Western Notes: Connelly, Jazz, Evans, Donovan

The Nuggets have built a contender without being a destination for top free agents, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes. President of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the team needed to draft well and make wise trades to get to this point.

“Let’s be honest, we’re not getting the same meetings New York’s getting or L.A.’s getting,” Connelly said. “So how can we combat that? How can we try to chart our own course, something we can control a bit more?” The Nuggets drafted five rotation players, including stars Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, while never having a pick higher than No. 7 overall.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz don’t have much money to throw around in free agency as they look to upgrade their roster, Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News writes. On the flip side, they could lock up Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to long-term contract extensions and they should be able to find ways to bolster their bench.
  • The Thunder own 13 first-round picks in the next seven drafts, which is one reason why they have hired national recruiting analyst Corey Evans, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports. Evans, 30, has built a reputation as one of the most connected young analysts in both high school and college basketball, Thamel adds. He’s expected to be as an amateur evaluation scout.
  • Billy Donovan‘s ability to coach different playing styles and instill confidence in young players are some of the reasons why he might be a good fit for the Pelicans’ job, according to The Athletic’s William Guillory. Donovan’s emphasis on defenses and toughness are also traits that could make him attractive to New Orleans’ front office. Guillory also looks at reasons why the team might pass on the former Thunder coach.
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12 thoughts on “Western Notes: Connelly, Jazz, Evans, Donovan

  1. RyanO

    Nuggets really are one of the most well run orgs in sports. Amazing they haven’t had one of those top picks/FAs and are taking clips to game 7.

    Think part of the reason is they seem willing to draft more high risk/high reward players. Euros, MPJ, bol etc.

    Malone is also an excellent coach. I’m excited to see what their future holds

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Are we witnessing yet another meltdown by the Zippers? Their collapse against the Rockets a few years ago is about to repeat itself again tonight. Maybe Doc will be on the hot seat after failing to reach the WCF for the first time, even with the best roster in franchise history.

    • x%sure

      They have cliques. Gotta move Montrezl & Lou. PG can be sensitive.

      Lou is cheap and Montrezl, Noah, Reggie Jackson and JyMichael Green are likely FAs who will likely want to leave, so it should be easy, unless Balmer insists upon spending his limit. That would leave their roster at $100 mil so plenty of room for Marcus Morris.

    • El Don

      This version of the LAC is much better than the one of the 2015, having said that DEN is also a much better team than HOU was back then!

  3. phillyballers

    Thank you Reditt: link to reddit.com

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  4. Nuggets have been the best drafting team in the league since 2014. But the guy who ran those drafts is now in Chicago. From this point, smart trades and signings are what’s needed to finish off a championship roster.

    • JamesW26

      Connelly has called the shots since Masai Ujiri left for Toronto. Karnisovas was Connelly’s right-hand man before going to the Bulls, but the Nuggets should continue to scout and draft good fits for the team just as often as before with Connelly sticking around.

      • Connelly has been in charge, but AK was the talent evaluator in the FO with respect to amateur scouting and the draft. Perhaps they continue to do well in the area, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Put some respect on the Nuggets babyyyy

    I said the Clippers would fail. Harrell was unhappy with the stars being treated different. Lou Will would rather be with the strippers at the start of the bubble. PG13 and Bev getting all hyped and distracted with Lillard and the Blazers. I called it, the best team on paper wouldn’t make the finals.

    Kawhi going to be big mad. Interesting offseason ahead

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