Denver solves their two guard quandary by trading for Aaron Afflalo

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Denver has traded Evan Fournier and the 56th pick to Orlando for Aaron Afflalo.

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2014 NBA Draft kit (with rumors!)

Well everyone, after weeks of writing, talking, listening and dreaming (a few nights ago I had a dream I was skiing with Marcus Smart and Tyler Ennis — not even kidding, sad as it is) the 2014 NBA Draft is finally upon us. It’s gonna be crazy, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen at this point given everything we’ve heard about the Nuggets, yet we’re certainly prepared here at RMC. But before we dive head first into draft night updates and analysis, I give you one last draft stand complete with an extremely naive big board, some sleepers and of course, rumors!

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2014 NBA Draft: Three sleeper picks for the Nuggets

The draft is just two days away, and with it comes the beginning of a new NBA season in earnest. We’ve already covered the basics pretty extensively — with a full roster hopefully returning to health, the Nuggets don’t have a ton of room to add prospects. Bearing that limited (immediate) flexibility in mind, it’s important to zero in on how the Nuggets can best improve with their lottery pick. We’ve already done some detailed analysis of this year’s crop of shooting guards – a strong group in this draft which just happens to line up with Denver’s biggest need.

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Prospecting: Digging for gold in the second round

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the San Antonio Spurs over the years — outside of the fact Gregg Popovich is an absolute freaking genius — it’s that perpetual success can be achieved through drafting well, especially late into the second round where unheralded international players often reside. Nine of the Spurs’ 15 players on their roster are from overseas and of all their players who logged at least 15 minutes per game this past season, only two were from the U.S. and only one was selected inside the lottery. So as much as NBA fans like to casually dismiss second-round picks as irrelevant, it’s probably best we absorb our history lessons from the actual world champions who just defied this sentiment for the fifth time in the last 15 years — which is exactly the goal of RMC’s final Prospecting post leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft.

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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.

5-on-5: Do you believe in Love?

Kevin Love. The name is just to damn ripe for musical puns. And I’m not gonna lie. I mulled over many different titles for this post, which as you might be able to guess, is our latest 5-on-5 about the Kevin Love rumors. I started with “Love Me Do,” then went to “What’s Love Got to do With It?” Once I came across “Bizarre Love Triangle” I was dead set on rolling with it because that song kicks ass and I love New Order, but I didn’t really see the triangle connection. I also contemplated “Whole Lotta Love,” “Lotta Love,” (the Nicolette Larson cover, though the Neil Young version is just glorious, as most all Neil songs are) “Hello, I Love You” and nearly went with “Sowing the Seeds of Love” before finally settling on “Do You Believe In Love?” because I was tired of rifling through the 700 songs on my iPod with the word “love” in them and it just fit damnit!

Ahem… Anyways, as you might be able to gather, I’m somewhat musically obsessive, somewhat crazy and entirely enthralled by this story. So is one of our loyal readers, Frederick Barteldes, who joined us in our hodgepodge examination of trading for Kevin Love. As always, feel free to play along in the comments section below by including your answers to the questions in bold.

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Nuggets draft tracker — June 21 update

Over the next few weeks leading up to the draft news will continue to pour in regarding draftees and their connection with the Nuggets. Whether these be interviews, workouts or nothing more than Twitter rumors, each bit of information plays its own role in the ongoing quest to determine what exactly the Nuggets plan to do on June 26. To better maintain a draft-related knowledge base we’ve created this tracker post to monitor all future and past developments leading up to draft night. We’ll continue to update the following list as more news emerges, so be sure to keep checking in at RMC throughout the month. Additionally, if you happen to know of any rumors we’ve missed, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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The case for rebuilding

The 2014 NBA Draft edges ever-closer, and with every day more questions emerge. It’s not merely about who to pick (as Kalen is listing so brilliantly in his Prospecting posts this week), or how to go about selecting the best player for Denver in this draft, but what this draft will reveal about the Denver Nuggets’ direction; The Nuggets’ future. (more…)

Prospecting: International players anthem

A few years ago the Nuggets selected an international player in the first round of the NBA Draft, resulting in a firestorm of media criticism, fan outrage and blogger perplexity. At the time virtually nothing was known about Evan Fournier — at least not by your layman NBA Draft fan. Though he was slated to be a late first-round pick all year long, not one blogger or analyst (including yours truly) projected him to land with the Nuggets on draft night. Fastforward two years and Fournier has turned into a solid NBA role player, more than justifying where the Nuggets selected him in 2012.

What Nuggets fans should have collectively gleaned from that tumultuous June night is that it’s always wise to cover all your bases when it comes to the NBA Draft, no matter how unknown a foreign prospect is to our highly concentrated American way of life, or how unlikely he is to land with the Nuggets based on Internet mock draft rankings. Therefore, in RMC’s penultimate installment of this year’s Prospecting series we analyze which international player(s) could have the Nuggets singing “I Chose You” in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

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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.

Report: Nuggets Have Made Kevin Love Trade Offer

One of the biggest story lines in the NBA recently has been Kevin Love and his reported desire to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves. For a few weeks now the rumors have been centered on a few destinations that supposedly had been front runners in the Love sweepstakes, most noticeably the Boston Celtics.

Well this morning came news that the Nuggets are in fact involved in preliminary Love talks and that they in fact have made an even better offer than the Celtics, according to the Boston Herald. 

The Celtics are willing to discuss a number of options, but none of them includes the quality of player with NBA experience that Minnesota is seeking or believes it can get elsewhere.

One source indicated Denver and Golden State have both made more intriguing offers, and there are other teams very much in the picture, as well. There have been conflicting reports on whether the Warriors would make Klay Thompson available, but the Wolves are said to be confident they can find a more than acceptable deal there.

According to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe the Nuggets are actually sitting in a pretty good spot in the sweepstakes right now.

The rumors are interesting but trying to figure out exactly what the Nuggets have that the Wolves would be intrigued by is the hardest part.

Kenneth Faried is Denver’s best “young” asset but he is due a big payday soon and it is unclear if the Wolves would want to give him the money he will command. Danilo Gallinari had been the team’s best asset for a while but after missing over a season with a knee injury there are more questions than anything surrounding Gallo at this point. Wilson Chandler is an ok NBA player but he isn’t one that a rebuilding team would want especially at his contract price. Timofey Mozgov had a breakout year but he is 27 and faded badly in the second half of the season which will give some teams pause. In all reality outside of Ty Lawson every asset the Nuggets have comes with a huge question mark attached.

It seems obvious at this point that the Bulls have the best offer to put together to the Wolves but it remains unclear if they will actually do what it takes to make the move happen which means the Nuggets and Warriors are fully in the running to make a splash.

Stay tuned at RMC for more news as the situation becomes clearer.

Link: 1320 KFAN Media Mock Draft interview

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.)

Prospecting: Point guards with potential

One thing I’ve learned after years of following the NBA Draft is that as selection day approaches it’s always wise to prepare for the unexpected. Though the Nuggets have what appears to be a franchise point guard in Ty Lawson, selecting another point guard in the first round should obviously not be ruled out if the team sticks ardently to the Best Player Available strategy whenever their pick(s) arise. In fact, nabbing a floor general in the first 20 picks might just be the best decision Tim Connelly makes in his first full year as general manager, as there are several highly undervalued point guards — each with one elite skill — slated to be available within that range, which I analyze below in RMC’s latest Prospecting installment.

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Rumor: Nuggets want Lauvergne

According to Sportando.com, Tim Connelly and the Denver Nuggets want to bring French big man and 2013 second-round pick Joffrey Lauvergne to the NBA next year. Lauvergne still has one year left on his contract with Partizan Belgrade who, according to Sportando, is entrenched in financial trouble which could complicate a potential buyout. Lauvergne is coming off the best year of his career last season with Belgrade, leading the Euroleague in rebounds per game.

As always, stay tuned to Roundball Mining Company throughout the summer as we track the Nuggets’ attempts to put 20 men on the floor for the start of the 2014-15 regular season!

Rumor: Nuggets talking swap with Bulls

According to ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, the Denver Nuggets and Chicago Bulls have engaged in trade talks centered around each team’s respective first-round draft picks. Per Ford:

Sources say the Nuggets have had serious discussions with the Bulls about swapping No. 11 for Nos. 16 and 19. If the Bulls get this pick, they’ll grab either Harris or Stauskas here. If the Nuggets keep their pick, look for them to focus on their back court. Ty Lawson is the only real foundation piece they have. Nik Stauskas and a host of other wings are all possibilities here but the word is that Harris was a wow for them in workouts. Now that he’s fully healthy and explosive again (Harris measured a 40-inch max vertical in his Lakers workout) he’s another guy who could start rising.

It’s interesting to hear the Nuggets engaged in talks to receive more players than their jettisoning, as Denver already has a near full roster. But perhaps this is only an initial move to set up a larger one down the road? Could it be Denver has plans to make a fairly big splash in free agency? Please leave your thoughts and musings on this potential trade and its resulting repercussions below.

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