Is Ujiri on the brink of leaving Denver?

Earlier today Yahoo!Sports.com’s Adrien Wojnarowski reported the Nuggets ownership granted the Raptors permission to speak with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri in Denver. In his article Woj states that, “Unless Denver responds soon with a market-value contract extension to keep its general manager, Ujiri is prepared to leave Denver,” and how, “Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke is aggressively pursuing Ujiri to become the Raptors’ general manager.”

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Sharing the Wealth: A Breakdown of Nuggets Assists

One of the biggest talking points around the Nuggets this season was how deep they were.

That resulted in a lot of different players scoring points for Denver and naturally with that plenty of assists, as the Nuggets finished third in the league at 24.4 assists per game, just .1 worse than second place Atlanta and less than a full assist behind top ranked San Antonio.

Most of those assists came from three players; Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala averaged 6.9, 5.9 and 5.4 assists per game respectively.

I decided to delve a little deeper into those assist numbers using the awesome assist charts at the great new site hotshotcharts.com.

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Raptors eyeing Ujiri for GM vacancy?

As was first reported by Yahoo!Sports.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Toronto Raptors are targeting Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri for their vacant GM position after having dismissed Bryan Colangelo earlier this week. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Raptors are more than willing to make Ujiri one of the top paid executives in the league at over $2 million per year. Stein also claims Denver’s front office is confident in its ability to re-sign Ujiri to a new deal. Ujiri was rumored to be the lowest paid GM in the NBA under his previous deal that expired this year.

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Nuggets news from Day 1 at the NBA Draft Combine

For NBA Draft junkies like me, the annual Draft Combine is the commencement of a nonstop obsession for about a month each summer. Although the Combine doesn’t present the ideal opportunity for scouting, there are still an assortment of minor details revealed about teams, players and the intentions of both that can prove invaluable during pre-draft analysis. Here is what I learned regarding the Nuggets from the first day of the Combine.

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Denver Nuggets off-season to-do list

For the third year in a row Roundball Mining Company has arranged an off-season priority list for the Denver Nuggets. The following items are arranged from least to most important. They are moves which the Nuggets would greatly benefit from, yet none are mandatory. After winning 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year, it’s safe to assume Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri will do everything in his power to improve the Nuggets once again — that is, as long as he’s still around.

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Iguodala snubbed from NBA All-Defensive teams

All-Defensive teams have been a joke for a while now. They’re more a popularity contest than a real measuring stick of who the best defenders in the NBA really are. In this sense, it shouldn’t be surprising that Andre Iguodala has been left of the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. But leaving him off the All-Defensive Second Team as well? That just seems… well… fitting, given how completely inept voters are with this “honor.” But it’s also unfortunate and unjustified. Iguodala changed the way the Nuggets defended this year and was a big reason his team finished with the best regular season record in franchise history. Naturally, Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri was quite perturbed by the announcement and recently let off some steam to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.

Members of the All-Defensive First Team include: LeBron James, Serge Ibaka, Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Tony Allen and Chris Paul. Members of the All-Defensive Second Team include: Tim Duncan, Paul George, Marc Gasol (even though he won Defensive Player of the Year), Avery Bradley and Mike Conley.

Staking a Claim: Season Reaction

Staking a Claim is a column that takes a look at all things Nuggets through the eyes of an outsider. As those who follow me on Twitter know I am a Bucks fan, so it will give Nuggets fans an opportunity to see things through the eyes of someone who follows the team closely but isn’t necessarily a fan.

A little over a week ago the Nuggets season came to a disappointing end in a Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Over that time I have thought a lot about how to classify the Nuggets season.

Was it a success or failure? How much can be built on and how much should the team get away from? Can this roster compete for a title with a few tweaks or is there a major change that has to happen?

And finally after watching the Warriors continue their, to steal a term from Matt Moore, nova shooting against the Spurs things started to become much clearer to me.

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Masai Ujiri Wins 2012-2013 Executive of the Year

As Joel announced a few minutes ago Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has won this season’s NBA Executive of the Year award, becoming the third Nuggets executive to win the award after Vince Boryla in 1984-85 and Mark Warkentien in 2008-09.

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It’s official: Masai Ujiri named 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year

UPDATE: Just minutes after posting this, it was announced on the official Denver Nuggets Twitter feed (@DenverNuggets) that Ujiri has officially won the Executive of the Year award. More details at Nuggets.com here.

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Benjamin Hochman (@nuggetsnews) of DenverPost.com has reported that just on the heels of George Karl winning Coach of the Year, Masai Ujiri will also receive a prestigious NBA honor by being named 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year: (more…)

Karl wins 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year award

After a historic 57-win season including a franchise record 15 straight wins, George Karl has become the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy for 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year. Karl received 62 first place votes followed by the Miami Heat’s Eric Spoelstra with 24. Mike Woodson and Greg Popovich finished third and fourth respectively. Karl becomes the second Nuggets coach in history to win this award after Doug Moe took home the honors in 1987-88.

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Death, taxes, and first-round losses

“By the end of the 2003 baseball season I had learned something from publishing Moneyball. I learned that if you look long enough for an argument against reason you will find it.”Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

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Thanks for reading

As I sat trying to formulate a clever way to say the words “thank you” I had quite the epiphany: Saying “thank you” isn’t something that should be hard. The average person probably says “thank you” more than five times per day. It’s not something you think about. You just say it.

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Opinion: Firing Karl not the answer

The greatest regular season in Denver Nuggets history deserved a better ending.

No one expected a return to the postseason irrelevance of Karl’s previous Nuggets teams, who frequently battled near impossible odds against heavily favored contenders on the road. This team was different. They were the favorites, having built a 57-win three-seed around a young core just one year removed from taking the Lakers to 7 games.

So what happened?

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Reaction: Nuggets 88, Warriors 92 – Another 1st round exit for Denver

Capitalizing on the many mistakes made by the Warriors down the stretch, the Nuggets put themselves in a position to win this game near the end. They closed the deficit to just two points with 32 seconds remaining after having trailed by as many as 18 earlier in the fourth quarter. But with poor offensive execution in those final seconds, punctuated with symbolic flair by a missed Andre Miller 3-pointer on their final possession, they ultimately fell short of a comeback, and fell to their ninth first round playoff exit in ten seasons, eight (or seven) under the tenure of George Karl.

There is a lot that could be said about this one game. But it was essentially a microcosm and extension of the entire series. The Nuggets were (more…)

Game 6 Preview: Why Harrison Barnes is Hurting the Nuggets

As George Karl was forced to make adjustments to counteract Stephen Curry and the Warriors new small ball lineup in the series, two main thoughts started to pop up. First let Curry get his points and limit his teammates and second play a big lineup, like Denver has done all season long with two traditional bigs instead of Wilson Chandler at the power forward spot.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, despite a victory in Game 5, doing those things may not be possible together. One of the important parts of the Nuggets playing with two bigs is Kenneth Faried playing Harrison Barnes on the defensive end. But Faried has struggled a bit in that role as his unfamiliarity of defensive rotations has allowed Barnes to get a lot of open shot attempts, some he has knocked down and some he hasn’t. The following are four examples of the problems Faried has had, three makes and a miss, from Game 5 when Barnes had 23 points.

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