From the Colorado 14ers to the Idaho Stampede

With their previous D-League team, the Colorado 14ers, not operating next season as they move to Texas the Denver Nuggets were temporarily without a D-League affiliate.  Fret no longer Nuggets fans, the NBA has just announced the Nuggets will be affiliated with the Idaho Stampede.

The Nuggets and the Stampede have seen their paths cross before.  When Kiki Vandeweghe drafted the unknown Ricky Sanchez in 2005 he was sent to Idaho to try to learn to play basketball.  Ricky never did sign with the Nuggets, or any other NBA team for that matter.  When the Nuggets hired George Karl he was a part owner of the Stampede and was forced to sell his share of the team in order to coach Denver.

I would be surprised if the Nuggets utilize the Stampede next season, but it is certainly possible that Sonny Weems spends some time there if the Nuggets determine he is not yet ready to contribute.

The Nuggets will be sharing the 14ers with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The other NBA team who was affiliated with the 14ers was the New Jersey Nets and they have been partnered up with the new and as of yet unnamed Springfield, MA team.

Hello Draft Prospects, Goodbye Colorado 14ers

I received a couple of intriguing emails today to stir me from my inexcusable blogging slumber. I have a list of players that the Nuggets will be working out on Friday and Saturday and there is very disappointing news regarding the D League champion Colorado 14ers.

First of all the three separate workouts have been scheduled over the next two days.

Group one (Friday, 10:00 AM)

Paul Delaney – 6’2” 200 PG UAB, Ranked 94
Daniel Hackett – 6’5” 205 PG USC, Ranked 87
Lester Hudson – 6’2” 190 SG Tennessee Martin, Ranked 88
Curtis Jerrells – 6’1” 208 PG Baylor, Ranked 57
Tyreese Rice – 6’1” 190 PG Boston College, Ranked 77
Robert Varden – 6’5” 205 SG UAB, Ranked 82

There are some interesting players in this group. The most intriguing prospect is Lester Hudson who was the first player in men’s division one history to record a quadruple double (25 points, 12 rebounds, ten assists and ten steals). The biggest strike against him is his age as he will be 25 when the 2009-10 season starts. Daniel Hackett from USC has proven he can play alongside a scorer like O.J. Mayo and is a stout perimeter defender. He would be a better option as a potential undrafted free agent than a player to be selected at 34. Tyreese Rice had a great career at Boston College and definitely proved to everyone he can light up North Carolina, but Baylor’s Jerrells is the highest ranked player according to ESPN’s top 100 thanks to his quickness and ability to push the pace.

Group two (Friday 12:00 PM)

Anthony Goods – 6’3” 200 SG Stanford, Ranked 92
A.J. Price – 6’2” 193 PG UCONN, Ranked 46
Kyle Spain – 6’5” 209 SG San Diego State, Ranked NR
Raymond Sykes – 6’9” 220 C Clemson, Ranked NR
A.D. Vassallo – 6’6” 216 SF Virginia Tech, Ranked NR

This group is A.J. Price and a bunch of players who were apparently invited as a favor to their agents. You can be unimpressed with Spain during this footage against BYU in the Mountain West semis (he is number 15), Sykes is a center who does not rebound much, Goods is an undersized shooting guard who could not break the 29% mark from the college three point line.

Group three (Saturday 10:00 AM)

Courtney Fells – 6’6” 210 SG North Carolina State, Ranked 72
Jeremy Pargo – 6’2” 210 PG Gonzaga, Ranked 69
Garrett Temple – 6’6” 190 G LSU, Ranked NR
Ben Woodside – 5’11” 185 PG North Dakota State, Ranked 93

I would rather have Jannero than Jeremy Pargo, Fells is supposedly impressing teams on the workout circuit and looking at Temple’s numbers I have no idea why he would even be under consideration for a spot in the summer league in Belize. Woodside is the only intriguing player in this group. You may remember him as the player from North Dakota State who almost single handedly upset Kansas in the first round of last season’s NCAA Tournament.

The Nuggets have taken part in a couple of large scale workouts and have seen a lot of players through those exhibitions (click here to see a list of players from the Golden State workouts and click here to see a list of players from the New Jersey workouts). With the Nuggets drafting at 34 it is nearly impossible to know what players they are interested in might be available, but I think it is safe to say that most of the players they are bringing in on Friday and Saturday are mostly summer league fodder at best.

The other big piece of news is the Colorado 14ers have gone the way of the Denver Dynamite. Both teams won their league championship only to end up sitting out the next season.

According to the NBA the 14ers have been purchased by some Dallas muckity mucks and will be moved to Frisco, TX. That means the Nuggets and Nets are without a D League affiliate for next season.

The interesting thing about the departure of the 14ers was that it was just announced that the Broomfield Events Center was going to be managed by a partnership of Anschutz Entertainment and Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which I thought was a very good sign that the financially troubled 14ers would return to Broomfield for another season.

I was fortunate enough to have attended the 14ers final game to scout Sonny Weems and you can look for a post recapping that experience soon. I promise.