Rumors: KG not interested in Denver, Gallinari and Chandler on the block?

The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla was recently up to his usual pot stirring shenanigans (which I thoroughly enjoy, by the way) when he suggested the Nuggets make a move for Kevin Garnett. In his largely opinion-driven piece Kiszla sarcastically touches on the sad reality that is being a fan of a mid-market team; however, he does include some interesting statements about Garnett’s willingness to come to Denver. Kiszla claims KG “wants nothing to do with the Nuggets” but that the “Nuggets must continue to monitor the situation” as there’s a good chance The Big Ticket could be dealt by the trade deadline. It’s worth noting Garnett has a no-trade clause in his current contract with the Celtics.

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Bulls interested in Mozgov?

The Arlington Heights Daily Herald is reporting a “popular rumor” currently in and around Chicago is the idea of trading Bulls shooting guard Richard Hamilton for Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov. While we’ve yet to hear anything definitive regarding this rumor, chances are it’s just that: a rumor. Nevertheless, it does give Nuggets fans a decent idea for what other teams might be willing to exchange for the backup Russia center. Though Hamilton hasn’t accomplished much in a Bulls uniform this year he’s still an experienced player who knows how to win in the playoffs.

Links: Faried stands up for civil union rights, Mozgov to be traded?

This past week a Colorado State committee passed a Senate Bill 11, which will allow gay couples to form civil unions. While the bill must go through a number of steps before ultimately reaching the governor’s desk in March, there’s no doubt that equal rights for gay and lesbian couples in the state of Colorado are on the upswing. Showing his support for this movement is Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who recently appeared in a One-Colorado.org civil union advocacy video with his with his two mothers. No matter what side of the argument you fall on, it’s important to acknowledge Faried’s willingness to stand up for what he believes in, especially given the controversy surrounding this particular issue.

In other news, the Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey is reporting Timofey Mozgov is “unlikely to be with the Nuggets” in less than a month. We’ve heard trade rumors surrounding Mozgov for quite some time now, but this type of definitive language suggests his departure from the Nuggets is more imminent than we may have suspected.

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Rumor: Nuggets interested in Millsap?

According to FoxSportsOhio.com’s Sam Amico, “Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Denver are among the teams that might make a play for Utah forward Paul Millsap at the deadline.”  Whether Amico includes Denver in the running for Millsap by first-hand knowledge of trade discussions or simply because the Nuggets have the pieces to make a trade, is obviously up the air. Nevertheless, it is interesting seeing Denver mentioned in connection with Millsap, as the Nuggets already have a very similar power forward in Kenneth Faried and are, of course, a division rival of the Utah Jazz.

Tomasson: Heat could pursue Mozgov

According to Fox Sports’ Chris Tomasson, the Nuggets are looking to deal center Timofey Mozgov. One team Tomasson suggests could be in the running is the Miami Heat. While the Heat don’t have a bevy of assets to offer, Tomasson highlights a first-round pick owed to the Heat from the 76ers as a possible trade chip. In all likelihood the Nuggets will have to include additional assets in order to successfully complete a deal with the Heat alone. With the Nuggets still in much need of a deep threat, two players to keep an eye on are sharpshooters James Jones and Rashard Lewis, both of whom currently remain outside the nightly rotation in Miami.

Nuggets shopping Mozgov?

Based on converstations with league executives, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Timofey Mozgov may be on the trading block: (more…)

2012 Summer League Game 1: Denver Nuggets 74 Golden State Warriors 95

Summer league is all about experimentation. In a setting where wins and losses aren’t exactly of the utmost importance, coaches are using the opportunity to throw a bunch of darts at the wall in order to see what sticks.  While the results are a mixed bag that typically don’t lead you to any concrete conclusions, they’re often more interesting than the final score of the actual games.

That’s the way I feel about the Nuggets summer league opener against Golden State, which ended up turning into a blowout loss. While it certainly wasn’t fun seeing the Nuggets get throttled in a game they badly wanted to win, the entire team competed and there was plenty of individual growth that will help this Nuggets team evaluate how to get the most out of the summer league experience going forward.

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JaWilt McChamberlain update

Recently, CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger reported negotiations between JaVale McGee and the Denver Nuggets are “going well.” On July 6, NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported the Nuggets are continuing to “grind it out” with McGee and his team of representatives.

All has been fairly quiet on the McGee front this summer. Considering how well Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke cajoled Nene, Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari into re-signing last year, fans have almost come to expect Nuggets free agents to be back with the team when their deals expire.

McGee has been open about his desire to re-sign with the Nuggets. While he has yet to discuss contract details with other teams, Aldridge is reporting that Indiana and Portland could both be in the mix for his services should negotiations with the Nuggets deteriorate. Other teams with considerable cap room include Charlotte, Houston, Minnesota, Toronto, Cleveland, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Phoenix, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

It’s worth noting that this is McGee’s first opportunity to cash in on a big payday. In the life of an NBA player, these windows are usually few and far between. When coming off their rookie contracts players are eager as ever to hit the jackpot. Being that McGee is a legitimate, starting-caliber center (a rare commodity in today’s NBA), his value is that much more inflated.

The number to watch is 10… million, that is. Anything below that figure for an annual paycheck is reasonable; anything above it is exorbitant. It’s likely McGee settles close to that number even though his true value lies somewhere in the $6-9 million per year range.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Fernandez to return to Spain

In a move that should surprise nobody, Rudy Fernandez has elected to sign a three-year contract with his former team, Real Madrid. The move is expected to be announced sometime July 4, of all days.

Fernandez never made the mark many thought he would after coming to the Nuggets via trade last summer. His skill set was always incredibly intriguing however his ill-advised shot attempts and injuries prevented him from ever fulfilling the expectations set forth by fans and media members alike.

We wish Fernandez the best both in life and with his future basketball endeavors in Spain where he seems to be happiest.

Viva la “tip in.”

Free Agency: Nuggets to meet with JaVale, Rudy unrestricted

It was more or less a foregone conclusion that JaVale McGee would become a restricted free agent, but Masai Ujiri’s penchant for secrecy couldn’t help but get a few fans worried when free agency opened without any official confirmation on McGee’s qualifying offer one way or the other. In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Ken Berger of CBS Sports broke the silence and confirmed that the Nuggets have in fact gone through the obvious formality of extending the qualifying offer to McGee, making him a restricted free agent and allowing the Nuggets to match any offer he could receive from another team.

Berger went on to reveal that Rudy Fernandez did not receive a qualifying offer, essentially ending whatever slim hope there was of Rudy returning to the Nuggets or eventually being signed and traded to another team. Rudy will now be unrestricted and free to sign with any NBA team, but he’s currently rehabbing in Spain with an eye on playing in the London Olympics. From what I’ve been told about Rudy’s contract with Real Madrid during last year’s lockout, a deal is already in place for him to return to the Spanish team for multiple seasons after he has fulfilled his NBA contract. Considering Madrid just lost up-and-comer Kyle Singler to the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, I think it’s a safe bet they go hard after Rudy and even if they don’t, holding onto Rudy’s rights isn’t likely to pay off for the Nuggets anyway. I’m pretty certain this is farewell for Rudy and the Nuggets, and quite possibly the NBA as well.

Woj followed up with the latest bit of interesting free agency news today, revealing that Masai Ujiri will meet with JaVale McGee on Monday to talk extension. I expect there to be a pretty competitive market for JaVale’s services, but the Nuggets do have the leverage of restricted free agency and Berger mentioned that JaVale has yet to receive an offer from another team.

As of now, that’s all to report on where the Nuggets currently stand in free agency.  JaVale is obviously the top priority with unrestricted free agent Andre Miller not far behind. Jeremy already did a great job previewing free agency last week, and while I do not mean to rehash his entire post, I’ll bring up a lot of the same points to preview how I think free agency is likely to play out for the Nuggets.

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Nuggets interested in White

In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft he has the Nuggets selecting Royce White ahead of players like Andrew Nicholson, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones. Ford states, “Word on the street is that the Nuggets will step in and steal away White before he lands in Boston.”

White was the very first player we profiled in depth here at Roundball Mining Company as is someone we’ve consistently had ranked as a Top 3 prospect in all of our Big Boards. It appears his airplane anxiety is something he’s already starting to overcome — which is a great sign — and was really the only reason he was never ranked higher in the first place.

If the Nuggets do in fact draft White, just as I said last year with Faried, fans should be ecstatic. He’s a good kid and great fit for the team (not to mention an incredible basketball player to boot). There’s still a lot of time left before draft time rolls around so keep checking back in as we’ll have updates throughout the evening.

The trading post

As fans, one of our favorite things to do is play the role of NBA general manager. We love to analyze players, ponder team needs and above all, formulate trade scenarios that will facilitate the movement of assets towards the team we often fantasize about in the hopes these transactions will one day lead directly to an NBA title. In other words, we love trades. This article aims to celebrate that unbridled fandom by introducing three realistic trade scenarios involving the NBA Draft and of course, Roundball Mining Company’s favorite piece of trade bait: Wilson Chandler.

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Nuggets destined to draft a small forward?

According to SI.com’s Sam Amick, the Nuggets have shown interest in drafting Iowa State’s Royce White with the 20th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Amick also mentions Baylor’s Quincy Miller and St. Johns’ Moe Harkless as possibilities with the team’s first-round selection. All three have one thing in common: Each is projected to play small forward in the NBA.

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Analyzing the Nene for JaVale McGee Trade

In order to wrap my head around the trade that sent longtime Denver Nugget Maybyner “Nene” Hilario to the Washington Wizards I had to compartmentalize my thoughts and feelings into several different categories.  I will go through them one at a time in order to attempt to break down a trade that took everyone by surprise.

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Trade Deadline Digest

This post will be updated throughout the day with any significant developments surrounding the Nuggets at the trade deadline.

For those wondering if the Nuggets will shake things up, it does not appear that Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri have any moves planned — even minor ones. However, this has been one of the wildest trade seasons in recent memory and the amount of chatter going on suggests we could see a lot of activity just before the deadline.

The Nuggets are still trying to sign Wilson Chandler amid all this, and that decision may be the key in terms of what, if any, moves might happen at the trade deadline. Chandler and his agent have set an arbitrary deadline of Friday for the Nuggets to sign him long term, after which they are threatening to sign in Italy for the rest of the season.

If the Nuggets sign Chandler or are confident they eventually will, it might be prudent to use this opportunity to shed some salary or swap assets to ensure Chandler plays a significant role and earns whatever contract he receives.

Conversely, if the Nuggets plan to wait out Chandler till July, when he’ll again be a restricted free agent, then it seems unlikely they would be inclined to make even a minor move. They’ll have plenty of opportunity to create flexibility after the season is over.

Chandler’s deadline is artificial, meaning there is no actual rule preventing the Nuggets from signing him after Friday. The threat coming from Chandler is that he will remove himself from negotiations and go to Italy for the rest of the season. That would preclude the Nuggets from signing and trading him next season, but also make it more difficult for teams to acquire him. His options are already limited as a restricted FA and such a move would limit them further, especially with the Nuggets maintaining the right match any offer.

Here’s the latest tidbit on Chandler from ESPN’s Chris Broussard:

 The Nuggets continue to negotiate with Wilson Chandler and if the sides don’t reach an agreement within the next week or so, Chandler’s agent Chris Luchey says his client will finish the season in Italy. Chandler is looking for a deal starting around $7 million a year, but the Nuggets feel like paying him $7 million, which would not be prorated, for this season is way too high. They would rather start him at $5 million.

I have no idea what will happen, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. The Nuggets have more assets than just about anybody at the trade deadline. They are in position to be buyers, sellers, or both. Every contract on the books is reasonable and they are one of the few teams holding a large trade exception, ($7 million from the Raymond Felton deal). Masai has surprised us before and there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t do it again.

Remember, this post will be updated with any developments should they occur. As of now, the Nuggets haven’t been linked to any potential trades.

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