Is Stone a diamond in the rough?

Yesterday, the Denver Nuggets made its first free agent signing of the 2011-12 season. No, it wasn’t the front-court anchoring, 6-11 Nene, nor the soft-spoken, loyal Arron Afflalo. Instead, the Nuggets signed an undrafted rookie out of the University of Texas El Paso by the name of Julyan Stone. Now, if you’re not a big draft head like me then you’ve probably never heard of Julyan Stone in your entire life — unless of course you happened to stumble upon the list of Tom Cruise monikers that didn’t make his final cut. But considering the fact that Stone signed a contract for not one, but two years (at $1.1 million dollars), I think its fair to say Julyan Stone is name you’ll be hearing a lot over the next several seasons. (more…)

Answering a Big Question

Yesterday I recommended that the Denver Nuggets send the current roster out with a bang. The question then is how exactly can they do such a thing?

Denver has some assets which would have been tasty in the past in the form of Kenyon Martin’s expiring contract as well as J.R. Smith’s expiring deal. In the past expiring contracts have been used to acquire players like Antawn Jamison, Kevin Martin and Marcus Camby exchanged teams last season at the trade deadline for expiring contracts and I bet everyone remembers the deal where the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Pau Gasol for expiring contracts and his younger brother.

The bad news for Denver is with all the teams that have cleared cap space for this summer and the handful of teams who are poised to have cap space next summer, the demand for a big expiring deal like Kenyon’s is very low.