Rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay will be in charge of the Nuggets‘ offense from the first day of training camp, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. The Nuggets are counting on the 19-year-old Mudiay to usher in a new era after trading Ty Lawson over the summer. Veteran Jameer Nelson is still on hand to mentor Mudiay, who is expected to become the second rookie point guard in Nuggets history to start on opening night. “I’m just trying to learn from the old heads. Everything that they can feed off, I’m going to just take it in,” Mudiay said. “That’s just what I’m going to do because they’re going to help me be me, if that makes sense.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- After a summer of change, Nuggets GM Tim Connelly believes the franchise has a “fully committed locker room,” Dempsey writes in a separate story. Apart from drafting Mudiay and dealing Lawson, Denver brought in an all-new coaching staff and welcomed back executive Pete D’Alessandro. “I like the fact that we have a bunch of guys here that don’t just care about the team but care about the city,” Connelly said. “They’ve chosen to be here despite being coveted by other markets that might be painted bigger markets.”
- Al-Farouq Aminu has the talent to develop into a double-double threat, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. The Blazers signed Aminu over the summer to be their starting small forward after trading Nicolas Batum to Charlotte. Although Aminu doesn’t possess Batum’s shooting skills, Freeman believes his defensive ability and rebounding desire will make him a valuable part of Portland’s lineup.
- The Thunder’s $981K minimum deal with Julyan Stone is a non-guaranteed summer contract, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.