Denver Nuggets Rumors
June 18 at 6:30pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes about the upcoming NBA draft, which, remarkably enough, is only nine days away.
- The Nuggets are scheduled to evaluate six more players in a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, June 19th, according to Aaron J. Lopez from Nuggets.com. It will be their fourth workout before the June 27th draft.
- The Nets are hosting two pre-draft workouts later this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday, according to the team's official site. A total of 12 players will be worked out by the team.
- According to their official site, the Wizards will be conducting a workout on Wednesday, with six players expected to be in attendance.
- In search of a point guard, the Jazz worked out Syracuse prospect Michael Carter-Williams, but do not expect Trey Burke to be available with the 14th pick, and thus won't be working him out, according to The Salt Lake Tribune's Steve Luhm.
June 17 at 1:47pm CST By Luke Adams
1:47pm: The Nuggets have officially announced the hiring of Connelly in a press release.
"We are extremely excited to have Tim join the Denver Nuggets
organization," Kroenke said in a statement. "He comes from a great basketball
background, possesses an incredibly strong work ethic and is a wonderful
person. His passion and energy for the game of basketball are
contagious and I am confident that he will be a great fit with us in
10:09am: The Nuggets have decided on their new head of basketball operations, agreeing to hire Tim Connelly to replace Masai Ujiri, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Connelly's official title in Denver will be executive VP of basketball operations.
Connelly, who had previously been working as an assistant GM for the Pelicans, was named by Wojnarowski last month as a candidate for the Denver opening. Connelly was also linked to the GM job with the Timberwolves. He'll take the reins with a franchise that has lost its GM, its top assistant GM, and its head coach in the last several weeks.
Since the Nuggets' season ended with a first-round loss to Golden State, Ujiri has been hired as the Raptors' new head of basketball operations, Pete D'Alessandro has reached an agreement to become the Kings' general manager, and George Karl was let go by Denver when the two sides couldn't agree on an extension.
One of the first tasks facing Connelly this summer will be Andre Iguodala's free agency. Iguodala decided to exercise his early termination option and hit the open market, though he and the Nuggets have mutual interest in a new deal that keeps him in Denver.
Connelly also figures to assist team president Josh Kroenke in hiring a head coach to replace Karl. Lionel Hollins is scheduled to interview with the Nuggets on Wednesday, while Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports that the club will meet with Brian Shaw on Tuesday.
June 16 at 9:35pm CST By Zach Links
While the big talk in the NBA right now is whether Doc Rivers will wind up coaching for the Celtics or Clippers next season, there's always the possibility that he takes the 2013/14 season off. If that's the case, Rivers could go from behind the bench to back behind a microphone, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. "You guys (media) have been around Doc long enough to know that's always been something he's talked about," the source said. "So it shouldn't come as a surprise. And frankly, now is probably as good a time as any for him to go that route." Here's more from around the Association..
- One team picking in the lottery promised Dario Saric that they would draft him this year if he guaranteed he'd play in the NBA next year, but he said no, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Earlier tonight we learned that the Croatian forward will formally withdraw from the draft tomorrow with an eye on the 2014 draft.
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld wonders what the next move for the Clippers will be. The Clippers want to be active on the open market, but it's difficult to project how they will fill out their roster with free agents until they’ve taken care of their own players, especially Chris Paul.
- This weekend's D-League tryouts are over, and Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside rounds up the intriguing prospects.
- Before tonight's game, Heat big man Chris Andersen was asked about his thoughts on George Karl's dismissal from the Nuggets. “It’s never a good feeling to get released or get fired, so I can imagine how he feels," the former Nugget said, tweets Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida.
June 16 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Magic appear to have heavy interest in acquiring Eric Bledsoe in return for Arron Afflalo, according to Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com, who delivers his latest mock draft. That jibes with the notion that the Clippers are holding out for an additional asset in the rumored trade proposal, which would also send Caron Butler to Orlando. Kotoch adds that Cavs executive Zydrunas Ilgauskas is pushing Cleveland to take Alex Len first overall. Here's more from around the NBA:
- The Nuggets plan for most of their interviews for a new GM to occur once the team hires a coach, reports Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. Wednesday's scheduled meeting with Lionel Hollins will be the first formal interview the team will conduct for the coaching job, and it's unclear when any other candidates will be interviewed, Dempsey notes.
- Nuggets president Josh Kroenke tells Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post that he wouldn't have allowed a team other than the Raptors to have permission to speak with former GM Masai Ujiri. Kroenke admits he put himself in a difficult position because of his friendship with Ujiri, who had a soft spot for the Raptors organization for which he worked once before.
- The Rockets have paid the luxury tax just once in the 15 seasons its been in existence, but owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he'd be "thrilled to pay a tax if we have a championship-caliber team."
- Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News glances at the personnel decisions facing the Spurs this summer once the Finals are over.
- Tyson Chandler tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that he tried all season long to convince former teammate and new Nets head coach Jason Kidd not to end his playing career. Chandler doesn't believe Kidd's 10-game scoreless streak in the postseason influenced his decision.
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com checks in with free agent center Jerome Jordan, who'll be playing in summer leagues for both the Knicks and Pacers and will also take part in mini-camps with the Spurs and Mavericks.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun figures the Raptors may carry only 13 players next season, given their proximity to tax territory (Twitter links).
June 16 at 8:26am CST By Chuck Myron
There were a lot of moving parts involved in Saturday's dominant storyline, a proposed trade that would send Celtics mainstays Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers. Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, with an assist from Chris Broussard, as well as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times rounded up the relevant details late last night. Based on their reports, here's what we know right now:
- The Celtics are seeking Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and at least one future first-round pick in return for Garnett and Rivers. They're also insisting the Clippers take on the contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
- The Clippers are reluctant to give up Bledsoe, in large measure because of his value for other potential swaps, perhaps a sign-and-trade for Dwight Howard. Still, a source tells Turner that a swap of Bledsoe and Blake Griffin for Howard won't happen.
- An executive told Turner that the Clippers appear to be holding up the deal, while the Celtics want to hurry it along, given Rivers' desire to coach the Clips.
- If the Clippers do the deal, they'd follow by pursuing Paul Pierce. The Celtics may waive Pierce by June 30th to prevent his $15.3MM contract, which is partially guaranteed for $5MM until that date, from becoming fully guaranteed.
- Clippers owner Donald Sterling is willing to give Rivers a three-year deal worth about $6MM per year, or about $1MM less annually than what Rivers would make with the Celtics.
- The Celtics are prepared to bring Rivers back as their coach if no deal is reached with the Clippers. Garnett, like Rivers, has yet to commit to playing next season, but the chance of him doing so would be significantly enhanced if Pierce is back with the Celtics as well.
- If the trade doesn't happen by Tuesday or Wednesday, the Clippers will choose between Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw for their next coach. Of the two, Hollins is the front-runner, but both are also in the mix for the Nuggets job.
June 15 at 4:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
Manu Ginobili said before the Finals that he would consider retirement after the series, and he reiterated that sentiment today in speaking to reporters, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "There's a small chance," Ginobili said. "It's not that I'm really considering, but I can never say 'no' for sure, because I sometimes consider it." If the soon-to-be free agent returns next season, it seems overwhelmingly likely he'll do so with the Spurs, notes Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com. Here's more from a busy Saturday around the Western Conference:
- Lionel Hollins was so impressive in his interview Friday with the Clippers, he may have moved ahead of front-runner Brian Shaw, Shelburne tweets. Of course, the Clippers are in heavy pursuit of Doc Rivers as well, so the situation appears fluid.
- If Shaw doesn't land the Clippers job, he probably won't be coaching in L.A. anytime soon. Late Lakers owner Jerry Buss adored Shaw, but his successors aren't as high on him, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter links).
- Hollins was supposed to interview with the Nuggets today, but flight delays prevented that, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The interview has been rescheduled for Wednesday, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
- New Kings coach Michael Malone had input in the decision to bring Pete D'Alessandro aboard as GM, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that D'Alessandro is a proponent of DeMarcus Cousins.
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson recounts his successful efforts to keep the Kings in town to Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee.
- Jody Genessy of the Deseret News details the free agent mini-camp the Jazz are holding this week with two dozen NBA hopefuls.
- HoopsWorld's Joel Brigham sizes up six teams likely to be in the running for Andre Iguodala, who's set to opt out of his contract with the Nuggets.
- Fellow HoopsWorld scribe Susan Bible ponders what's next for the Thunder.
June 15 at 3:40pm CST By Chuck Myron
3:40pm: The Kings still want to add a consultant to the front office mix, USA Today's Sam Amick reports, adding that he doesn't think they'll hire "one of the usual suspects who was interviewed." In any case, D'Alessandro is expected to lead the front office, Amick says. (Twitter links).
2:33pm: TNT's David Aldridge and USA Today's Sam Amick have confirmed Wojnarowski's report (Twitter links). Ken Berger of CBSSports.com hears the Kings are still deciding whether to hire another front office executive to pair with D'Alessandro and says Wallace would be the leading candidate for that position. Wallace remains under contract as GM of the Grizzlies, but he's been pushed to the side under the new, analytics-driven leadership of owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien.
2:09pm: The Kings and Pete D'Alessandro have reached an agreement on a deal that would make him Sacramento's new GM, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. D'Alessandro has been serving as vice president of basketball operations for the Nuggets, and was the chief assistant to former Denver GM Masai Ujiri. The Nuggets were reportedly leaning toward D'Alessandro for their GM vacancy, but it appears they'll have to move to other candidates.
The hire is somewhat of a surprise, since D'Alessandro's name wasn't one of several that were said to be in the mix as recently as two days ago. Chris Wallace, David Morway and Scott Layden appeared to be the front-runners at that point. Perhaps one of them or another executive will join D'Alessandro in the front office, since new owner Vivek Ranadive has indicated he might want to hire a tandem of someone with experience and a relatively fresh face to lead the team's basketball ops.
One possible front office partner for D'Alessandro could be Chris Mullin, the former Warriors GM under whom D'Alessandro served from 2004 to 2008. Mullin's name came up in connection with the Kings job via multiple reports.
June 14 at 11:13pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com doesn't think the Hawks will have much trouble if they want to trade Lou Williams to free up more cap space in the pursuit of two max free agents this summer. He also believes the team wouldn't hesitate to pull off other moves necessary to clear room (Twitter links). If the Hawks renounce all their cap holds and keep their pair of first-round picks, they'd be about $1.9MM shy of the cap space necessary to sign Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, providing next season's salary cap checks in at the projected $58.5MM. The Hawks might not be at the top of likely destinations for the rumored D12-CP3 pairing, but it appears that won't stop them from trying. With half a month to go until teams and free agents can start lining up agreements, here's more from around the Association:
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who broke the news that Andre Iguodala will opt out and become a free agent, listed Detroit as a likely suitor, and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press echoes that sentiment, writing that the Pistons like the veteran small forward.
- Nuggets president Josh Kroenke cited Danilo Gallinari's lengthy recovery from a torn ACL when he explained the team's decision to let go of George Karl, but now it appears Gallinari could be back in December, not February, as Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports.
- Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman makes a compelling case that the Thunder should trade the 12th pick in the draft to the Hawks for the 17th and 18th selections. Part of the financial side of the argument is based on Mayberry's expectation that OKC won't re-sign Kevin Martin and won't look to replace him via free agency.
- Mark Singelais of the Albany Times Union profiles Siena forward O.D. Anosike, a second-round hopeful who joined Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Rice Jr., Jackie Carmichael and others in a group workout Thursday for the Celtics.
- MLive's David Mayo passes along a list of players who worked out for the Pistons this week: Andre Roberson, Robert Covington, James Southerland, Adonis Thomas, Mareks Mejeris, A'uston Calhoun, Nick Minnerath and Kwame Vaughn.
- Small-market owners may have been the prime movers behind the latest CBA, but they're still hamstrung by unbalanced local TV revenues. That could lead to another work stoppage and watered-down rosters across the league, ESPN's J.A. Adande argues.
June 14 at 2:42pm CST By Luke Adams
On the heels of a pair of unsurprising option decisions - Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams will return to the Warriors and Jazz, respectively - we received word that Andre Iguodala will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Iguodala's decision isn't a huge surprise either, but it certainly makes this year's class of free agents even more interesting.
In addition to the Nuggets, Wojnarowski listed six other teams expected to pursue Iguodala, while Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group tweets that the Warriors are interested in well. Golden State would have a much tougher path to landing Iggy than teams with cap space, but a sign-and-trade is within the realm of possibility.
Here are a few more Friday odds and ends from around the NBA:
- An Eastern Conference executive tells Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link) that the Cavaliers and Bobcats have both been "ultra-aggressive" in seeking out trades.
- We heard yesterday that the Nuggets hoped to bring Brian Shaw in for an interview next week, but according to a tweet from Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, it sounds like Denver was able to schedule a meeting with Shaw for today. Lionel Hollins' interview is still set for tomorrow, as planned.
- Discussing his team's upcoming offseason, Pistons GM Joe Dumars says many teams facing possible tax penalties next season are already making trade calls in an effort to reduce or avoid a tax bill (link via David Mayo of MLive.com).
- Agent Tony Dutt tells Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times that his client, Jordan Farmar, wants to return to the NBA "for sure." Farmar signed a three-year contract in Turkey last summer, but has the chance to opt out of the deal after each season.
- In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton follows up on the story that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are interested in playing together by ranking a handful of possible destinations from least likely (Lakers) to most likely (Hawks).
June 14 at 1:22pm CST By Luke Adams
Andre Iguodala has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, agent Rob Pelinka informed Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke of the decision on Thursday.
"We are fully aware of Andre's intentions and he's well aware of how much
we want him back," Kroenke said. "Andre us a huge priority for our
While there appears to be mutual interest between Nuggets and Iguodala in a new deal, Denver is currently without a GM or coach, which makes the situation a little murkier. There will also be plenty of clubs vying for the 29-year-old's services. Wojnarowski names the Hawks, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Rockets, Pistons, and Pelicans as likely suitors.
An official decision from Iguodala is due by June 25th, but assuming he opts out, he'll be eligible for a new five-year contract from the Nuggets or a four-year deal from another team. He'll pass up a 2013/14 salary that Wojnarowski cites as $15.9MM, though various salary databases have it at $16.15MM -- that salary included $250K in likely incentives, so perhaps those incentives are now listed as unlikely.
In any case, although I'm skeptical that Iguodala will land an annual salary that exceeds the approximate $16MM he would have earned on his current contract, he'll certainly be able to secure a significantly larger guarantee in a new long-term deal.