In the first game of the 2013 Las Vegas summer league, the Denver Nuggets fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in what ended up being a blowout shortly after halftime. While there were a few bright spots, the Nuggets ultimately sealed their fate by shooting a low percentage from the field and giving a halfhearted effort on the defensive side of the ball. But, this is summer league we’re talking about, so those things can be expected.
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.
According to ESPN.com, the Denver Nuggets have finalized a three-team deal that will send Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade for a $9 million trade exception. Additionally, Denver will receive free agent shooting guard Randy Foye from the Utah Jazz, who took back draft picks as well as Richard Jefferson, Andres Biedrins and Brandon Rush — all of whom possess expiring contracts — from the Warriors. From the Nuggets’ standpoint, Foye will bring much-needed outside shooting to Denver, as he ranked seventh last season in the NBA in 3-pointers made with 178 on a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc. But aside from his long-distance shooting prowess, not much else is known about the journeyman combo guard; therefore, RMC reached out to fellow TrueHoop blogger Andy Larsen of Salt City Hoops.com to learn more about the newest addition to the Denver Nuggets.
Q: Which players have the Nuggets signed for 2013-14, and what are their total combined salaries?
A: Based on the latest reported offers, the Nuggets have $60.3 million dedicated to 13 players: Lawson, A. Miller, Foye, Fournier, Hamilton, Gallinari, Chandler, Q. Miller, Faried, Hickson, Arthur, McGee, and Randolph. (Foye and Hickson cannot officially be signed until July 10.) The salary cap is $58.6 million.
Q: Can the Nuggets still sign players even though they’re over the cap?
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski has an update on the Iguodala situation at Yahoo! Sports, reporting that “the Golden State Warriors are in advanced discussions on a three-way, sign-and-trade scenario centered on delivering a trade exception and Utah Jazz free agent Randy Foye to the Denver Nuggets”: (more…)
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, J.J. Hickson has agreed to sign a three-year, $15 million contract with the Nuggets.
An Overview -
Hickson is a 24 year old, 6-foot-9 center-forward who started for the Blazers last year. On a pure numbers level he looks solid, averaging 15.8 points and 12.8 rebounds on 56 percent shooting (per-36 minutes). His offensive game is made mostly out of his post-game, where he is middling, his pick-and-roll game, where he excels, and off put-backs through his offensive rebounding (sound familiar?).
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.
Friday evening it was announced that Andre Iguodala would be turning down a bigger contract offer from the Denver Nuggets and would instead sign with the team that put an end to Denver’s 2012-13 campaign. What now lies ahead for the reformed front-office of the Nuggets is a whole lot of uncertainty.
Some anti-Dre Nuggets fans seem to think Denver will be just fine without Iguodala and that replacing him will be a simple task, citing Iggy’s poor shooting as a major detriment to the team. While Iguodala might not be a good shooter, make no mistake, finding someone who can fill his shoes will be no picnic.
As the reaction here at Roundball Mining Company and towards me on Twitter has trickled in surrounding the loss of Andre Iguodala a general consensus seems to be forming that the move isn’t that big a deal for the Nuggets in the 2014 season.
The explanations seem to be centering around two things, that Iguodala didn’t shoot well last season, and that he turned the ball over a lot.
Now both of those things are true and they both hurt the Nuggets at points this season but Iguodala did plenty this season to help the Nuggets, and those things are going to be very difficult to replace.
As reported on Twitter from Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski Andre Iguodala has agreed to a contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Andre Igoudala has reached agreement with Golden State on a four year, $48 million deal with the Warriors, league source tells Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2013
This becomes another blow to the Nuggets who now will enter next year with a new head coach, general manager, and at least three new members of the starting lineup as Danilo Gallinari recovers from ACL surgery.
Continue to follow Roundball Mining Company for more reaction on this news.
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.
When the Nuggets traded Kosta Koufos on draft night it clearly signaled that they felt it was time to turn over the starting job to JaVale McGee.
But it also signaled something else, a belief that they have and one that in the end may come back to hurt them.
It signaled that they, like plenty of other teams see potential more in physical gifts than in mental ones.