BREAKING: Nuggets have no luck, remain at 11

In a development that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the Nuggets did not move up into the top three on draft night. Instead, the Cleveland Cavaliers landed the top pick for the third time in the last four years despite having only a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery. If you want to look at the glass half empty (as I surely do right now) Denver had a 1.5 percent chance of winning the lottery between the 11th and 12th picks and not only failed to move up, but also lost the 12th pick to the Orlando Magic as part of the Andre Iguodala trade which really isn’t working out well for the Nuggets at the moment.

Please leave your thoughts and comments on this unfortunate (but highly predictable) night below.

 

Grading Tim Connelly’s first year as Denver Nuggets General Manager

On June 17 last year, the Nuggets announced that Tim Connelly had been tapped to take the helm of Denver’s front office. In the month preceding his hiring, owner Josh Kroenke had overseen a turbulent start to Denver’s offseason, and Connelly joined a Nuggets organization reckoning with the startling departure of Masai Ujiri for Toronto and the firing of Coach of the Year George Karl. Exacerbating the chaotic atmosphere, Andre Iguodala – who the Nuggets clearly had expected to return – opted out to become an unrestricted free agent just eleven days after Connelly’s arrival, and it quickly became clear that he did not intend to re-sign with Denver.

From day one, Connelly’s rookie year as general manager has been a trial by fire, albeit a fire he enthusiastically jumped into.

To many, including a fair share of the writers here at Roundball Mining Company, it seemed unrealistic that the Nuggets would be able to replicate (let alone surpass) the previous season’s success (more…)

Nuggets News: Jackson eyeing Shaw, Nuggets eyeing PGs?

According to ESPN.com, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson might turn his efforts towards prying Brian Shaw from the Denver Nuggets after missing out on Steve Kerr, who reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors on May 15. Per ESPN:

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the most likely scenario, even after Jackson was snubbed by the only candidate he has considered for the position since taking the Knicks’ job in March, remains hiring a younger coach Jackson has worked with previously and can mentor…

Sources said Jackson also intends to explore whether the Denver Nuggets are in any way amenable to releasing Brian Shaw from his contract in exchange for some form of compensation. Shaw is a longtime Jackson favorite who, after missing out on numerous head-coaching jobs, just completed his first season with the Nuggets, posting a 36-46 record despite numerous injuries to front-line players.

But Shaw told the Denver Post on Thursday: “I’m not interested in doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.”

Had Shaw not taken Denver’s job last summer, sources say he would have been at the top of Jackson’s list with Kerr — and conceivably above Kerr — for the Knicks’ opening.

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post has reiterated multiple times through direct quotes that Shaw is not interested in coaching a team other than the Denver Nuggets at the moment. Of course, quotes are just quotes. It’s actions that count in the NBA, and until Jackson has concluded his search and Brian Shaw remains a Denver Nugget, this situation is worth monitoring.

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3-on-3: Early NBA Draft forcast

With the NBA Draft Combine scheduled to kick off this week, the Draft Lottery taking place the following week and individual workouts to commence shortly thereafter, the time to talk 2014 NBA Draft has officially arrived. We’ll get into more detailed player analysis as the draft approaches (after all, we’re still six weeks away from June 26), but to get our draft coverage underway at Roundball Mining Company we offer first an appetizer — a piquant sampler of strategies and potential selections to watch for in the coming draft, all in 3-on-3 form. As always, we invite you to leave your input in the comments section below by posting your answers to the following questions as well.

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Link: Nuggets want to open contract negotiations with Kenneth Faried this summer

According to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, Kenneth Faried and the Denver Nuggets will engage in contract extension talks this summer. Faried is entering the final year of his rookie deal and Dempsey suggests he could be in for a raise of over $10 million per year. Per Dempsey:

“We’ll talk to his representation,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly told the Post. “I think Kenneth is happy here. I think he’s really embraced what (Coach) Brian (Shaw) is trying to instill. Those are the type of guys that deserve to get paid.”

Faried is coming off the best year of his career averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game overall, and 19 points and 10 rebounds per game since the All-Star break. Should he net $10 million or more per season, Faried would likely become sandwiched somewhere between Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Ty Lawson — Denver’s three highest paid players — who will earn $10.9, $11.3 and $11.6 million respectively throughout the 2014-15 season.

Slow Rise to Stardom, featuring DeAndre Jordan (and maybe JaVale McGee)

While watching the playoffs I can’t help but think of the Nuggets. I long for certain players to somehow end up on the Nuggets’ roster in the coming year, even if I know it’s not logistically possible. I try and analyze the way playoff teams are constructed, from different personalities and skill sets, to team identities, strengths and weaknesses. Watching other teams in the playoffs is always enjoyable — especially this year — as I can push aside my myopic fandom and try my best to truly think like an NBA GM. And while there are always different nuances you pick up on from year to year, one common thread I’ve noticed with playoff teams that make the jump from simply appearing in the postseason to actually advancing is inner development from long-term investments. Case in point: DeAndre Jordan and the L.A. Clippers.

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Brian Shaw: Wanted man

In the past week Brian Shaw has been tied to some interesting story developments. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, part of the absolutely baffling decline of the Indiana Pacers could be a result of Brian Shaw’s absence. Per Stein:

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers’ locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets‘ head man.

Even more intriguing are Shaw’s recent ties to head coaching vacancies in the bright lights of New York and L.A. According to The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey, the Lakers will gauge Kobe Bryant on his preference for new head coach and Shaw’s name could come up. From Dempsey:

“If it comes up, then it just comes up,” Shaw said. “My commitment is here. I’m not a disgruntled coach or anything like that. My loyalty to the Nuggets hasn’t swayed at all.”

Brian Shaw has had three stops in his brief coaching career: Los Angeles, Indiana and now Denver. Though much of this is hearsay, it’s looking as if all three still want him in some varying degree or another, while Indiana (Roy Hibbert, specifically) is in the throes of a complete meltdown without him. Brian Shaw had a rough first season with the Nuggets and certainly had an interesting record of job interviews before landing in Denver, but as the smoke clears one thing is becoming clear: Brian Shaw is a wanted man.

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Denver Nuggets offseason to-do list

I’ve been doing the Denver Nuggets offseason to-do list for four years now. It’s become a tradition, and it’s a great way to analyze the roster and cap flexibility heading into summer. Every year presents its own unique set of circumstances surrounding the roster, but I do have to say, I can’t remember an offseason being this difficult to forecast. As Joel recently pointed out in his Dearth of financial flexibility post, the Nuggets desperately need to make moves yet have hardly any room to maneuver – like Austin Powers attempting a three-point turn in Dr. Evil’s underground lair. It’s really anyone’s guess as to how Tim Connelly will go about doing his job this summer, and though it seems likely the Nuggets do less as apposed to more, here are some suggestions regarding how the team can position itself to win more games down the road while decreasing its long-term cap strain.

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5-on-5: Player’s Ball

If there’s one thing the Denver Nuggets could hang their hats on this year, it was the players. Denver has lots of them. Most of them good, some of them marginal, a few not so marginal. Some had career seasons, while others couldn’t quite live up to expectations fans set in the summer months leading up to tip off in October. If there was anything gleaned from this season it came from the players, each and every one, good or bad. In our latest 5-on-5 we attempt to examine which of these players belongs in all the superlative categories associated with postseason analysis. Yes, this is our awards post for the 2013-14 season, if such a thing is possible after such a strenuous year of basketball. As always, we encourage you to pose your answers to the following questions in the comments section below.

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Videos: Best performances of the 2013-14 season

The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets season was not exactly what we all hoped for. It was oftentimes ugly, occasionally depressing and teeming with injuries. But there was also an assortment of quality performances turned in from nearly everyone on the roster — mainstays and midseason transplants alike. Although the gaudy numbers produced in these outings didn’t often add up to wins, they still made for some exciting basketball and alleviating moments of salvation in a season filled with what seemed like never-ending tension. Now if we can just get all these guys to replicate each one of these performances every night in unison, then we might have something…

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So you’re telling me there’s a chance

Messing around on my computer after I got home from work on Tuesday, I did the usual “Start randomly clicking on things and an hour later you’re pensively browsing the Greater Roadrunner entree on Wikipedia” routine, when in the process I ended up at ESPN’s 2014 Lottery Mock Draft generator — which is not a very productive place to find yourself if your favorite NBA team is in the lottery. At first I hit the “Play Lottery” button as a way to see all the different scenarios in which teams like the Lakers, Pistons and Bucks could maneuver in the top half of the lottery. And then I realized something. I realized the Nuggets actually have a chance of moving up into one of the top three spots on draft night. And although it’s a long shot –  a very long shot — the possibility alone intrigued me enough to write 800 words about the subject, which is 800 more words than I was planning on writing this evening.

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Dearth of financial flexibility and open roster spots may result in a quiet Nuggets offseason

Although chaos ruled last summer’s Nuggets offseason, this year it may be defined by calm.

Going into the 2014 offseason, the Nuggets have a roster likely to remain loaded up at or near the 15-player maximum. Of their current 15 contracted players, only two are expiring – Jan Vesely and Aaron Brooks. Another two, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson, have player options but have both expressed interest in staying with the Nuggets. And Denver will surely hang onto the only remaining player whose 2014-15 salary is not guaranteed. The coaching staff and front office have highly praised Quincy Miller’s progress this season, and will be looking to continue his development.

So if the Nuggets let Vesely and Brooks walk, they will be entering the offseason with only two open roster spots. (more…)

Roundball Roundtable: Predicting the Nuggets’ storybook ending

For the first time in over a decade the Denver Nuggets will not play in the NBA postseason. It’s an odd feeling and many fans are rightfully anxious about the team’s long-term future. For most casual sports followers, peering into the Crystal Ball of Tomorrow is simple. You know — for the most part — the security of your coach and team executives, as well as which players will return and which will hit the open market. But what about two, three, even five years down the road? After a season like the one the Nuggets had, isn’t that where all our heads really are? It was this very question that birthed the concept of our latest Roundball Roundtable where we attempt — although admittedly, somewhat blindly — to project where the Nuggets are heading in the very distant future based on developments from only this past season. As always, we encourage you to play along and submit your answer to the following question in the comments section below.

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Thanks for reading

Let’s make this short and sweet: You love the Nuggets. We love the Nuggets. The only difference is that we take all the frustrating, ecstatic, befuddled, dogmatic thoughts that float around in our heads all year round and turn them into words for you to optically digest and hopefully enjoy. We try our best for these words to make sense, for them to tell you things about the Nuggets that transform you into a more informed fan; and though we don’t always succeed we certainly appreciate you giving us a chance. So on behalf of all our writers here at Roundball Mining Company, I’d like to thank you, the readers, for making our site what it is today. If we knew there was nobody out there reading our verbose rants and neurotic raves, we wouldn’t be doing this. And we really, really like to do this. So basically, in a roundabout way, you make this happen. Though your fingers aren’t typing, and though your brains aren’t going completely maniacal over that very typing, it’s your collective conscious (aka, Nuggets Nation) that’s always on our minds when we do this. So again, thank you for reading — and in a weird way, writing as well. And as always, Go Nuggets!!!

Rapid Reaction: Golden State Warriors 116, Denver Nuggets 112

Welp, that just happened. The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets season has officially come to a (somewhat brutal) end. The Nuggets fought hard the whole game but just didn’t bring the right type of mindset from the start to win. Throw in Jordan Crawford scoring a career high 40-something points (no box scores are working for this game) and that’s pretty much the recipe for a terrible way to end the season!

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