Denver Nuggets Rumors

And-Ones: Kings, Felton, Knicks, Singleton, Oden

August 7 at 2:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Lost in the noise surrounding the agreement between the Cavs and Wolves to send Kevin Love to Cleveland is a trade that actually became official Wednesday. The Kings can create a pair of trade exceptions from their deal with the Knicks, one worth $915,243 for Quincy Acy‘s salary, and another worth $228,660 for the difference between the salaries of Travis Outlaw and Wayne Ellington. The Knicks, limited in part because they’re a taxpaying team, can only make a tiny trade exception worth $32,920 for the difference between the three-year veteran’s minimum that Jeremy Tyler makes and the two-year veteran’s minimum that’s coming to Acy. Here’s more on the Knicks and other teams and players from around the league:

  • Mavs point guard Raymond Felton will serve a four-game suspension at the start of the regular season for his guilty plea to gun-related charges stemming from a February incident, the league announced via press release.
  • Knicks GM Steve Mills didn’t rule out further moves, but he said Wednesday that the team is satisfied with its backcourt situation after alleviating a logjam with the trade, as Ian Begley of chronicles.
  • The Wizards no longer have free agent Chris Singleton in their plans, a source tells J. Michael of Singleton nonetheless turned down an overseas offer in hopes of landing an NBA job, and has dropped agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports in favor of Todd Ramasar from Stealth Sports, Michael also reports.
  • The Heat were unlikely to re-sign Greg Oden before his arrest this morning on misdemeanor battery charges, and the incident probably ends any chance he had of returning to the team, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in a pair of tweets.
  • Mark Deeks of ShamSports clarifies an earlier report indicating that Jusuf Nurkic received less than the standard 120% of the rookie scale from the Nuggets. Denver is doling out the full 120%, but the team is using a portion of it to pay Nurkic’s buyout from his Croatian club, so while Nurkic is receiving less than 120% of the scale in actual salary, his cap figure will reflect that the Nuggets are paying 120%. The move is not unprecedented for a player picked as highly as Nurkic, who went 16th overall.

Cavs Sign Mike Miller

August 5 at 5:53pm CDT By Chuck Myron

5:53pm: The team has followed with an official announcement.

AUGUST 5TH, 5:32pm: The team still hasn’t made a formal announcement, but the signing has taken place, according to Pincus (Twitter link). It’s for two years and $5.6MM and it includes a 15% trade kicker, according to Pincus, who confirms that it indeed features a player option for the final season.

JULY 15TH: Mike Miller has agreed to join the Cavs on a two-year deal with a player option for the final season, reports Chris Broussard of (Twitter link). It’s for a total of $5.5MM, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter), though Broussard says the Nuggets and Rockets offered more. Miller had been torn between Denver and Cleveland, as Wojnarowski reported earlier this afternoon (Twitter link). The Cavs are likely using their room exception on the sharpshooting swingman, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

The Arn Tellem client was reportedly near a deal with the Nuggets when LeBron James decided to return to the Cavaliers, which allowed Miller a chance to play with James again. Miller was ineligible to sign with the Heat, since his previous contract with Miami, which the Heat amnestied, ran through next season. James had apparently reached out to Miller to see if he would be interested in joining him were he to leave the Heat this summer.

The Grizzlies, Clippers, Thunder, Blazers and Mavs were other teams reportedly interested in the 34-year-old, who showed this past season that his body is still capable of handling the rigors of the NBA. He played in all 82 games for the first time since he was a rookie, giving Memphis a valuable shooter in reserve. His 45.9% accuracy from behind the arc was the second-best mark of his career.

Miller’s camp appeared to try to ward off the possibility that the Cavs would claim him off amnesty waivers last summer by advancing talk about back surgery, but now Miller is willingly taking a discount to go to Cleveland, in a twist of events.

Western Notes: Cousins, Gasol, Nurkic, Blazers

August 4 at 2:45pm CDT By Chuck Myron

DeMarcus Cousins feels like he’s behind in his career because of Sacramento’s inability over the years to find a team that fits around him, but he’s nonetheless ecstatic about what the Kings have done this offseason, as he tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

“I love what we’re doing. Love what we’re doing. [GM] Pete [D’Alessandro], he’s real aggressive, going after stuff, trying for players we probably have no chance at getting. One of these times we’re going to get lucky, and in the past we wouldn’t do that. Do you know how good that feels? Since [owner] Vivek [Ranadive], Pete, [coach] Michael [Malone], Mullie [team adviser Chris Mullin], [director of pro personnel] Mitch [Richmond] and those guys walked through the [expletive] door, things have been on the rise. I am totally behind it. Michael is like me; he sees everything in black-and-white. I love the fact Pete keeps trying stuff. I am totally behind all this. Rudy [Gay], the [Darren] Collison move, thinking Omri [Casspi] can stretch the floor. And the rookie, that kid [Nik] Stauskas can really play. He makes the game easy and has an impact even when he’s not scoring. I am so happy to be a part of this, of what we’re doing.”

Here’s more from around the West:

  • Marc Gasol can hit free agency next summer, but Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said Friday that the team is determined to keep him around for the rest of his career, observes Zach McMillin of The Commercial Appeal. Pera added that convincing Gasol that he can win a title in Memphis will be key, notes fellow Commercial Appeal scribe Michael Cohen.
  • No. 16 overall pick Jusuf Nurkic didn’t receive the standard 120% of the rookie scale when he signed with the Nuggets last month, and it’s believed that he’s the most highly drafted player ever to take such a discount, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports. That’s especially surprising given that Nurkic has to pick up a portion of his buyout from Croatian team KK Cedevita. He’ll receive 108% of the scale amount this year and 107% in the second season, while the pair of team option years on his rookie scale contract are at the usual 120%, according to Deeks.
  • The Blazers don’t mind Damian Lillard‘s participation in Team USA activities this summer as much as they would take issue with players who compete for other nations, as The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito explains. That’s because Team USA doesn’t expect heavy minutes and practice time out of its players the way some countries do.

Nuggets Sign Erick Green

August 1 at 11:59am CDT By Alex Lee

AUGUST 1ST: The deal is official, the team announced.

JULY 26TH, 7:51pm: Green’s three-year contract is non-guaranteed, as detailed on Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus’ salary sheet for the Nuggets, coming in at $2,332,826 of total salary.

FRIDAY, 7:55am: Green signed his contract with the Nuggets on Thursday, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to announce the deal.

THURSDAY, 2:20pm: It’ll be a three-year deal for Green, the 46th pick in last year’s draft, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. That means Denver will use a portion of its mid-level exception to complete the signing.

WEDNESDAY, 8:06pm: After a strong summer league showing, Erick Green will sign a multi-year deal with the Nuggets, reports Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops (hat tip to Sportando). The Virginia Tech product played for Italy’s Mens Sana Siena last season after being selected by Utah in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft (his rights were then traded to Denver). Green averaged 11.5 points on 51 percent shooting in 28 games for Siena last season, helping to lead the team to the seventh game of the Italian finals.

Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post confirms the deal, writing that Green will likely fill the team’s need for a third point guard behind Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson. As Dempsey notes, Green averaged 16.6 points, 3.0 boards and 2.6 assists per game for the Nuggets this summer, in turn convincing the team that he was capable of handling point guard duties in the NBA. His scoring ability was likely never in doubt, as the 23-year-old was the leading scorer among Division I players in his final season in Blacksburg.

The financial terms of the deal are not yet known, though the original report indicates that the pact will extend beyond one year. After adding Gary Harris in the draft and Arron Afflalo via trade, the signing of Green currently puts the Nuggets’ roster at 14 players. Denver also selected international prospects Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic in June, though it is unclear if either will play for the team this season.

Western Rumors: Jokic, Grizzlies, Jazz, Kings

July 31 at 9:44pm CDT By Cray Allred

It doesn’t sound like the Nuggets intend to sign 41st overall pick Nikola Jokic this year, as Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post writes amid his mailbag column that the center from Serbia won’t be on the roster come fall. Here’s a rundown of the Western Conference, including some more notes out of Denver:

  • In another response, Dempsey predicts that the Nuggets will make the playoffs this season, but speculates that a failure to do so will result in a “gut-job” on the roster from the front office.
  • The Denver Post scribe would expect JaVale McGee to be on the trading block for 2015/16, when he will be on an expiring contract, if the Nuggets center doesn’t stay healthy and play well this year.
  • The Grizzlies have retooled their coaching and development staff with a group of promotions and hires, installing Jeff Bzdelik, Jason March, Drew Graham and John Townsend as assistant coach, assistant coach/advanced scout, head trainer, and director of player development, respectively, according to a team release.
  • Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune looks at the plethora of rookie extension decisions facing the Jazz, who have six lottery picks on their roster, in the coming years.
  • The Kings final court victory regarding their new arena will be appealed, but a team spokeswoman tells Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee that Sacramento will move forward with construction.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Nuggets Sign Jusuf Nurkic

July 31 at 3:30pm CDT By Alex Lee

JULY 31ST: The signing is official, the Nuggets announced.

JULY 23RD: The Nuggets have signed 16th overall pick Jusuf Nurkic, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports (via Twitter). Nurkic will likely be making more than $1.7MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows.

Denver’s other first rounder, Gary Harris, signed his deal with the team earlier this month. However the situation with Nurkic, a 19-year-old international prospect from Bosnia, was less clear as his addition to the Nuggets roster faced the obstacle of a $1.77MM buyout due to his overseas club. Eventually, Nurkic and KK Cedevita (of Croatia) agreed to spread the buyout over two seasons. With Denver paying the $600K Excluded International Player Payment Amount this upcoming season, that would put Nurkic on the hook for about $285K in 2014/15 and the full $885K in 2015/16, meaning he will pocket roughly $1.42MM in his first season in the NBA.

At 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, Nurkic is a traditional center that rocketed up draft boards due to his size and touch around the basket. As Denver GM Tim Connelly indicated after the draft, the Bosnian is a “long term play” although he does possess the skill level that could allow him to have an impact sooner than some think.

Nuggets Sign Gary Harris

July 31 at 3:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 31ST: The team has followed up with a formal announcement, making the signing official.

JULY 9TH: The Nuggets have signed 19th overall pick Gary Harris, according to Aaron J. Lopez of (Twitter link). Harris will likely be making a little more than $1.5MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows.

Denver’s other first-round pick, 16th overall selection Jusuf Nurkic, is reportedly working on a buyout from his overseas club and remains unsigned, though the latest report indicates that he’s likely to join the Nuggets this year. Both came via trade from the Bulls in a deal in which the Nuggets surrendered the rights to No. 11 pick Doug McDermott.

Harris, a 6’4″ shooting guard, averaged 16.7 points in 32.3 minutes per game this past season, with 35.2% shooting from behind the three-point line. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors, who examined the prospect profile of Harris, cast the former Michigan State Spartan as a strong value for teams picking 10th through 15th, suggesting that he’s a steal for the Nuggets at No. 19.

2014 Draft-And-Stash Signees

July 31 at 12:34pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The players selected in last month’s draft aren’t the only draftees signing with NBA teams. Six “draft-and-stash” prospects agreed to deals with the teams that held their NBA rights this month, finally coming to the NBA after having spent at least a year outside the league. They wound up with widely varying financial terms, as we examine here:

Updated 8-11-14

Nikola Mirotic, Bulls — The prize import from overseas signed a deal precisely equivalent to the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception over three years, even though the Bulls used cap space to sign him. It had been three years since the Rockets drafted Mirotic 23rd overall, so the Bulls, who acquired his rights via trade at the 2011 draft, weren’t limited to giving him rookie scale salaries. That helped Chicago immensely, since Mirotic had to commit more than $3MM when he bought his way out of his contract with Spain’s Real Madrid. Mirotic still had enough leverage to command a trade kicker and, reportedly, assurances from the Bulls that he wouldn’t be traded. He’ll make a total of more than $16.6MM over the life of the contract.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Nets — Bogdanovic came to Brooklyn for a three-year contract at the full value of the taxpayer’s mid-level exception, a less lucrative version of the mid-level than the Bulls gave Mirotic. Bogdanovic also received a trade kicker, just as Mirotic did. Bogdanovic was a product of the 2011 draft, again just like Mirotic, but he was a second-round pick, so the rookie scale wouldn’t have applied no matter when he signed. He’s not to be confused with Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Suns drafted 27th overall last month. That Bogdanovic figures to be on this list a few years down the road, since he just signed a multiyear contract to play in Turkey.

Kostas Papanikolaou, Rockets — The Papanikolaou deal is like the Bogdanovic signing in that both were former second-round picks who received mid-level money, but the first-year salary, worth nearly $4.8MM, is believed to be the most lucrative ever for the rookie season of a former second-round pick. That’s because Houston used the majority of its $5.305MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level on Papanikolaou, who has a two-year pact for about $9.4MM.

Lucas Nogueira, Raptors — Nogueira was the 16th pick of the 2013 draft, and Toronto acquired his rights via trade last month. The rookie scale still applies to him, unlike Mirotic, so he’ll likely make a salary of nearly $1.763MM for this coming season, part of which will go toward his buyout. That’s the standard 120% of the rookie scale amount for the 16th pick in this year’s draft, rather than last year’s, but the scale applies to the year in which the player signs, not the year in which he’s drafted. The deal is worth $8,473,305 over four seasons.

James Ennis, Heat — Heat president Pat Riley has raved about last year’s 40th overall pick, whom Miami acquired from the Hawks shortly after they drafted him. The Heat used part of their cap space to come to terms with Ennis, even though he won’t see any more than the minimum salary in any of the three years for which he signed. Riley’s praise indicates that Ennis is likely to stick around for a while, but the team has the option to waive him by the end of opening night and pay him only his $200K partial guarantee if it so chooses.

Erick Green, Nuggets — Denver used a portion of its mid-level exception to sign Green, whom the Nuggets acquired in a trade shortly after the Jazz picked him 46th overall in the 2013 draft. The part of the mid-level the team gave him is equivalent to just the minimum salary, so he’s receiving significantly less than Mirotic and Bogdanovic. The three-year pact is worth about $2.3MM. It’s only guaranteed for $50K, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.

Pierre Jackson, Sixers — There’s a decent chance that Jackson, last year’s 42nd overall pick, would be higher on this list had he not ruptured his achilles tendon shortly before signing with Philadelphia. The Sixers reacquired his rights from the Pelicans last month after drafting him 42nd overall in 2013, and while he and the Pelicans couldn’t agree to terms last year, he sprung for 29.1 points per game in the D-League. He wound up with a one-year, minimum-salary deal that’s guaranteed for $400K, as Deeks noted when he reported the signing.

Buycks Spurns NBA Offers To Play In Spain

July 25 at 8:42am CDT By Chuck Myron

Former Raptors point guard Dwight Buycks has signed with Valencia of Spain, the Spanish ACB league’s website announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s a one-year deal, as reveals. The Lakers and Clippers extended non-guaranteed invitations to Buycks for preseason camp, according to David Pick of (Twitter link), and he was close to signing with the Nuggets before they instead came to terms with Erick Green, as Pick tells Hoops Rumors. The Suns were also reportedly interested in him.

The Relativity Sports client drew offers from multiple teams overseas, but Valencia bid highest among those clubs, Pick reports (All Twitter links). It’s likely he’s receiving guaranteed salary to play in Spain, which would explain why he’s passing up a shot at continuing his NBA career. Toronto waived him this past weekend rather than guarantee his NBA minimum salary for the coming season.

Buycks saw action in just 14 games this past season, his first official NBA experience. He averaged 3.1 points and 0.7 assists in 10.4 minutes per contest for Toronto.

Possible Third Teams Emerging For Love Trade

July 23 at 10:08am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Sixers, Nuggets and Celtics are among the clubs trying to get involved as a third team in a Kevin Love swap, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. A deal involving Love is unlikely to involve just two teams, a source tells Deveney. The Nuggets and Celtics are still attempting to acquire Love themselves, but they have interest in acting merely as facilitators, too, with Boston looking to part with draft picks in return for a player who can help the team this coming season.

The Sixers would like to fold Thaddeus Young into the deal, Deveney adds, advancing reports from overnight. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune suggested that it wouldn’t be surprising if Young ends up in Minnesota, while there are whispers that the Sixers have strong interest in Cavs guard Dion Waiters, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

The Cavs became willing at some point this past weekend to include Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Love, and the Wolves like the packages they’re discussing with Cleveland better than what other teams have on the table, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press explains. Still, the 30-day waiting period that would take place once Wiggins signs his contract with Cleveland has the teams on edge, and with the Wolves also looking at bringing a third club into the mix, the balancing act could cause a deal to unravel, Krawczynski adds (All four Twitter links).

Minnesota is also high on what Golden State can put together for Love, providing that the Warriors relent and allow Klay Thompson into such a deal, and the Nuggets’ bid for Love would be next on the Wolves’ list. The Bulls also appear to be making another run at the All-Star power forward, while the Celtics seemingly remain on the fringes.