The Nuggets found themselves on the other end of a beatdown in their second summer league game, losing by a score of 103-76 to the Chicago Bulls. Former Nugget (for about 10 minutes) Doug McDermott torched Denver for 31 points on 12 shots. Quincy Miller had another big scoring night for the Nuggets, finishing up with 24 points in the loss.
In lieu of the traditional recap or a super-serious analytic take on summer league, here’s a look at the three summer Nuggets we’ll be following closely all tournament, plus a few observations on the rest of the squad.
The Denver Nuggets’ first Summer League game of 2014 was all about three players: Gary Harris, Quincy Miller and Erick Green. While Harris is already under contract heading into next season, Miller and Green remain the most likely candidates to secure the Nuggets’ final two roster spots. Not surprisingly, it was these three who carried the Nuggets to their first win in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon, each turning in impressive individual performances which I analyze below.
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.
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…)
Veteran free agent Mike Miller will be visiting the Denver Nuggets on Sunday and Monday, according to ESPN Radio 92.9FM in Memphis.
Denver was rumored to have interest in the 34 year-old shooter, but a two-day recruiting pitch seems to confirm that the Nuggets are closing in on a serious bid to sign Miller, possibly to a multi-year contract.
The news is surprising for a number of reasons. First, Denver already has 14 out of the maximum 15 roster spots earmarked for new and returning players. Second, wing depth didn’t appear to be an area of need for the current roster. This led many to speculate Denver would be relatively quiet in free agency, perhaps using the final roster spot on a third point guard and moving forward with the roster as-is.
Miller seems like an odd fit on the surface, but digging a bit deeper reveals how the sharpshooter might fit on a Nuggets team looking to make some noise the Western Conference right away. With some minor tweaks to the roster, Denver could free up the flexibility and positional logjam to make Miller a contributing piece. Here’s a cursory look at the main arguments for and against adding Miller to this current Nuggets squad.
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.
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.
After two days of postdraft analysis from every writer in the basketball blogosphere, it’s time RMC takes the pulse of its own contributors (and one fan) to determine just how high Tim Connelly and co. got our heart rates going on June 26. In our latest 5-on-5 we hand out draft grades, trade grades and a few kind words to Nuggets’ management all while assessing where Denver goes from here. Joining us again is loyal reader Frederick Barteldes. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts on the following questions in the comments section below.
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…
OK, so after my naive draft euphoria, here is a bit of instant analysis on what Denver’s done thus far in the draft…
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Denver has traded Evan Fournier and the 56th pick to Orlando for Aaron Afflalo.
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!
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.
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.