Denver Nuggets Rumors

Northwest Notes: Jackson, Aldridge, Rubio

September 30 at 9:01am CDT By Chuck Myron

Reggie Jackson‘s continued insistence on starting for the Thunder complicates the notion of an extension for the fourth-year guard, as The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater examines, writing that a deal before the October 31st deadline would be “surprising.” Still, Kevin Durant tells Sam Amick of USA Today that Jackson loves the organization and believes that “it’s going to all work out,” as a report this weekend indicated that the Oklahoma City front office is enamored with Jackson. While we wait to see what happens as the Thunder face an extension deadline with a talented sixth man for the second time in three years, here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

Northwest Notes: Christon, Durant, Wolves

September 29 at 7:05pm CDT By Cray Allred

The preseason roster the Thunder released today doesn’t include Semaj Christon‘s name on it, so presumably the 55th overall pick from June’s draft won’t be joining the team this year. Oklahoma City acquired the rights to the former Xavier point guard in a draft-night trade with the Hornets, who’d obtained his rights from the Heat in a trade earlier that same evening. Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Kevin Durant opened up to Sam Amick of USA Today about his looming free agency in two years. “It’s not a surprise [that people ask him about it] because everybody wants to know,” Durant said. “But I’m taking it day by day with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s my main concern. And whatever the future holds, I don’t know, because I can’t tell you the future…I like the direction we’re going in, and that’s not just a cliché [expletive] answer. That’s real.” Durant also spoke highly of GM Sam Presti, who is optimistic about Durant’s future. “We know it’s there, and we are looking forward to it—the opportunity to re-sign a legacy player,” said Presti.
  • Nate Robinson told reporters including Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post that he’d like to remain with the Nuggets beyond this year, the last on his contract with Denver. “I’m too old to be moving around too much more,” Robinson said. “The city is great, the fans are great and this team is awesome. I would love to be here if they would love to have me.” 
  • Wolves coach and president Flip Saunders deflected questions about the team’s extension talks with Ricky Rubio at the team media day, as did the point guard himself, reports Andy Greder of St. Paul Pioneer Press“He has a contract right now,” said Saunders. “The future, as I’ve said about all [rookie scale extension candidates], they go through the process. Some get signed and some don’t. But I think it’s been very evident that Ricky is important to our team.”
  • Wolves GM Milt Newton has no worries about getting along with Saunders, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. With Saunders focusing on the hardwood, Newton says the “day-to-day grind” of being a GM will be squarely on his shoulders.

Chuck Myron and Zach Links contributed to this post.

Nuggets Pursuing Alonzo Gee

September 27 at 9:44pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Nuggets are in active pursuit of small forward Alonzo Gee, writes Shams Charania of RealGM. Gee cleared waivers today, two days after the Kings waived his non-guaranteed deal. Gee was set to make $3MM this season, and while the Cavs and three other teams unloaded him in trades this offseason before the Kings cut him loose, it appears there’s still interest in him, at least at a cheaper price.

The Happy Walters client started all 82 games for the Cavs in 2012/13, but coach Mike Brown, in a one-season return to Cleveland, cut Gee’s minutes per game nearly in half this past year. The 27-year-old averaged career highs with 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 29.0 minutes per game as a part-time starter for Cleveland in 2011/12.

Denver has close to $4.8MM left on its mid-level exception, so the Nuggets have the capacity to exceed the minimum for Gee should they desire, even though it seems a minimum deal would be the most likely outcome. The team only has 13 fully guaranteed pacts, with a total of just $235K in partial guarantees to Quincy Miller, Jerrelle Benimon and Erick Green, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the Nuggets laid out a full guarantee in their offer to Gee.

Western Notes: Rockets, Kerr, Nuggets

September 27 at 3:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Rockets had quite a difficult offseason. From being spurned by Chris Bosh, losing Chandler Parsons to the Mavs in free agency, and dealing away Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik for essentially nothing in return, as far as the current roster is concerned, it’s been a rough few months in Houston. In his training camp preview, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle looks at the main questions facing the franchise.

Here’s more from out west:

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Pistons, LeBron, Contract Details

September 25 at 10:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pistons have a new direction as a franchise now that Stan Van Gundy has taken over as team president and head coach. In their season preview the crew at Basketball Insiders don’t see the team becoming contenders just yet, and their predictions have Detroit finishing either third or fourth in the Central Division.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Nuggets signees Joe Alexander and Marcus Williams, new Lakers Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Tyler, Heat additions Andre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, Wizards wing men Xavier Silas and Damion James, and Hasheem Thabeet of the Pistons are all on non-guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links here).
  • LeBron James might be gone from Miami, but he takes with him a number of lessons the Heat organization taught him about professionalism, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes. James is a much different person than when he was with the Cavs the first time, notes Windhorst, and the additions of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, and James Jones are indications that Cleveland wants to bump up the work ethic and preparation habits of their younger players.
  • When asked about departed free agent Trevor Ariza, who left the Wizards to sign with the Rockets this summer, Marcin Gortat believed Ariza’s decision wasn’t about finances, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Gortat said, “In my opinion I think he was trying to get back to the West. I don’t think it was about the money.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Rockets, Faried, Terry

September 17 at 8:54pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Rockets roster will be quite crowded once the team completes the signings of Francisco Garcia and Kostas Papanikolaou, and the player with a guaranteed deal most likely to be waived or traded to make space is Donatas Motiejunas, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders opines (Twitter links).

Here’s more from out west:

  • Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried‘s stock is certainly on the rise after a strong 2013/14 season and his stellar play with Team USA during the FIBA World Cup. David Nurse of Hoops Hype profiles the “Manimal,” and provides arguments for and against Faried becoming a breakout star in the NBA.
  • As part of the Jason Terry trade, the Kings also receive a trade exception of $5.85MM, Sam Amick of USA Today reports (Twitter link). He’s likely rounding down from Terry’s precise salary of $5,850,313, meaning that the Kings folded the salaries of Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson into existing trade exceptions.
  • Former NBA point guard Acie Law is no longer committed to his deal with the Foshan Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter link). Law last saw NBA action during the 2010/11 season, when he appeared in 40 games for the Warriors, and averaged 5.1 PPG and 1.8 APG.

J.J. Hickson Gets Five-Game Drug Suspension

September 17 at 3:18pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The league has suspended Nuggets power forward J.J. Hickson without pay for the first five games of the upcoming season, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reports (Twitter links). The suspension is for an undisclosed violation of the league’s drug policy. The team is aware of the violation, but isn’t expected to comment, Dempsey tweets.

Hickson is in line to be the primary backup to Kenneth Faried at power forward, and in his absence Darrell Arthur will most likely handle the reserve duties. This suspension will cause Hickson to miss contests against the Pistons, Kings, and Cavs in Denver, and road games against the Thunder and the Kings. He’ll forfeit a prorated portion of his approximately $5.382MM salary for this season, though all of it will continue to count against the cap for the Nuggets.

In six seasons in the league, Hickson has averaged 10.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 0.9 APG. His career shooting numbers are .509/.000/.637.

Western Rumors: Livingston, Hayward, Previews

September 12 at 10:55pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Clippers scandal that revolved around former owner Donald Sterling may be eclipsed by the Hawks race-fueled turmoil when all is said and done. The latter situation is still developing, and has extended down from the ownership box into Atlanta’s GM and scouting departments. Here’s a rundown of Western news and notes for the night:

  • On an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Shaun Livingston said that he hopes to be able to return to the court by the start of the Warriors‘ season, the channel tweeted (H/T Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group). The veteran guard underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right big toe last month.
  • On his personal blog, Jazz forward Gordon Hayward recounts his summer. In addition to waxing about signing a max offer sheet, spending time with Team USA, and an offseason training regimen focusing on strength and shooting, Hayward says that he’s eager to start the new season and play for new coach Quin Snyder.
  • The Basketball Insiders crew previewed the 2014/15 season for the Pelicans, Nuggets, Jazz, Lakers, and Kings.

Western Notes: Faried, Warriors, Andersen

September 11 at 8:16pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kenneth Faried‘s stellar play with Team USA is going to raise his asking price during his upcoming extension talks with the Nuggets, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. A few months ago a GM told Deveney that Faried was going to be paid in the Paul Millsap ($9.5MM) or Taj Gibson ($8MM) range, but now he’ll most likely command a salary more comparable to Al Jefferson‘s ($13.7MM), the GM opines.

Here’s more from the west:

  • Such a deal for Faried would carry a risk for Denver, according to what one Western Conference assistant coach told Deveney. The assistant said, “I guess you don’t know what kind of production he would give you over a long period of time. What happens if they get Danilo Gallinari back and healthy? Now they have Arron Afflalo back. Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee were not healthy last year. How much will having those guys affect his numbers?
  • The Warriors gave partial guarantees of $35K apiece to Aaron Craft, James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt and Justin Holiday, all of whom are on one-year deals for the minimum salary, as Pincus reports in a pair of tweets and on the Basketball Insiders Warriors salary page.
  • David Andersen has signed with ASVEL Villeurbanne of the French League, the team announced via Twitter (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). Earlier this summer he was eying a possible return to the NBA. Andersen played two seasons in the league, and made his last appearance in the association during the 2010/11 campaign with the Pelicans.  His NBA career averages are 4.9 PPG and 2.8 RPG. His career slash line is .440/.347/.674.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Bledsoe, Ayon, Gallinari

September 6 at 9:41pm CDT By Cray Allred

Derrick Rose continued to struggle offensively in Team USA’s victory over Mexico today, but both Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau insisted to reporters including K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that his passiveness and shooting woes will not carry over in the Bulls‘ season.

“Being here is great,” said Rose. “It’s getting me a chance to really get in condition and get in that rhythm I’ve been talking about. Me getting better individually defensively and seeing how I can read the game and affect the game without scoring.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Despite looking into sign-and-trade options for disgruntled restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, the Suns are still prioritizing signing the point guard long-term, and would likely increase their four-year, $48MM offer if negotiations were revisited, reports Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Bledsoe’s agent has been unwilling to discuss any deal for less than the max.
  • Gustavo Ayon is still in contract discussions with Real Madrid, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The big man is deciding between a variety of NBA and international opportunities.
  • Danilo Gallinari tells La Gazzetta dello Sport (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando) that he regrets having The Steadman Clinic of Vail perform the surgery on his torn ACL in late 2012. The Nuggets small forward was expecting a relatively quick recovery, but ended up sitting out all of last season after needing additional surgeries. Gallinari referenced Russell Westbrook‘s repeat surgeries with Steadman, along with other athletes’ bumpy recoveries, as another strike against the clinic’s reputation.