan’s standpoint. While Kevin Love is exactly the type of player Denver has been searching for since the departure of Carmelo Anthony, his contract instability should not be overlooked. If the Nuggets are serious about gambling on Love they must have additional moves lined up down the road, as the team’s current cast of players likely won’t be enough to storm deep into the playoffs nor will it be enough to entice Love to re-sign once his current deal expires.

Regardless of what develops, this storyline certainly adds a whole new and electrifying dimension to the Nuggets’ upcoming draft and ensuing free agency period. As always, stay tuned to RMC for updates.

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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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…)

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.

Dearth of financial flexibility and open roster spots may result in a quiet Nuggets offseason

Although chaos ruled last summer’s Nuggets offseason, this year it may be defined by calm.

Going into the 2014 offseason, the Nuggets have a roster likely to remain loaded up at or near the 15-player maximum. Of their current 15 contracted players, only two are expiring – Jan Vesely and Aaron Brooks. Another two, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson, have player options but have both expressed interest in staying with the Nuggets. And Denver will surely hang onto the only remaining player whose 2014-15 salary is not guaranteed. The coaching staff and front office have highly praised Quincy Miller’s progress this season, and will be looking to continue his development.

So if the Nuggets let Vesely and Brooks walk, they will be entering the offseason with only two open roster spots. (more…)

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