After replacing his old boss Tim Connelly this offseason, new Nuggets head of basketball operations Calvin Booth had a busy summer, trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, signing Bruce Brown and DeAndre Jordan in free agency, and using first-round picks on Christian Braun and Peyton Watson.
Speaking to Mark Medina of NBA.com, Booth said the Nuggets’ offseason goals were to upgrade their defense, get more athletic, and add more two-way talents. He feels the team accomplished those goals.
“With KCP, we have one of the best 3-and-D guys in the league, someone with championship experience and a proven vet,” Booth said. “Bruce was one of the most underrated guys in the league last season. We’re finding that out every day in the game with how sophisticated of a game he has.
“Christian and Peyton will eventually address those needs. We valued DeAndre’s vet leadership and the way he communicates. He’s one of the best rebounders of his generation, and he can still do that. Ish Smith has been a great addition as well and brings different levels of speed and pace to the game.”
In his Q&A with Medina, Booth also discussed several other Nuggets-related topics, including Nikola Jokic‘s chances of winning a third consecutive MVP award, Jamal Murray‘s return from an ACL tear, and Booth’s own contract extension with the franchise.
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Even though John Hollinger of The Athletic believes the Nuggets have a chance to come out of the West this season, he thinks there are still too many question marks related to the team’s depth and returning stars to actually forecast such a scenario. In his preview of Denver’s season, Hollinger projects a 50-32 record and a fourth-place finish in the West.
- Jaden McDaniels will be the Timberwolves‘ starting small forward to open the 2022/23 season, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. McDaniels, whom the team worked hard to keep out of the Rudy Gobert trade, will fill out a star-studded lineup that features Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns up front, with Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt.
- Jazz center Udoka Azubuike, who underwent surgery on his right foot and ankle in March, was cleared to practice in full on Thursday for the first time in seven months, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “I was excited about it,” Azubuike said. “We did some exercises in the morning before practice, and that felt good. Then, me going out there, getting a rep and you know, I’m just excited. It really felt good.” It remains to be seen if the former first-round pick will earn a spot on Utah’s regular season roster, since the team has 18 players on standard contracts and will need to make cuts by Monday.
- Trail Blazers rookie Shaedon Sharpe has signed with agent Mike George of One Legacy Sports for representation, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
9 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Nuggets, McDaniels, Azubuike, Sharpe”
Speakin of NW notes, I cant stress enough how good this kid is. If you arent familiar with J-Dub (& its pretty safe to assume that they guys on this site are not) then you should get familiar asap. Hes the next CJ/PG/Dame, coming from a smaller school rarely on tv to go lottery & become a great nba player. Yet another great pick by Presti .. link to m.youtube.com
Lol I had him like 8th on my big board, ahead of many guys people liked a lot, so ya, I know who he is…
Jaden McDaniels role is to play defense and hit the open three.
They probably ask him to guard the top perimeter player every night.
Anthony Edwards can and will me a great defensive player but you don’t want him putting all his energy on defense when so much is asked of him on the offensive end.
I love Ant but I def don’t ever see him being a great defensive player. He’s never been a great defender. He can be adequate & he’ll always be opportunistic as far as creating turnovers but he’s very much an offensive minded guy
I hope they keep Udoka Azubuike. I think he can be a solid backup behind Walker Kessler.
Kessler got a long way to go to become a starter level guy. Udoka has as good a chance of becoming a starter as he does
No he doesn’t. He’s further along than Doke was when he came into the league. Doke’s injuries hasn’t really given him much NBA playing time either. I’d give Kessler the big edge because he’s actually healthy and playing well.
I do like Doke. I’d just rather the Jazz try to trade Doke because injury prone players just aren’t worth wasting time on. I had that same feeling for Favors after he got planar fasciitis. He had some moments but I was right. He had that but also always had lots of back tightness, etc. It gets to a point where you’re just a placeholder and not an actual player.
Eventually. However, they don’t have the room for 3 centers and all the wings they have, including 7′ Markkanen. Different story if they actually made a consolidation trade.
Denver’s biggest question is at the backup big spot where they need someone that can defend pick and roll and protect the rim, and I dont think DeAndre Jordan is the right fit there
I like everything they did to improve on the wings/add athleticism at the 2/3/4 spots, and think a couple of those young guys should get good minutes
Minnesota needs someone that can guard the guard spot, but I like them otherwise, though I’m not sure about their starting lineup. I like McDaniels as a 4/3, but not sure he is the one that should start, and I might even potentially say the same about Russell