Reports: Nurkic, Green signings to top off Nuggets roster at 15 players

Barring any further trades which would open up additional roster spots, the Denver Nuggets may well be finished with free agency this offseason.

Today it was reported by Mark Deeks of ShameSports.com that Denver has signed first round draft pick Jusuf Nurkic following the successful completion of a buyout with his Croatian team earlier this month. Additionally, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post also reported that the Nuggets will soon sign last year’s second round pick Erick Green, who played in Italy last season and showed significant improvement in his Summer League play.

When completed, the signings will top off the Nuggets roster at the maximum 15 players. (more…)

Summer League recap: Utah Jazz 87, Denver Nuggets 69

In their final nonplayoff Summer League game of 2014 the Nuggets played, well, terribly. I honestly don’t know if I can go through with watching another one of these… things… whatever they are. Anyway, it was bad, nobody played good, and now I’m happy that it’s over.

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Summer League recap: Denver Nuggets 76 Chicago Bulls 103

The Nuggets found themselves on the other end of a beatdown in their second summer league game, losing by a score of 103-76 to the Chicago Bulls. Former Nugget (for about 10 minutes) Doug McDermott torched Denver for 31 points on 12 shots. Quincy Miller had another big scoring night for the Nuggets, finishing up with 24 points in the loss.

In lieu of the traditional recap or a super-serious analytic take on summer league, here’s a look at the three summer Nuggets we’ll be following closely all tournament, plus a few observations on the rest of the squad.

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Summer League recap: Denver Nuggets 104, Toronto Raptors 83

The Denver Nuggets’ first Summer League game of 2014 was all about three players: Gary Harris, Quincy Miller and Erick Green. While Harris is already under contract heading into next season, Miller and Green remain the most likely candidates to secure the Nuggets’ final two roster spots. Not surprisingly, it was these three who carried the Nuggets to their first win in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon, each turning in impressive individual performances which I analyze below.

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Link: Nuggets’ Summer League schedule and roster

As has been the case for the last decade, the Denver Nuggets will participate at this year’s Las Vegas Summer League. You can find further details, including the roster and schedule, at the Nuggets’ NBA.com homepage.

It’s worth noting Jusuf Nurkic will not be with the team in Vegas; Gary Harris, Erick Green and Quincy Miller will be, however. Assuming the Nuggets retain Miller, that puts Denver at 14 roster spots heading into next season (including Harris and Nurkic), meaning this will likely be Green’s audition to strike a deal with the team that drafted him. RMC may or may not cover all the Nuggets’ Summer League games, but we’ll undoubtedly grade the above three players’ performances when all games have concluded.

Report: Mike Miller visiting Nuggets

Veteran free agent Mike Miller will be visiting the Denver Nuggets on Sunday and Monday, according to ESPN Radio 92.9FM in Memphis.

Denver was rumored to have interest in the 34 year-old shooter, but a two-day recruiting pitch seems to confirm that the Nuggets are closing in on a serious bid to sign Miller, possibly to a multi-year contract.

The news is surprising for a number of reasons. First, Denver already has 14 out of the maximum 15 roster spots earmarked for new and returning players. Second, wing depth didn’t appear to be an area of need for the current roster. This led many to speculate Denver would be relatively quiet in free agency, perhaps using the final roster spot on a third point guard and moving forward with the roster as-is.

Miller seems like an odd fit on the surface, but digging a bit deeper reveals how the sharpshooter might fit on a Nuggets team looking to make some noise the Western Conference right away. With some minor tweaks to the roster, Denver could free up the flexibility and positional logjam to make Miller a contributing piece. Here’s a cursory look at the main arguments for and against adding Miller to this current Nuggets squad.
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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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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…)

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105 Los Angeles Clippers 117

The Nuggets fell behind early and never led in their penultimate game of the 2013-2014 season, a 12-point loss to the Clippers in LA.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101 Utah Jazz 94

In a less-than-meaningful game between two lottery-bound teams, bad offense ruled the day. Then, the second half came along and Denver exploded for 67 points, defeating the Jazz for their third straight win.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123-Houston Rockets 116

The Nuggets really, really tried hard to blow another game to the Rockets with a bad fourth quarter performance but they were able to hold on and defeat Houston 123-116. Randy Foye turned into a human fireball with 30 points, including a 22 points third quarter to secure their 11th straight record with a winning record in Denver.

Grades are below the jump.

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Video: Quincy Miller’s 19-point outburst vs. Houston

I think it’s fair to say Quincy Miller hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations Nuggets fans had of him when he was drafted back in 2012. Yes, he was a second-round pick, but he was a high-profile high school talent who many thought would eventually challenge Danilo Gallinari for the starting small forward role a few years down the road. (OK, so maybe that was just me.) Miller’s minutes have fluctuated greatly this season and he hasn’t always been given the most room for on-court improvement; however, his recent 19-point performance against the Rockets should give fans revived hope that he can in fact play a legitimate role at the NBA level. Miller has five more games left to show Brian Shaw that his improvements in practice can translate seamlessly to the bright lights of real, in-game NBA action. Let’s just hope he has a few more of these up his powder-blue sleeve.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 125-Houston Rockets 130

Denver had the upset in their hands thanks to a furious second half rally but ultimately they forgot how to handle double teams leading to turnovers and missed a big late free throw before falling in overtime to the Houston Rockets .There were bright sides for Denver though as Aaron Brooks and Quincy Miller had great games and Evan Fournier and Kenneth Faried had great second halves.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103-San Antonio Spurs 108

The Nuggets tried. Oh man did they try. But ultimately putting yourself down by 19 points against the defending Western Conference champs and current best team in the NBA is a bad idea and Denver fell just short of completing their comeback by falling 108-103 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Please leave your thoughts on the grades in the comments below.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 118-Detroit Pistons 109

Thanks to 27 and 16 from Aaron Brooks (I know I’m confused too) the Nuggets used a second half rally following the ejection of Josh Smith to beat the Pistons 118-109. The Nuggets also got contributions from Randy Foye and Kenneth Faried on their way to the victory.

Grades are below the jump.

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