Nuggets Notes: Jackson, Jokic, LaVine, Development, More

Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson, who joined the team in February of last season, has gotten accustomed to playing with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic by now, but it’s not an experience he’s taking for granted, he said earlier this week, per Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports (Twitter link).

“Just watching him control the game, watching how special he is, watching his mind just work over and over again,” Jackson said. “The way he works, just takes over the game physically but really mentally. It’s special.

“… Like I said, I refuse to take it for granted. Being his teammate, playing against him for many years… when you have something special, you have to enjoy it, because you never know how long you’re going to have it, and when it’s gone you will truly miss it. So, I’m just enjoying being his teammate, enjoying how easy he makes the game, enjoying playing as his teammate but also being able to watch him as we’re playing.”

Jackson re-signed with the Nuggets as a free agent over the summer, inking a new two-year, $10.25MM contract with the club.

Here are a few more items out of Denver:

  • In a mailbag for The Denver Post, Bennett Durando dismisses the idea of the Nuggets’ pursuing a trade for a third star, arguing that a splashy move like acquiring Zach LaVine would be “antithetical” to everything the franchise has done in recent years. Elsewhere in the mailbag, Durando answers questions about Michael Malone‘s potential Coach of the Year case and Denver’s defense so far this season.
  • The Nuggets are balancing title contention and player development out of necessity this season, according to Matt Brooks of, who takes a closer look at how the team has to lean on young players like Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, and Julian Strawther for regular minutes, sticking with them through their ups and downs. “If Julian has a bad game, I just can’t say, ‘Okay, I’m not playing him for the rest of the season,'” Malone said. “If Peyton doesn’t have a good game, I can’t (bench him). Those guys need to play this year.”
  • Winning the in-season tournament is “a goal” for the defending NBA champions, according to Michael Porter Jr. (Twitter links via Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports). The Nuggets are 2-0 in group play so far, with their third tournament game on tap Friday night in New Orleans. “The incentive is always nice,” Porter said. “No matter how much money you have. $500,000 is nice, especially for young guys who are on their rookie contract. We all have a collective goal to win, not really for the money, it’s just competing.”
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