Nuggets Notes: Connelly, Arthur, Karnisovas

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, fresh off signing his extension Tuesday, said he plans an aggressive approach as the trade deadline nears and added that he doesn’t like to see the team, which lost Tuesday to fall to 16-26, as far below .500 as it is, as Matt Moore of CBSSports.com relays. Still, he cautioned that he doesn’t want to rush the process of building a contender and wouldn’t rule out trading for another first-round pick, Moore notes, even though the team is likely to have at least two and could have as many as four this June. Denver also has the right to swap picks with the Knicks. Rumors have linked the Nuggets to the unprotected pick that the Nets owe the Celtics, but indications are Boston doesn’t intend to trade that selection, Moore writes. See more from Denver:

  • Nuggets signees this past season lauded the culture that Connelly and his staff are building, and the extension was a sign that the franchise believes it’s found the right direction for itself after a 2014/15 that Connelly on Tuesday called an embarrasment, Moore relays in a separate piece. Denver is on track to succeed, though the missing piece is a superstar, Moore opines. “I think we’ve turned the corner,” Connelly said, “and now we have to be aggressive, opportunistic, but also patient.”
  • Darrell Arthur was one of the Nuggets who signed this summer in part because he liked where the Nuggets were headed, notes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, and retaining the power forward has paid dividends for the team this season, as Dempsey examines. That’s in large measure because Arthur has been healthy, Dempsey notes.
  • The Nuggets had been working on extensions for Connelly as well as assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas and others in the front office staff for months, according to Dempsey, who adds that the franchise has long intended to keep Connelly and his aides (Twitter link).
  • Denver is reportedly shopping J.J. Hickson while ex-Nuggets combo forward Kostas Papanikolaou has officially signed overseas. See details on those stories and more on our Nuggets team page.

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