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Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Thunder, Wolves

D.J. Augustin proved to have the ability to learn on the fly in his Nuggets debut on Friday and will have to continue to play well because he is the primary backup at point guard, behind Emmanuel Mudiay, Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post writes. Augustin had eight points, six assists and three steals in 19 minutes as the reserve point guard Friday despite dealing with a hectic 24 hours, Dempsey details. Nuggets point guard Jameer Nelson remains out with a wrist injury and there is no clear timetable for his return. The Nuggets acquired Augustin from the Thunder Thursday in exchange for Randy Foye.

Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Speaking of Foye, his addition to the Thunder doesn’t seem to move the needle much, but his versatility as a back-up shooting guard and capable point guard gives Oklahoma City another option off the bench, at the very least, Royce Young of ESPN.com explains.
  • That trade, which involved the Thunder moving Steve Novak as well, helps the franchise from a financial perspective, as Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman details. The Thunder saved about $9.8MM when adding the remaining $1.3MM on Novak’s contract and the $8.5MM taken off the Thunder’s luxury tax bill by clearing him off the books, Slater relays.
  • Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell deserves to lead the team beyond this season because of the way Minnesota improved heading into the All-Star break, Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune argues. There remains a lot of hope for the second half of the season for the Wolves because their young players have started to mesh well together under Mitchell’s guidance, Hartman adds.

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