According to HoopsWorld.com, the San Antonio Spurs have taken a significant interest in Denver Nuggets free agent Timofey Mozgov and could potentially offer up a sign-and-trade deal to obtain him. This is obviously speculation for the most part; however, the Spurs are one of the few teams in the league who have a high success rate with their reclamation projects, so it’s not hard to see why they’d be interested in Mozgov. He certainly has the talent to play at the NBA level, so perhaps the Spurs feel they can act as the catalyst to usher him from third-string center to the glamorous position of Tiago Splitter’s backup. Stay tuned as details continue to emerge.
While this news broke a while back, we’ve been late to publish it as Charlie was in the dead heat of doing an outstanding job covering the Nuggets’ summer league team in Las Veags when it broke. Most of you are probably aware of it by now anyways, so it feels a little awkward announcing it this way, but if you’re still in the dark then you’ve come to the right place. The Nuggets announced last week that former Houston Rockets director of player personnel Arturas Karnisovas has accepted the assistant GM position with Denver. Karnisovas has an interesting past and I just so happened to catch up with him last year while writing a story about the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic team which he proudly represented.
The Denver Nuggets fell to 0-2 in summer league play Monday night, losing again by double digits while struggling to find their footing on defense.
Inconsistency is the universal given in summer league, and right now the Nuggets look like an inexperienced team facing too much of it from every direction. Progress was on display on the offensive end, where the Nuggets had more success shooting the ball and creating off the dribble, but much of that was negated by their inability to guard the pick and roll or string together more than a couple possessions of mistake-free defense.
Denver’s small army of summer league coaches was active on Tuesday night, getting a lot of one-on-one time with individual players after frequent breakdowns on both ends of the floor. I found myself lamenting how difficult it must be to stay focused while having a gang of grown men yelling at you after every possession, but ultimately that’s what summer league is all about. It’s a format where coaches are going to live with those mistakes and start the process of creating the right kind of habits.
Once again, it was another sloppy game that didn’t tell us much we didn’t already know. Evan Fournier has looked like a bonafide NBA player while everyone else… hasn’t. Luke Harangody’s reckless all-out effort has been fun, but none of Denver’s bigs have looked passable on defense and outside of Evan, none of the guards have managed to stand out yet either.
I got my first chance to speak with players and coaches after the game and here’s a few storylines to keep an eye on heading into the tournament portion of summer league, which starts on Wednesday.
According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Denver Nuggets have expressed “certifiable interest” in free agent point guard Nate Robinson. Between Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Evan Fournier, Erick Green and Randy Foye, the Nuggets already have five players who either specialize in running the offense or are capable of playing point guard for long stretches at a time; therefore, you can count the Nuggets’ reported interest in Robinson as yet another “certifiable” head scratcher from the new front office. Stay tuned as details continue to emerge.
The Denver Nuggets will kick off summer league action on Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, marking their ninth straight year of summer competition in Las Vegas. Interestingly enough, the Nuggets are the winningest franchise in summer league history with a cumulative 24-15 record since the Las Vegas league’s inception in 2004.
Of course part of the magic of summer league is the inescapable truth that records don’t matter. The NBA may be trying to change that with the introduction of a tournament format this year (more on that later), but by and large summer league exists solely as an evaluation tool and a training ground for rookies, fringe NBA talents, and assistant coaches.
This season, the Nuggets are bringing a guard-heavy 16-man roster to the table, with important opportunities up for grabs among several young players with real chances to not only make the roster, but possibly get in line for actual minutes in the upcoming season. Denver is only bringing in five players with NBA experience, but three of those (Miller, Hamilton, and Fournier) are returning from last year’s team and essentially guaranteed roster spots next season. Add in second round pick Erick Green, who is also a virtual lock to be signed, and that means this squad will feature at least four players who will definitely be on the 2013-2014 roster.
Newly-retained assistant Melvin Hunt will coach the team, which will start out with three exhibition games before beginning seeded tournament play on Wednesday. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games and as many as eight for the two teams that reach the championship round.
Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of everyone on the roster and what to watch for when summer league action tips on Saturday night.
According to ESPN Denver’s Chris Bianchi, the Denver Nuggets — or more specifically, Brian Shaw — will retain former George Karl assistant, Melvin Hunt, as a new assistant on his staff. This is the first reported member of Shaw’s coaching staff to be revealed to the public. Bianchi is also reporting Hunt will coach the Nuggets’ summer league team in Las Vegas. For those fans (like me) who’ve admired Hunt from afar, this news will certainly be classified in the “good” category.
According to Yahoo!Sports.com, Denver Nuggets free agent Corey Brewer has reached a three-year, $15 million agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves. While exact details of the deal have yet to be finalized, Yahoo! is reporting the Nuggets likely will not participate in a sign-and-trade with the Wolves. This ends Brewer’s brief two-year tenure with the Nuggets in which he saw tremendous growth as a player while thriving under George Karl’s fastbreak offense. Brewer had gone on record as saying he’d have liked to re-sign with the Nuggets. With his departure, three of Denver’s top seven rotational players (in terms of minutes logged during the regular season) are no longer on the roster.
For the ninth straight year the Denver Nuggets will participate in the Las Vegas summer league competition. Headlined by Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton, Quincy Miller and 2013 second-round pick, Erick Green, the Nuggets will trot out yet another highly competitive summer league squad teeming with talent. In addition to those under contract the Nuggets have also invited numerous undrafted players, most notably North Caronlina State’s Richard Howell, Kansas’ Travis Releford, Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom and Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody. Former Nuggets draftees not on the roster include 2011 second-round pick Chu Chu Maduabum, 2012 second-round pick Izzet Turkyilmaz and 2013 second-round pick Joffrey Lauvergne. There is no word as to who will be coaching the team at the moment. Competition kicks of Sat., July 13, at 8 p.m.
While Nuggets fans were wondering who the team would go out and sign in free agency, the new front office decided to drop a massive bomb. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Denver Nuggets have signed J.J. Hickson to a 3-year, $15 million deal.
According to Yahoo!Sports.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Denver Nuggets free agent Julyan Stone has reached an agreement with the Toronto Raptors on a two-year contract. The second year of the deal is a team option. This concludes Stone’s short tenure in Denver where he was largely viewed as defensive-minded fan favorite at point guard. Stone was one of the more polite players on the roster the last several years and certainly one of the more driven; however, injuries kept him from ever seeing the type of playing time he likely deserved. Woj is reporting he’ll compete for the backup point guard position in Toronto.
The 2013 NBA Draft is officially in the books. After months of disheartening analysis regarding its lack of superstars, the draft took a turn for the wild early on and never reverted back to the uneventful night many had anticipated. The Nuggets were active, trading last year’s starting center Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur. Additionally, Denver traded out of the 27th pick to ultimately possess the 46th and 55th picks instead. Here’s what the Nuggets’ draft puzzle looked like at the end of the night…
On Monday evening Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post reported Brian Shaw has accepted an offer to become the Denver Nuggets new head coach. Though Shaw has been a longtime player and assistant in the league, this will be the first head coaching job of his career. By all accounts, this appears to be a very solid hire as Shaw is one of the more well respected coaches in the NBA. Here is what we know about Shaw and the hire thus far…
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!Sports.com, San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown is now a “serious candidate” to fill the Nuggets’ current head-coaching vacancy. Brown reportedly traveled to Denver on Sunday night to meet with Josh Kroenke and new general manager Tim Connelly. In a different report Wojnarowski claims Kroenke was prepared to offer Doc Rivers an annual salary of $7 million had agreed to coach the Nuggets. So much for the cheap ownership narrative.
The Nuggets announced the hiring of Ben Tenzer as director of team operations on Friday, a move that signifies the first management shakeup under new GM Tim Connelly and one more step in a complete tear-down of the front office responsible for the 2012-2013 executive of the year award.
If you’ve been following the rumor mill lately, you’re probably aware of the frenzy that a potential blockbuster trade between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers has caused, momentarily even overshadowing the NBA Finals. But before Boston and LA engaged in negotiations, Josh Kroenke made a call the Celtics, offering a first-round pick for the release of Doc Rivers.