NBA.com is reporting the Denver Nuggets have assigned rookies Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede. Although this comes as a bit of a surprise to Nuggets’ fans, it should be noted this move has come in unison with other NBA teams — including the Rockets with Marcus Morris — doing the exact same thing just in time for the annual D-League Showcase on Jan. 9.
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.