Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Blazers, Miller, Smith

With Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant, and Mason Plumlee all facing free agency this fall, the Nuggets front office may need to look outside the organization to fill newly-opened gaps in their frontcourt. Kendra Andrews of The Athletic assesses some big men for Denver to target this offseason.

Thunder center Nerlens Noel, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, and Suns center Aron Baynes are all free agents who could be solid fits at center spelling Nikola Jokic, in Andrews’ view, while Pacers center Myles Turner, entering the second year of a four-season, $80MM contract, could be available in a trade.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Danny Leroux of The Athletic previews the offseason salary cap situation for the Trail Blazers, observing that team president Neil Olshey may have to make decisions on team depth, several veteran free agents on the team, and whether or not to offer a contract extension to fourth-year power forward Zach Collins, who will otherwise become a restricted free agent in 2021.
  • Having agreed to sell controlling interest in the Jazz to Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith, former majority owner Gail Miller will retain a 20% stake in the franchise, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets.
  • Though the Jazz will miss the Miller family, who owned the team for 35 years, an excitement is building for young new Jazz owner Ryan Smith, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. Larsen writes that Smith is considered more willing to spend than the Miller clan has been over the decades, which could help Utah weather the storm of financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19 complications that are expected to restrict revenues in the 2020/21 season.
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