Nuggets Rumors: Clark, Lawson, Mudiay

Ian Clark is hoping a strong summer league showing will earn him an invitation to the Nuggets’ training camp, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Battling for an NBA job is nothing new for Clark, who played two seasons with the Jazz but spent much of his time in the D-League. Clark was claimed by Denver after being waived by Utah in March. He averaged 13.4 points per game and shot 50% from the 3-point line during summer league, which he hopes is enough to land a spot in camp. “I haven’t talked to my agent [David Mondress]  just yet, so we’ll find out,” he said. “I play out here. I let them deal with everything else.” Denver’s roster is nearly filled with guaranteed contracts, which makes it difficult for a player like Clark to break through.

There’s more news out of Denver:

  • The Nuggets’ first priority with Ty Lawson should be to help him overcome his alcohol problem, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Lawson, the subject of trade rumors, was ordered to complete a 30-day residential treatment program this week by a Colorado judge.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay has already become more of a leader for the Nuggets than Lawson, according to Denver Post columnist Woody Paige. Calling the rookie an “amalgamation” of Chauncey Billups and Allen Iverson, Paige states that the team was “flabbergasted” when Mudiay slipped to the No. 7 spot in the draft. New coach Mike Malone is a huge supporter of Mudiay, Paige writes, and the two have been having nightly film sessions.
  • Mudiay was the most promising, NBA-ready point guard in summer league play, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Although Mudiay only worked out for the teams with the top four picks in last month’s draft, the Nuggets were confident they knew him well enough when it was time for their selection. They had studied video of the 11 games he played in China, along with some high school games. “We had a good sense of who he was a player and certainly we did a lot of background on who he was as a kid, but you really don’t know someone until you’re around them on a consistent basis,” said GM Tim Connelly. “Since being around Emmanuel, we’re even more excited. We’ve seen how serious his approach is and how much he really wants to be a special player.”

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