Denver Nuggets Rumors

And-Ones: Embiid, Draft, Trade Exceptions

June 27 at 11:36pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Nuggets absorbed Arron Afflalo into Andre Iguodala‘s $9,868,632 trade exception in Thursday’s trade with the Magic, reducing its value to $2,368,632. Still, the deal lets them make a new exception worth $1,422,720, equivalent to Evan Fournier‘s salary, and offloading Anthony Randolph in Thursday’s pick swap with the Bulls allows the Nuggets to create another new trade exception worth $1.75MM.

More from around the league:

  • Colin Ceccio of USA Today broke down the salaries for this year’s crop of draft picks.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today looks at the winners and losers from Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
  • GM Sam Hinkie anticipates Thaddeus Young remaining with the Sixers, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. When asked if Young would remain with the team, Hinkie said, “I do. I like everything Thad’s about.
  • NBA.com collected all the various draft grades the Hawks were given for their work on Thursday night.
  • The estimates for when Joel Embiid will be able to return to the court for the Sixers have changed, reports The Toronto Sun (hat tip to the Sports XChange). Embiid is predicted to be out five to eight months, instead of the originally reported four to six months.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Nuggets, Blazers, Wolves

June 27 at 10:36pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey will be busy once the free agent signing period begins, writes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Olshey will look to upgrade his bench and he will have the team’s mid level exception which would allow Olshey to spend as much as $5.305MM on a player for up to four years, and a biannual exception that will allow him to spend roughly $2.1MM on a player for up to two years, the article notes. Freeman also looks at some of the free agent possibilities the team might entertain signing this summer.

More from the west:

  • According to Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, both Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris are “long term plays,” writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Connelly also said, I think Brian [Shaw] is an open competition coach, and if those guys come in and earn minutes, great, but I like what’s in front of them and I like the guys they are going to be able to learn from.”
  • Shaw is happy with how the Nuggets roster is currently constituted, writes Dempsey in a separate article. Shaw said, “In terms of our team, I think we got better yesterday. It’s tough. Evan Fournier is a young guy that had a lot of promise and had tremendous upside. But I think (the Arron Afflalo trade) gives us a legitimate starter at the two position. In terms of the depth of our team… we wanted to wear them down with the first unit and wear them out with the second unit. We never got an opportunity to get to that because of the injuries.”
  • If Kevin Love is traded this summer, the Timberwolves will move from an offense centered on his versatility and shot-making to one built around passing and a dangerous transition game, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. The article examines how the draft night selections of Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III fit into that plan.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines what Nik Stauskas will bring to the Kings.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Magic

June 27 at 8:58pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Bulls trade that sent the No. 16 and 19 picks to the Nuggets for the chance to draft Doug McDermott actually hurt the teams chances of landing Carmelo Anthony, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders.The article notes that by adding Anthony Randolph‘s $1.825MM salary to McDermott’s $1.898MM cap hold as the 11th pick and the roster charge of over $500,000, Chicago actually now has about $1 million less to offer Carmelo in free agency  than they would have had if they kept both picks.

More from the east:

  • Despite picking second, the Bucks got their number one draft target in Jabari Parker, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Coach Larry Drew said, “When the announcement came that Andrew Wiggins was the first pick by Cleveland, I looked around the room and Iooked at the faces, and I could see guys were really trying to hold their composure. When it came to our pick, faces just changed because we knew we got the man we really wanted.”
  • Despite having had a successful draft, the Magic are looking at the Summer of 2015 as when they will take the next step forward, writes Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. With an abundance of cap space and a number of promising young pieces in place, the team should be an attractive landing spot for big name free agents, opines Schmitz.
  • Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal looks at what the Knicks have lost and gained in the wake of the draft and the trade of Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks.
  • The Heat are making Norris Cole “very available” in trades, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Magic, Afflalo, McRoberts, Heat

June 27 at 4:14pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Thursday’s trade that sent Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets in exchange for Evan Fournier and No. 56 pick Devyn Marble also gave the Magic a chance to reap an additional asset. It allows Orlando to create a $6,077,280 trade exception representing the difference in salary between Afflalo and Fournier. Of course, it might not last long if Orlando, which has been technically operating above the cap in spite of its diminutive payroll, elects to use cap space this summer. Still, it’s one more arrow in GM Rob Hennigan‘s quiver, and it helps explain another decision he made, as we detail below amid the latest from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic fielded offers that would have allowed them to obtain a first-round pick for Afflalo, but they elected to take the package from the Nuggets instead, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reveals.
  • Hornets GM Rich Cho contends that the team’s decision to draft big man Noah Vonleh at No. 9 doesn’t affect Charlotte’s designs on re-signing Josh McRoberts, as Cho told reporters today, including Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • It was a surprise when Caron Butler signed with the Thunder instead of the Heat this past season, but he said in a recent radio appearance on FM 104.3 The Ticket that the Heat approached him after he’d already committed to joining Oklahoma City. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald has the highlights from the interview, in which the soon-to-be free agent confirmed that he’d consider signing with Miami this summer.

Western Notes: Nuggets, Lakers, Prince, Wolves

June 27 at 2:44pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Nuggets GM Tim Connelly shares the belief of former GM Masai Ujiri that, while having a marquee player is ideal, it’s possible to construct a team that goes deep into the playoffs without one, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe details.

“Watching the playoffs, I do think there is an increasing sense of parity,” Connelly said to Lowe this morning. “We lack that superstar, but we also think a couple of our younger players could really step their game up. I like our roster as I wake up today. It’s a roster that should restore a playoff spot. But we also want to maintain flexibility so that we can make moves. All of our assets are movable.”

There’s more on the Nuggets from Lowe’s piece among the latest from the Western Conference:

  • The Nuggets have been planning to discuss an extension with Thad Foucher client Kenneth Faried, and it appears they’ll waste no time in doing so. Connelly tells Lowe that he’ll meet with Faried’s representatives next week, just as Faried’s extension eligibility window opens (Twitter link).
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak downplayed the idea that he’ll allow the team’s free agent signings to influence whom the club hires as coach, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes amid his piece on the team’s hopes for a splashy acquisition.
  • The Grizzlies were never that keen on rumored talks with the Raptors involving Tayshaun Prince and John Salmons, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes in a subscription-only piece.
  • Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders isn’t anxious to use the $5.305MM mid-level exception likely to be available to the team this summer, observes Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press“We will wait,” Saunders said. “Right now, there are not a lot of guys that are out there … that I think are better than players we have on the team. We aren’t just going to spend it just because we have it. If someone pops down and we think it’s worth it, we’ll do it.”
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone insisted Thursday night that the team’s decision to draft Nik Stauskas at No. 8 isn’t an indication that they’ve lost faith in fellow shooting guard Ben McLemoretweets Jon Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom.

Nuggets Acquire Arron Afflalo

June 27 at 12:18am CDT By Zach Links

FRIDAY, 12:18am: The deal is official, the Magic have announced via press release.

THURSDAY, 12:18pm: The Magic have agreed to send Arron Afflalo to the Nuggets for Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  The Nuggets appear to be absorbing Afflalo into a trade exception, Zach Lowe of Grantland tweets.  A quick glance at this summer’s outstanding trade exceptions would indicate that Denver is using the $9.868MM exception from the Andre Iguodala deal to take on Afflalo.NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

Afflalo is set to earn $7.56MM this season and has a player option for 2015/16 at $7.75MM, but it seems likely that he’ll opt out, effectively making his deal an expiring contract.  The haul for the guard may seem light, but that fact could have weighed down his trade value.  Afflalo put up a career-high 18.2 PPG this season in 35 minutes per contest.  His ~46% field goal percentage was right in line with his career average and his 16.0 PER was a full three points higher than his mark last season.

The deal is something of a homecoming for Afflalo, who played for Denver from 2009/10 through 2011/12.  The reunion won’t be short lived, as a source tells Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (on Twitter) that the 28-year-old will not be flipped to another team in a trade.  Afflalo has been mentioned as someone the Nuggets were interested in acquiring for the purposes of flipping him to the Wolves in a Kevin Love deal.

Fournier averaged 8.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG in 19.5 minutes per night in 76 games last season.  The shooting guard showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign but didn’t take significant strides forward in 2013/14.  Even though he shot well shot well from downtown, his field-goal percentage dropped to 41.9%, down 7.4 percent from the previous season.

Orlando surely likes Fournier but the real motivation for the deal comes in additional flexibility. Following the trade, the Magic have roughly $27.5MM in guaranteed salary on the books for 2014/15.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bulls Acquire Doug McDermott From Nuggets

June 26 at 9:28pm CDT By Chuck Myron

9:28pm: The trade is official, the Bulls announced via press release. It’s McDermott and Randolph to Chicago, while Jusuf Nurkic (the 16th pick) and Gary Harris (the 19th pick) head to Denver along with the least favorable of the Bulls’ pair of second rounders in 2015 (Chicago has both its own second-round pick and Portland’s second-rounder that year).

8:58pm: Anthony Randolph is also set to go to Chicago in the swap, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.

8:15pm: The Bulls are also sending a future second-round pick to Denver, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).

7:48pm: The Nuggets will trade Doug McDermott to the Bulls after taking him 11th overall, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). The Nuggets get picks Nos. 16 and 19 in exchange, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Kings, Celtics Discuss McLemore, No. 6 Pick

June 26 at 7:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

7:29pm: Sacramento isn’t looking to trade Nik Stauskas, whom the team took with the eighth selection, TNT’s David Aldridge tweets. That’s a bit curious, given that he plays shooting guard, just like McLemore.

7:03pm: The Kings will keep their selection at No. 8, Wojnarowski hears (Twitter link).

6:50pm: The Kings and Celtics are discussing a trade that would send Ben McLemore to Boston and the No. 6 pick to Sacramento, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That comes amid discussion of a pick swap between the Kings and Nuggets involving the eighth and 11th picks, and such a trade may involve current players, too, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

McLemore was last year’s seventh overall pick, so it appears his stock has risen. The Celtics and Kings have been two of the most active teams in chatter leading up to the draft, and the Nuggets have reportedly been shopping the No. 11 pick.

Western Rumors: Love, Rockets, Nuggets

June 26 at 7:08pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Here’s the latest from the Western Conference as the draft gets underway:

  • The Wolves spent the afternoon in meetings, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter), and he wouldn’t be surprised to see some major news come out tonight regarding Kevin Love and the Warriors.
  • Meanwhile, Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) believes that the odds are still against a Love trade materializing tonight.  However, sources tell him that the two sides continue to talk despite the hangup over whether Klay Thompson is in play.
  • Echoing an earlier report from USA Today’s Sam Amick, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears from a rival executive that the Rockets already have a Jeremy Lin deal lined up and ready to execute if they need the cap space to sign Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. It’s likely that the Rockets flip the first-rounder they’re acquiring from the Pelicans in the Omer Asik trade, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • David Pick of Eurobasket.com has consistently heard that the Nuggets will take Jusuf Nurkic at No. 11 (Twitter link).
  • The Thunder will either draft a wing player or trade the 29th overall pick for one, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Mavs almost certainly won’t trade for a first-round pick in tonight’s draft, Donnie Nelson says, as Jeff Caplan of NBA.com notes (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Cavs, Parker, Wiggins, Embiid

June 25 at 11:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wants the team to draft Andrew Wiggins first overall, but the front office prefers Jabari Parker, report Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com. That’s somewhat surprising, considering that Parker is seemingly the better of the two for Gilbert’s desire to win now. It’s unclear if Gilbert will let GM David Griffin and company take Parker, but after letting his executives make the call on Anthony Bennett at No. 1 last year, Gilbert will at least have a “stronger voice” this time around, Ford tweets. Here’s more on the eve of the draft:

  • Andrew Wiggins wants to play for the Sixers, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • The Sixers would take Wiggins at No. 1 if they were to move up, but the Bucks, Magic, Jazz, and Celtics would all select Jabari Parker if they wound up at the top of the draft, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
  • Multiple teams are trying to buy copies of Joel Embiid‘s medical records, a source tells Jake Fischer of The Boston Globe. Other sources tell Fischer that the buying of draftees’ medical records is common practice. (Twitter links)
  • James Young says his workout with the Sixers went well, and gets the sense that he could be selected by Philadelphia with the No. 10 pick, tweets Pompey.
  • Julius Randle passed on a second workout with the Celticstweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Marcus Smart did perform a second workout with the Celtics, and also worked out for the Magic a second time, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders,
  • Zach LaVine tells Andrew Perna of RealGM he has worked out for every team holding picks six through 17 (Twitter link). The Sixers, Magic, and Bulls are teams in that range that had not been linked to a workout with LaVine previously.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo worked out for the Knicks, tweets Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Knicks acquired two second round picks earlier today.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic has come stateside to work out for the Spurs and Clippers, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets that the Serbian wing is gaining steam as a potential pick late in the first round.
  • Alec Brown has worked out for the Bulls, Cavs, Mavs, Clippers, Knicks, Sixers, and Raptorstweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Tim Bontemps of The New York Post thinks it’s likely that the Nets can pick up a second round pick, and opines that they could even make their way into the late first round, where multiple teams would like to trade out of.

Earlier updates

  • Dan Gilbert tweeted out his insistence that he and the Cavs front office are not split (hat tip to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).
  • An opposing GM told Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that the Cavs are entertaining “everything,” because they are in the driver’s seat (Twitter link).
  • It’s still unknown if Dante Exum will work out for the Cavs at their request, but Andy Katz of ESPN.com reports that the guard is unlikely to cooperate without an assurance that there is a deal in place for Cleveland to move down and select him.
  • The Hornets have shown sporadic interest in dealing away their No. 24 pick, but those talks have cooled recently, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
  • The Celtics face tough odds of moving up in the draft because “lots” of other teams with better players to offer are trying to do the same, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
  • One such team could be the Kings, who sources tell Ken Berger of CSBSports.com are trying to move up from No. 8 to have a chance at landing Joel Embiid.
  • Rival GMs believe that Nuggets GM Tim Connelly is in “deal-making mode” with Denver’s No. 11 pick, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Nuggets have been reportedly shopping the pick for some time now.
  • Noah Vonleh is expected to be selected first of the power forward grouping including Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Gordon is not expected to drop any lower than the eighth selection, per Spears’ source.
  • Nets GM Billy King told Rod Boone of Newsday that the asking price to acquire a first round draft pick is likely too high for Brooklyn, and that a second round pick seems more possible (Twitter link).
  • Jusuf Nurkic has a buyout to leave his international club and join the NBA this season, tweets Wojnarowski. There was some confusion as to Nurkic’s willingness and ability to join an NBA team immediately before this revelation, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • Joel Embiid is in “strong consideration” for the Sixers at No. 3, and it’s highly unlikely he slides past the Lakers at No. 7, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). The Sixers have obtained Embiid’s medical information, as Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports.
  • The NBA buyout in the extension that Walter Tavares signed with his Spanish team is $600K, agent Andy Miller tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, and that’s precisely the amount NBA teams can pay without it counting against the cap. There were representatives from 11 NBA teams at a private workout Tavares held on Tuesday, and Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and executives from the Knicks and Nets were among them, Zagoria reports. Zagoria also adds the Spurs to the list of teams that have brought the 22-year-old center in for an audition.
  • Fellow European prospect Vasilije Micic prefers to stay overseas regardless of whether he’s drafted on Thursday, as he told Rigas Dardalis of Eurohoops.net.
  • The Hawks were the last of a dozen teams to work out Zach LaVine, observes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • Andre Dawkins auditioned for the Kings, as Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report notes within his broader look at the draft. Dawkins tells Zwerling that the Cavs, Pistons and Wizards have expressed interest in him.
  • Jordan Adams wasn’t able to get to Memphis in time as the Grizzlies scrambled to put together a last-minute audition, so Michael Dixon is taking his place in the four-man workout group, tweets Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.