The Nuggets see Jameer Nelson as more than just someone who can shepherd rookie Emmanuel Mudiay, coach Michael Malone insisted Tuesday to reporters, including Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Denver re-signed Nelson to a three-year deal worth more than $13.6MM in the offseason.
“We believe in Jameer regardless of Emmanuel,” Malone said. “I think everybody thinks that [Jameer is around] just because we have a young point guard. We believe in Jameer because he’s a vet with tremendous experience, a very good leader on the court [and] in the locker room. And now you couple that with a young point guard like Emmanuel Mudiay, so Jameer can not only mentor him but push him. It’s always a competition.”
See more on Nelson amid our check around the Northwest Division:
- Nelson had long envisioned finishing his career with the Magic, but he sensed that he and the team were heading in different directions before he left as a free agent last year, as Robbins details in the same piece. Still, the Nuggets veteran has a fondness for his old home. “I’m here in Denver, but I always talk to my wife about moving back to Orlando just because that’s where we basically spent the majority of my adult life so far,” Nelson said, according to Robbins. “Of my 33 years, 10 of it was in Orlando and that’s when I was a real adult.”
- Timberwolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell isn’t assured of remaining in his position beyond the season, but Kevin Garnett is a fan of the job his coach and former teammate is doing, as Garnett expressed to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. “Fiery, competitive, wants to win, hates to lose,’’ Garnett said of Mitchell. “He coaches really hard, and he wants it, for everybody. He roots for guys. At the same time he wishes he could put a jersey on and [play]. But his spirit is there. You know, you want a coach who has your back, and everybody feels like that. They feel the coach goes out and fights for you, puts you in positions to be successful, too. ‘’
- Damian Lillard calls Trail Blazers offseason signee Ed Davis “the ultimate teammate,” and coach Terry Stotts finds a lot to like about Allen Crabbe, two role players who are making a convincing case to be part of the team’s long-term plan, argues Jason Quick of CSNNW.com. Davis is already in place contractually, with a three-year, $20MM deal, but Crabbe is set for restricted free agency at season’s end.