The news Nuggets fans have been dreading for a week straight became a reality Friday afternoon. The Toronto Raptors ongoing pursuit of former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri is complete with Masai agreeing to a five year deal to become the Raptors’ next general manager.
Masai Ujiri has agreed to a 5 year deal for $15 million with Toronto, league sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 31, 2013
Woj’s tweet was corroborated a few minutes later by CBS4’s Vic Lombardi, who confirms Ujiri himself has announced he’s out as the Nuggets’GM.
Just received a text from Ujiri. Confirmed. He’s a Raptor.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 31, 2013
It’s a tough reality for the Nuggets, who now have to start looking forward to an uncertain summer after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. Obviously we will have a lot more coverage of what this means going forward, but Masai ended up signing the rich deal we all feared a savvy NBA team might offer in order to pry away the executive of the year.
Toronto did what it took to get him and for a hard worker with as humble beginnings as Ujiri, it is major success story. Congratulations to Masai.
UPDATE: The Nuggets have released a statement regarding Masai Ujiri. Team president Josh Kroenke announced a search for a new executive and the departing Masai Ujiri offers a few quotes as well. Read the full text on the Nuggets official website here.
While we are passing along hot rumors, a new article by Chad Ford reports that Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti told Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal the Thunder would look into trading up to draft him. Who cares? Not gonna happen, right? Well, a little further down the page Beal shares that another playoff team from the Northwest Division made a similar comment.
The free agency big man logjam is starting to clear out a bit, but four days into the signing period, we still do not know where Nene will be playing this year. However, fellow centers Tyson Chandler (four years, $56 million), Marc Gasol (four years, $58 million) and DeAndre Jordan (four years, $42.7 million) have completed deals and the market value for Nene is becoming apparent.
Free Agency hasn’t started yet, but that has caused no shortage of drama in what is sure to be the craziest NBA offseason ever. By now you’ve all heard news of the Chris Paul deal that wasn’t. The league office will open for business at 12pm MST today and it will be very interesting to see how fast the frenzy will unfold one day after the infamous Veto. This post will be updated with any Nuggets developments and our thoughts on them, so check back throughout the day.
Your loyal and friendly Denver Nuggets bloggers here at Roundball Mining Company have not published anything of consequence regarding the current labor conflagration which now has the NBA on the brink of missing regular season games. The fact of the matter is that the range of possibilities was so far reaching that any kind of analysis would have been complete speculation – not that there is anything wrong with that, this is a blog after all. We have chosen to stay on the sidelines and patiently await some signs of movement in the negotiations.
Almost exactly eleven months ago I wrote the following:
Frankly, the chances of us seeing Melo take Manhattan are quite slim. Even so, if you’re a Nuggets booster, you might want to pray that a couple of big names take the Knicks’ money this year, just to be safe.
Fast forward to February 21, 2011 and the rumor that I could not believe I was asked to write about at the time has come to fruition. After all the rumors and hearsay we have arrived at the outcome most experts and fans alike expected. Carmelo Anthony is now a New York Knickerbocker and is free to sign his coveted extension before the current CBA expires. He found his way to the market and is going to get all the money.
Nuggets fans have had several months to come to grips with Carmelo’s departure. Even the most hardcore fans saw the writing on the wall weeks ago. As hardened to the reports as many fans became, the final news that Denver has traded away quite possibly the most talented player in franchise history brought a flood of emotion.
I do not know who made the call, but I am supremely impressed with someone. Whoever came up with the idea of trading Timofey Mozgov along with another Knick teammate, according to SI.com it would be Danilo Gallinari, from Denver to New Jersey may have ensured a deal will be completed and will be responsible for putting an end to all this Melo hysteria.
According to reports that are reportedly verified by actual reporters Carmelo Anthony has met with groups from the New York Knickerbockers and New Jersey Nets and both teams have submitted their “best” offers and that brings us to what will undoubtedly be the climax of this side show that has kept players, fans and front offices alike entrapped for months.
Denver has three options at this point:
By the time you read this we are going to be less than 200 hours away from the 2011 trade deadline and with all the information that has been spewed out between the start of training camp and today it is time to take a step back and reanalyze the lay of the land.
These are the facts:
After months of rumors, sporadic play on the court, booing fans, speculation out the yin yang, millions of words written in newspapers, magazines, on the internet, in emails, in tweets, spoken around the water cooler and thousands of potentially productive man hours lost to fiddling with the ESPN.com Trade Machine the Carmelo Anthony saga appears to have hit rock bottom. There are multiple reports that the Nuggets are in negotiations in a three team trade that would send Carmelo to New York in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer a future first round pick from the Timberwolves, and if I understand things correctly, an eight digit trade exception. That is it. No Danilo Gallinari, no multiple first round picks and no dynamic young player with promise.
Before you completely discount the rumor as being something the Nuggets would never agree to, which my first inclination, keep one thing in mind. While it is certainly the worst deal for Denver that has been leaked from a talent standpoint it would save the Nuggets roughly $15 million dollars this season. Denver would be sending out Carmelo’s $17.1 million salary and only taking back $5.8 million providing roughly $4 million in salary savings over the final few months as well as over $11 million in luxury tax payments. No other trade I have heard or read about would save Denver so much short term money.
Welcome to the first of a new series on RMC covering news and rumors surrounding the Nuggets and NBA. Many thanks to new collaborator Victor Williams for contributing his most of the tweets and links you’ll see mentioned here. Click through to get a look at the latest tweets from NBA players and journalists plus an assortment of links on all things Nuggets and NBA. Victor is the man to ask when tracking down a new rumor and story so be sure to follow him on twitter here.
The New Jersey Nets are once again on the verge of a multi-team trade that would land them Carmelo Anthony. Only this time, it appears to make more sense for all parties involved. The idea is New Jersey takes on a ton of salary while upgrading its starting lineup, providing tax relief for Denver and much needed future savings for Detroit in the process. The Nuggets also acquire a younger, cheaper contingent of players highlighted by Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, and Devin Harris. But at what cost?
How close is Carmelo Anthony to becoming a member of the New Jersey Nets? Close enough that the Nets and Pistons “were surprised on Sunday night when Denver allowed the players included in the proposed trade to play in a game against the New Orleans Hornets.” That sounds like a deal that is all but done.
With the Denver Nuggets making their lone stop in New York to play the Knickerbockers everyone knew regardless of the outcome on the court the real story would be if Carmelo would experience his next game at Madison Square Garden as a Knick. The media did not disappoint.
Chris Sheridan reported that he was informed by a very trusted source that Carmelo Anthony has made it known to the Nuggets he will only sign the extension on the table if he is traded to the New York Knicks. Carmelo’s representatives made sure that Sheridan shared the news with the rest of the league. (Sheridan followed up his article with a chat which was dominated by Carmelo to New York questions.)
The fact the Knicks are Carmelo’s number one choice is certainly not news. It is noteworthy though in that this is the first time there has been any definitive statement regarding who Carmelo will, or will not, agree to an extension with. The important thing to keep in mind is regardless of how definitive that statement was it was merely a calculated escalation of the pressure being exerted on Denver to ship Melo out of town.
Just think, somewhere in the world there is a young Denver Nuggets fan who has no idea what is like for his favorite basketball team to miss the playoffs, or to even play a meaningless game. The Nuggets have participated in the postseason seven straight seasons, which means the last time there was any talk of mathematic elimination in Denver there was no such thing as blogs.