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.
Has the summer flown by or what? Just months ago the Nuggets worst season in a decade concluded. Weeks ago the Nuggets completed one of their most impressive drafts in recent memory. And now, only days after European vacation commenced, the Nuggets 2014-15 schedule has been released.
As has been the case for the last decade, the Denver Nuggets will participate at this year’s Las Vegas Summer League. You can find further details, including the roster and schedule, at the Nuggets’ NBA.com homepage.
It’s worth noting Jusuf Nurkic will not be with the team in Vegas; Gary Harris, Erick Green and Quincy Miller will be, however. Assuming the Nuggets retain Miller, that puts Denver at 14 roster spots heading into next season (including Harris and Nurkic), meaning this will likely be Green’s audition to strike a deal with the team that drafted him. RMC may or may not cover all the Nuggets’ Summer League games, but we’ll undoubtedly grade the above three players’ performances when all games have concluded.
Now that the instant Twitter analysis part of the draft process has concluded for most major media outlets, some real narrative content is starting to emerge. Aside from a few late evaluations, included below are news stories and interesting tidbits I’ve discovered over the last 24 hours about the Nuggets’ draft selections that should give you an even better idea of how well things went on Thursday night. If you find similar stories that I’ve left out, please feel free to include them in the comments section with accompanying commentary.
The NBA Draft is a lot like a night on the town. It can get wild, crazy, sometimes a bit out of hand, and luckily for you time waits on no man. The very next day, whether you like it or not, you get the privilege of ruminating over what you did the night before. In the Nuggets’ case, a plethora of media outlets have already opined about what transpired on June 26, 2014. Let’s see what they had to say…
Over the last two weeks 1320 AM KFAN in Salt Lake City has held a media mock draft where bloggers and journalists have come together to chat about the NBA Draft, in addition to selecting a player for the specific teams they cover in the lottery. KFAN was kind enough to invite me on for an audio interview this afternoon, which you can find here (scroll to the bottom) along with all the other interviews and picks from respective NBA writers around the country. (Spoiler alert: I did not get a chance to select Andrew Wiggins, unfortunately.)
If you’re a draftnik like me, nothing gets your blood flowing like trade rumors. Hearing them straight from the horse’s mouth (the horse, in this scenario, being Nuggets’ GM Tim Connelly) around this time of year will basically turn your veins into full-powered fire hoses. Therefore, if you too would like fire-hose veins, I’d recommend reading the following article by The Denver Post‘s Christopher Dempsey which at one point states, “Trading the selection for a veteran and moving up in the draft are the two areas of most interest to the Nuggets.”
This past week after the Nuggets were granted no mercy by the “Basketball Gods” and failed to move up in the NBA Draft Lottery (as George Karl might deduce), I joined a distinguished panel of Nuggets writers — including fellow Roundball Mining Company contributor, Jordan White — to weigh in on the upcoming draft for The Denver Post. With the 2014 NBA Draft exactly one month from Memorial Day, RMC’s coverage of “All Things Draft Related” will soon kick into high gear. Though more detailed player analysis will follow, this article should serve as a comprehensive beginner’s guide for those wishing to get acclimated with all the Nuggets’ options come June 26. As always, feel free to leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below.
The recently reported rumors that Phil Jackson might try to lure Brian Shaw away from the Nuggets with an offer to coach the Knicks caused a minor stir, and raised the specter of yet another bout of offseason upheaval among the Pepsi Center’s top ranks. But if Shaw himself is to be believed, it appears highly unlikely that he will, in fact, so quickly abandon his new team. (more…)
According to ESPN.com, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson might turn his efforts towards prying Brian Shaw from the Denver Nuggets after missing out on Steve Kerr, who reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors on May 15. Per ESPN:
Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the most likely scenario, even after Jackson was snubbed by the only candidate he has considered for the position since taking the Knicks’ job in March, remains hiring a younger coach Jackson has worked with previously and can mentor…
Sources said Jackson also intends to explore whether the Denver Nuggets are in any way amenable to releasing Brian Shaw from his contract in exchange for some form of compensation. Shaw is a longtime Jackson favorite who, after missing out on numerous head-coaching jobs, just completed his first season with the Nuggets, posting a 36-46 record despite numerous injuries to front-line players.
But Shaw told the Denver Post on Thursday: “I’m not interested in doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.”
Had Shaw not taken Denver’s job last summer, sources say he would have been at the top of Jackson’s list with Kerr — and conceivably above Kerr — for the Knicks’ opening.
Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post has reiterated multiple times through direct quotes that Shaw is not interested in coaching a team other than the Denver Nuggets at the moment. Of course, quotes are just quotes. It’s actions that count in the NBA, and until Jackson has concluded his search and Brian Shaw remains a Denver Nugget, this situation is worth monitoring.
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.”
In the past week Brian Shaw has been tied to some interesting story developments. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, part of the absolutely baffling decline of the Indiana Pacers could be a result of Brian Shaw’s absence. Per Stein:
ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers’ locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets‘ head man.
Even more intriguing are Shaw’s recent ties to head coaching vacancies in the bright lights of New York and L.A. According to The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey, the Lakers will gauge Kobe Bryant on his preference for new head coach and Shaw’s name could come up. From Dempsey:
“If it comes up, then it just comes up,” Shaw said. “My commitment is here. I’m not a disgruntled coach or anything like that. My loyalty to the Nuggets hasn’t swayed at all.”
Brian Shaw has had three stops in his brief coaching career: Los Angeles, Indiana and now Denver. Though much of this is hearsay, it’s looking as if all three still want him in some varying degree or another, while Indiana (Roy Hibbert, specifically) is in the throes of a complete meltdown without him. Brian Shaw had a rough first season with the Nuggets and certainly had an interesting record of job interviews before landing in Denver, but as the smoke clears one thing is becoming clear: Brian Shaw is a wanted man.
I think it’s fair to say Quincy Miller hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations Nuggets fans had of him when he was drafted back in 2012. Yes, he was a second-round pick, but he was a high-profile high school talent who many thought would eventually challenge Danilo Gallinari for the starting small forward role a few years down the road. (OK, so maybe that was just me.) Miller’s minutes have fluctuated greatly this season and he hasn’t always been given the most room for on-court improvement; however, his recent 19-point performance against the Rockets should give fans revived hope that he can in fact play a legitimate role at the NBA level. Miller has five more games left to show Brian Shaw that his improvements in practice can translate seamlessly to the bright lights of real, in-game NBA action. Let’s just hope he has a few more of these up his powder-blue sleeve.
In a recent Denver Post article written by Benjamin Hochman and Patrick Saunders, Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw offers his two cents on the future of marijuana legalization and how it may affect athletes. Shaw doesn’t go too in depth, but any time you can get a professional sports coach to opine about, well, “pine,” I’m all ears. The real juicy quotes, however, come in the lead paragraph when former Nuggets executive Rex Chapman reveals one of his players was actually too high to function during a playoff game in 2010. Yes, you read that correctly: stoned out of his mind… in the playoffs. In other news, at least we finally understand why Karl could never make it out of the first round. So there’s that.