DeAndre Jordan

Nuggets Notes: Green, Jordan, Malone, Brown

Nuggets forward Jeff Green made a concerted push to convince longtime friend DeAndre Jordan to join him in Denver as a free agent this summer. Mike Singer of The Denver Post examines the frontcourt reserves’ friendship and breaks down Green’s pitch.

“I said, ‘Just come be with your bestie,’ and it worked,” Green told Singer, who writes that the conversation took place over a FaceTime chat. “At this point of our careers, it’s all about winning,” Green said.

The duo had previously linked up as members of the Clippers and Nets. Their families vacation together, per Singer.

“Two guys who really just enjoy life, that like to have a good time, we have a mutual respect for one another as far as the whole journey of what it takes to be an NBA player,” Green said. “He’s a gentle giant, very soft. Tries to have a hard exterior, but he’s very soft.”

Across his 10 games with the Nuggets as the primary reserve behind two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, Jordan is averaging 5.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 13.1 MPG. Green, who has been with Denver since the 2021/22 season, is averaging 7.9 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 19.9 MPG.

There’s more out of Denver:

  • Eighth-year Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has all the attributes of a championship-caliber leader, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Malone has found a way to balance an intense and demanding side with kindness and respect for his players, along with clever strategizing and some creative flexibility when it comes to maximizing the talent on his team’s roster. Over the years, Kiszla adds, that roster has come to reflect the dogged personality of its head coach to an extent.
  • Versatile Nuggets backup guard/forward Bruce Brown is acting as Denver’s reserve point guard with Bones Hyland in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, writes Singer in a separate article. “When you’re manning that second unit … you also gotta use your voice and get us organized to make sure all five guys are operating as one,” Malone said. Added Brown: “I think with our second unit, we just gotta run, we gotta push the ball, but we gotta get stops.”
  • In a new piece this morning, Luke Adams examines the biggest current trade exceptions in the league. The Nuggets possess one of them, an exception worth $9,125,000 that will expire if it’s not used by July 6, 2023.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, McDaniels, Azubuike, Sharpe

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, 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.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Lillard, Edwards, Holmgren

Veterans Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, Ish Smith and Bruce Brown are providing the Nuggets with energy and a level of comfort during training camp, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic is laid back, which allows the more boisterous personalities of Green and Jordan to stand out, Singer notes.

Brown said he feels more at home in Denver than he did during last season’s drama-filled campaign with a big market club in Brooklyn.

I’m more laid back, chill,” Brown said. “I like to be in the house with my dog and my people. Obviously, New York gets a lot of attention, a lot of media attention. That wasn’t for me, but I love my time with those guys.”

According to Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter links), Brown has been playing point guard with the second unit, while Zeke Nnaji has been the backup center. That’s a bit of a change for both players — Brown is a swiss army knife type who has played multiple positions, but mostly on the wing, while Nnaji primarily played power forward in the past. Nnaji has performed well in camp thus far, Wind adds.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Damian Lillard is just 531 points shy of surpassing Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler to become the Trail Blazers‘ all-time leading scorer. Lillard says it’s an accomplishment he doesn’t take lightly. “This feat would mean a lot to me,” Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “Just the respect I have for the organization and for Clyde and how great of a player he was. I think it shows just how productive I’ve been throughout my career. It would truly be an honor.”
  • Timberwolves wing Anthony Edwards is hoping to make big strides on the defensive end in 2022/23, saying that because he’ll be guarding top players more often, he’ll be “salty” to not make an All-Defensive team, as Wolves reporter Dane Moore relays (via Twitter). The former No. 1 overall pick will play a huge part in Minnesota’s standing in the West this season.
  • This year’s No. 2 overall pick, Chet Holmgren, will miss the entire season for the Thunder with a foot injury, but he’s still learning about the NBA while recovering, according to Cliff Brunt of The Associated Press. “What I’m trying to do right now is just kind of soak up all the knowledge of how things are done around here, how they’re going to be done going forward,” Holmgren said. “So when I’m ready to get get back in there, I can just kind of seamlessly plug myself in.”

DeAndre Jordan Discusses Nuggets Decision, Title Expectations, Jokic

In an expansive interview with Mike Singer of the Denver Post, new Nuggets reserve center DeAndre Jordan spoke about his hopes for his 2022/23 tenure in Denver.

According to Jordan, a recruiting pitch from Denver forward Jeff Green – who was previously Jordan’s teammate on the Nets and Clippers – and a lengthy conversation with head coach Michael Malone helped convince the veteran center to make the leap to another contender, following a 2021/22 season split between the Lakers and Sixers. The 34-year-old, on the cusp of his 15th NBA season, inked a single-season deal with the Nuggets in the hopes of winning a title.

A former All-Star and two-time All-NBA Third Team honoree, Jordan is well aware of what his role with his new club will be.

“Obviously everybody knows that Nikola (Jokic) is the head of the snake,” Jordan said. “So with that, my role being obviously coming off the bench, helping our second unit with pace, screens and getting guys open, getting guys better shots and also finishing everything that I can in transition, offensive rebounds, controlling the glass for our unit, also being a defensive presence for however long I’m out there.”

Despite recent evidence to the contrary in his stops with the Nets, Lakers and Sixers, Denver is optimistic that Jordan can roll back the clock to somewhat resemble his All-Defensive First Team self, when the 6’11” vet was a productive, rim-running force on offense and a mobile athlete on defense.

Here are more highlights from the interview, well worth a read:

  • Jordan discussed his primary motivation for latching on with the Nuggets, a team that expects to compete for a championship thanks to the healthy returns of secondary stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., alongside reigning two-time MVP Jokic. Murray, who missed all of the 2021/22 season as he recovered from an ACL tear, was a crucial player on a 2020 Nuggets club that clawed its way into the Western Conference Finals. Porter also played a big part on that time, before a back surgery limited him to just nine games played last year. “I’m going into my 15th year, man, I was a second-round pick, I’ve done a lot of great things in this league, individually and also with the teams that I’ve been on,” Jordan said. “I know the respect that I have from myself, and also that my peers have for me … (Winning a title) is the only thing that still drives me at this point in my career.” 
  • When asked whether or not he’d be okay with occasionally being a healthy scratch, as dictated by certain matchups, Jordan responded tactically. “That’s something we’ll get to when it comes to personnel,” he said. Across 48 games played with Los Angeles and Philadelphia last year, Jordan averaged 4.3 PPG on 64.3% shooting, plus 5.5 RPG and 0.7 BPG in 13.0 MPG.
  • Part of what drew to the Nuggets to Jordan is his locker room leadership, and he acknowledged he plans to make an impact off the court. “Ever since I was with the Clippers, in my younger days, I learned from some great veterans about being a great locker room presence even if things weren’t going my way,” Jordan said. “I’ve done that throughout my career, and I think that that’s something I’ve prided myself on.” 

Western Notes: Liddell, Jordan, Knight, Hardy

Pelicans rookie forward E.J. Liddell has undergone surgery to reconstruct the torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced in a press release. The surgery was performed Monday by Dr. Scott Montgomery and Liddell remains out indefinitely.

Liddell, a second-round pick out of Ohio State, suffered the injury during a Vegas Summer League contest.

The former Ohio State forward averaged 19.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.6 BPG over 33.2 MPG last season and was projected as a first-round pick. He remains unsigned and the Pelicans don’t currently have an opening on the 15-man roster, though they have a two-way slot available.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Why did the Nuggets choose DeAndre Jordan as a backup big rather than re-signing DeMarcus Cousins? According to Harrison Wind of, there were concerns about Cousins staying healthy for a full season. He battled calf and foot injuries after signing with Denver last season. The Nuggets also wanted more rim protection at backup center and a lob threat for Denver’s current group of guards.
  • Nathan Knight‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Timberwolves includes a $350K partial guarantee in year one and a $380,718 partial guarantee and team option in year two, Hoops Rumors has learned. Knight, who was on a two-way deal with Minnesota last season, signed a standard contract over the weekend. The 6’10” forward appeared in 37 NBA games last season.
  • New Jazz coach Will Hardy has spent a lot of his time this month getting acquainted with the players on the current roster, he told Tony Jones of The Athletic. “The conversations with the players, they have been great,” the former Celtics assistant said. “I’ve talked to all of our guys, and some in person. My expectation is to get to know each other as people before we get to know each other as co-workers. I want us to create and develop trust with each other. We want an environment of honesty with each other.”

Nuggets Sign DeAndre Jordan

JULY 12: Jordan’s deal with the Nuggets is now official, the team announced.

JUNE 30: The Nuggets are signing DeAndre Jordan to back up two-time MVP Nikola Jokic at center, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link) that Jordan will be signing a one-year contract worth the veteran’s minimum.

Jordan, who will turn 34 later this month, began the 2021/22 season on a minimum-salary contract with the Lakers. However, he was waived by Los Angeles in February and caught on with the Sixers for the rest of the season. In total, he appeared in 48 games for the two clubs, averaging 4.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 13.0 minutes per contest.

Jordan will no longer rank among the NBA’s leading rebounders and blocks like he did in his prime, but the Nuggets apparently believe he still has something left in the tank after an up-and-down ’21/22 campaign.

Northwest Notes: Prince, Wolves, Nuggets, Jordan, Arms

Taurean Prince‘s two-year extension with the Timberwolves was initially reported to be worth $16MM, but its base value actually comes in at just $14.56MM, and the second year is non-guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Prince’s new deal also includes $195K in likely incentives per year, along with another $870K in annual unlikely incentives, so if he plays out the full two-year contract and maxes out its value, it’ll be worth $16.69MM in total.

The second year of Prince’s new deal would become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through June 28, 2023.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • It might be a while before we know if the Timberwolves “won” the deal for Rudy Gobert, and even evaluating what constitutes a win will be complicated, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. However, Rand views the deal as trading “nine dimes for a dollar,” and believes it’s the kind of move the team needed to make to be serious about contending for a title.
  • Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required) acknowledges that the Nuggets‘ deal with DeAndre Jordan may not have been an exciting way to kick off free agency, but says the team did its homework on Jordan, vetted his engagement, and felt comfortable bringing him into the locker room. “They’d learned enough about former center DeMarcus Cousins that they weren’t willing to make the same commitment,” Singer writes.
  • Both Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports and Singer (Twitter links) believe that Adonis Arms, who is signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Nuggets, is a strong candidate to eventually fill Denver’s open two-way slot. Currently, Collin Gillespie is the only Nugget signed to a two-way deal.
  • In case you missed it, our Community Shootaround discussion on Monday explored what’s next for the Jazz following the blockbuster Gobert trade.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Jordan, Nurse, Smart

Sixers center Joel Embiid appears to be making progress in his recovery from an orbital fracture and mild concussion, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Embiid missed Game 1 of the team’s series against Miami and is expected to miss Game 2, though he could return after that.

Head coach Doc Rivers said today that Embiid, who suffered his injuries against Toronto in Game 6 last round, is “feeling a lot better.” However, Rivers added that he doesn’t “want to give false hope either.” Philadelphia missed the star center’s presence in Game 1, as the team lost the rebounding edge 47-37 and lost the game by 14 points.

Embiid, an MVP candidate, is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He also made the All-Star team for a fifth consecutive year. It’s clear the Sixers will need his presence in order to make a lengthy playoff run.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic:

  • As Embiid continues his rehab, the Sixers plan to keep DeAndre Jordan in his starting role, Tim Bontemps of relays“We like DJ, we’re going to keep starting him whether you like it or not,” Rivers said. “That’s what we’re gonna do because our guys believe in him. It’s funny, at halftime, we asked our key guys, we were thinking about it because I thought Paul Millsap gave us decent minutes, and to a man, that’s where they wanted to go.”
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse admitted the team could use more depth next season, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. Specifically, Nurse identified catch-and-shoot players and athletic wings as pieces he’d like to see the team pursue. “The more quality players you have the better chance you’re going to have to win,” he said as part of a larger statement.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston explores how the Celtics could adjust if Marcus Smart (thigh bruises) isn’t 100% healthy. Smart, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 10 points, six assists and two steals in the team’s Game 1 loss, shooting 3-of-11. His defense is especially important against the Bucks, who start Jrue Holiday at point guard. Holiday scored 25 points in Game 1.

Sixers Notes: Rivers, Thybulle, Green, Jordan, Bassey

Should the Sixers suffer an early playoff exit, there has been speculation that coach Doc Rivers might be on the hot seat, and with Frank Vogel expected to be fired after the season, Rivers has surfaced as a name to watch for the Lakers‘ head coaching job.

Kyle Neubeck of explores the topic of whether Rivers makes sense as a candidate in Los Angeles — assuming he’d even be interested in the job. Neubeck states that Rivers deserves credit for publicly embracing the team’s championship aspirations, but it could lead to him being the fall guy if the Sixers fail to make a significant postseason run.

Here’s more on Philadelphia:

  • A league source tells Neubeck that there’s no indication that Matisse Thybulle has changed his stance about getting vaccinated. Toronto won Friday night, clinching at least the No. 5 seed in the East. As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes (via Twitter), the Bucks will either be the No.2 or the No. 3 seed after Friday’s victory, and the Sixers can finish no better than third, because Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker. Point being, the odds have increased that the Sixers could face the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Rivers was vague in his response to Thybulle being ineligible to play in Toronto, per Gina Minzell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “It’s one game tonight. We’ll go from there,” Rivers said before Thursday’s meeting. When asked how it might impact the team in the postseason, Rivers said, “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes.” Philly lost to Toronto this week in Thybulle’s absence.
  • Veteran Danny Green says he’s not happy about the situation with Thybulle, but it wasn’t clear from his wording whether he’s displeased about the rule that unvaccinated foreign nationals can’t enter Canada, or with Thybulle himself.  I’m not happy about it. It is an opportunity for myself and other guys to get more minutes on the road with James [Harden] and other rotations, but I think we’re a better team when we’re whole and we have everybody,” Green said. He added that it was tough to evaluate the team when it isn’t whole. “Most guys, I don’t want to say [are] disappointed, but. … it’s still a point in the season when we’re still trying to gauge who we are, where we are. The only way to do that is to have everybody together. It’s tough to do that when we don’t have everybody” (Twitter thread courtesy of Mizell).
  • DeAndre Jordan has been positive locker room presence for the Sixers, Mizell writes in a story for The Inquirer. Jordan has served as the team’s primary backup center after being waived by the Lakers.
  • Rookie Charles Bassey suffered a right shoulder sprain and missed his game with the team’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, per Derek Bodner of The Daily Six (Twitter link). Bassey will be reevaluated in about 10 days. The 21-year-old hasn’t played much at the NBA level, appearing in 23 games with an average of 7.3 minutes per contest, but he’s been productive when given opportunities.

Eastern Notes: Porzingis, Jordan, Haslem, Morris

Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis showed he can still be dominant in the team’s victory over the Lakers on Saturday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. Porzingis finished with 27 points and five assists, helping his team win 127-119.

“Just down the stretch, we wanted to play through him,” teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “No one could stop K.P. at the elbow. He was just turning around and shooting over everybody. It’s going to be great just to see if we can get him a full season. We already know what he can do.”

Porzingis was acquired by the Wizards in February. He has dealt with a variety of injuries over his career (and hasn’t played over 60 games since the 2016/17 season), but he can still be productive when healthy. In seven games with Washington, he’s averaging 20.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference: