Denver Nuggets

Richard Jefferson Agrees To One-Year Deal With Nuggets

Veteran forward Richard Jefferson has agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM contract with the Nuggets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.

Jefferson cleared waivers on Monday. He was traded by the Cavaliers to the Hawks on Saturday in a cost-cutting and roster-trimming move by Cleveland. Atlanta immediately waived him.

Denver will likely waive veteran point guard Jameer Nelson to make room for Jefferson, according to Wojnarowski.

Jefferson fortifies the small forward spot behind Wilson Chandler. His primary backup, Will Barton, suffered an ankle injury in practice on Monday.

It’s somewhat surprising that Denver would let Nelson go, as he was considered a potential starter during camp. The Nuggets have apparently decided to go with the much younger duo of Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray at point guard.

The Bucks were considered contenders for Jefferson’s services but wound up claiming another ex-Cavalier, DeAndre Liggins, on Monday. Jefferson, 37, averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 79 regular-season contests last year.

Contractually, Jefferson will collect two paybacks. He’ll also receive $2MM from the Hawks, who will get a $500K set-off at the end of the season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Nuggets Among Teams Eyeing Richard Jefferson

With Richard Jefferson poised to clear waivers later today, the Nuggets are among the teams that have joined the pursuit of the veteran forward, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski previous reported that there was mutual interest between Jefferson and the Bucks, calling Milwaukee a “serious suitor” for the 37-year-old.

While the Nuggets and Bucks have expressed interest in Jefferson, they’re not the only teams in the mix. There are three or four teams serious about making a run at the former Cavalier, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that Jefferson has a “strong friendship” with Nuggets president and governor Josh Kroenke.

A 16-year NBA veteran, Jefferson averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 79 regular season contests last year. He was a victim of a roster crunch in Cleveland after spending the last two seasons with the Cavs, with the club trading him to Atlanta along with Kay Felder on Saturday. The Hawks subsequently waived both players.

If the Nuggets were to land Jefferson, they’d have to make a corresponding roster move to clear room for him, since the clubs is currently carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries. There’s no clear candidate on Denver’s roster to be cut — the team’s lowest-paid players are important contributors or young prospects, such as Nikola Jokic, Tyler Lydon, Malik Beasley, and Juan Hernangomez.

2017 Offseason In Review: Denver Nuggets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2017 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2017/18 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Denver Nuggets.

Signings:Mason Plumlee vertical

Camp invitees:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-24: Tyler Lydon — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-49: Vlatko Cancar — Stashed overseas.
  • 2-51: Monte Morris — Signed to two-way contract.

Extensions:

  • Gary Harris: Four years, $74MM. Rookie scale extension.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used up cap room. Now operating over the cap, but well under the tax. Carrying approximately $104.5MM in guaranteed team salary. Room exception ($4.328MM) still available.

Check out the Denver Nuggets’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

Since reaching the playoffs for 10 straight seasons from 2004 to 2013, primarily under George Karl, the Nuggets have been going through a transitional period for the last several years. While Denver never fully bottomed out in order to land a top-five draft pick, the club has failed to post a .500 record since 2013, winning between 30 and 40 games in each of the last four seasons.

The most positive steps forward for the franchise during that stretch came during the 2016/17 campaign, when Nikola Jokic emerged as one of the NBA’s most talented big men, and young guards Gary Harris and Jamal Murray showed the potential to develop into indispensable core pieces as well. The team narrowly missed the playoffs with a 40-42 record, but there was a sense heading into the summer that the team wasn’t far from taking a big step forward.

Armed with plenty of cap flexibility and a horde of potential trade chips, general manager Tim Connelly entered the offseason aiming to add an impact player at point guard and/or power forward to complement Jokic and the team’s depth on the wing.

Read more

And-Ones: Trade Predictions, Perkins, Extensions

In his latest predictions feature, Zach Lowe of ESPN speculates that a number of players will be put on the block this season if not officially traded. Since we already know that there’s at least some truth to the oddly specific guess that the Timberwolves would trade Cole Aldrich for Jared Dudley, perhaps we should take a closer look at some of the rest.

Among the other trade predictions that Lowe makes is one that has the Raptors seeking to shop big man Jonas Valanciunas. Considering that the traditional Lithuanian center has been the subject of speculation over the course of the past few seasons, this one seems like rather low hanging fruit.

Similarly, Lowe makes the thoroughly uncrazy prediction that Eric Bledsoe will be on the move. What bonus points Lowe doesn’t earn for predicting a Bledsoe trade, however, he does earn for earmarking the Nuggets and Clippers as possible interested suitors. Alas Denver, it’s worth noting, is already rather backloaded at the guard positions.

Other players that come up in Lowe’s column include the likes Dennis Schroder, DeAndre Jordan and Tobias Harris.

There’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA will name Michelle Johnson their new Senior Vice President and Head of Referee Operations, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. Johnson is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General.
  • The NBA coaching community could soon have another recent league veteran join its ranks. As Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes, Kendrick Perkins – who played 11 seasons in the NBA – believes he would have plenty of options to accept a role on the sidelines.
  • Only a few players from the 2014 NBA Draft class have landed sizable pay days and that’s for good reason, Mitch Lawrence of Forbes writes. Beyond players like Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, few have earned substantial rookie contract extensions. Only Marcus Smart, he writes, has been a notable contributor to an elite playoff team.

Details Of Gary Harris' Extension Emerge; Who Will Play Backup Power Forward?

  • Details on Gary Harris‘ contract have emerged, Bobby Marks of ESPN writes. The cap hit for the Nuggets guard in 2018/19 will be $16.5MM and that mark will rise annually until the deal terminates at $20.5MM in 2021/22. There are also $2.5MM of additional, unlikely, bonuses each year.
  • There’s no clear frontrunner to fill the primary backup power forward role for the Nuggets this offseason. Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports writes about how the changing NBA could impact Denver’s frontcourt depth chart in 2017/18.

Gary Harris Signs Four-Year Extension

Oct. 12: The Nuggets have officially signed Harris to the reported four-year contract extension, the team announced on its website.

Oct. 7: Nuggets guard Gary Harris will sign a four-year, $84MM extension with the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Wojnarowski reports that the deal will feature $74MM in guaranteed money, with an additional $10MM available in incentives and bonuses.Gary Harris vertical

Harris had an October 16 deadline to reach an agreement on the extension or he would have been a restricted free agent next summer. The 23-year-old shooting guard will make a little more than $2.5MM this year, so he is looking at a nice raise when the extension kicks in for 2018/19. He will rank among the 10 highest-paid shooting guards in the league, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now.

The extension could give Denver as much as $113MM in guaranteed salary for next season, Marks tweets, raising potential tax concerns if Wilson Chandler ($12.8MM) and Darrell Arthur ($7.46MM) both opt in.

The 19th player taken in the 2014 draft, Harris won a starting job in his second season and has developed into a valuable member of a young Denver team. He averaged a career-best 14.9 points per game last year and shot 42% from 3-point range, although early-season injuries limited him to 57 games.

The Nuggets are also hoping to reach an extension with reserve guard Will Barton, but his deadline isn’t until next summer because he isn’t on a rookie contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nuggets Waive Josh Childress

The Nuggets have waived veteran forward Josh Childress from their roster, league sources tell JD Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. Although the team has yet to announce the move, Childress confirmed it in a text message on Wednesday night, Shaw writes.

The Nuggets are one of four NBA teams without a G League affiliate for the 2017/18 season, so the team didn’t bother inviting many non-guaranteed players to camp, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to retain them as affiliate players after waiving them. Still, Denver did extend an invite to Childress, who hadn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season but saw action in the BIG3 earlier this year.

According to Shaw, the Nuggets and Childress both recognized that he would likely be waived at some point, since the club was already carrying 15 players with fully guaranteed salaries. However, attending camp with Denver helped Childress attract some interest overseas. Once he clears waivers, the 34-year-old will be free to sign with an international team.

As for the Nuggets, their roster is now regular-season-ready, with 15 players on NBA contracts and two on two-way deals.

Jameer Nelson In Nuggets' Point Guard Competition

Paul George loves the excitement in Oklahoma City, especially with the reigning Most Valuable Player, Russell Westbrook, and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony on the same team. Chris Mannix of The Vertical writes that George is optimistic and has found a comfort zone with the Thunder. Yet, the ex-Pacer simultaneously wants head coach Billy Donovan to put him in uncomfortable situations as a challenge.

A Los Angeles native, George has been rumored to join his hometown Lakers for a while. There were rumblings all offseason that George’s goal is to end up home in California — whether it was this season or when he hits free agency next summer. However, George tells Mannix that L.A. isn’t on his mind as he focuses on succeeding with the Thunder.

“I’m committed here, we’re all committed,” George said. “We want this to happen and we want this to work really well. Once we get on the court, it’s been like magic. We understand one another, we have a feel for one another, we know each other’s games so well. We want to make the most out of it, to be in the best position to succeed.”

George and the Thunder may be in a position where they have a one-year window before he departs for his home team. But he has made it clear he wants to win before he makes any long-term decisions.

Below you can check out other news around the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will miss the team’s Wednesday game against Phoenix due to a concussion, and may end up sitting out the rest of the preseason, writes Mike Richman of The Oregonian. Nurkic is eligible for an extension up until October 16, so by the time he takes the floor next for Portland, he may have a new deal in hand or be preparing to play out a contract year.
  • ESPN’s Micah Adams writes that the Nuggets‘ blueprint to build a championship contending team is eerily similar to how the Warriors went from Western Conference contender to budding dynasty.
  • Veteran Jameer Nelson is back in the competition for the Nuggets‘ starting point guard job after battling a toe injury, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post writes.
  • Timberwolves‘ head coach Tom Thibodeau has a roster with several players he coached in Chicago with the Bulls, which has made for a comfortable environment, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes.

Nuggets GM Talks Harris, Faried, Expectations

A September report indicated that Gary Harris and the Nuggets have a good chance of reaching an agreement on a contract extension for the fourth-year shooting guard before the October 16 deadline. With 10 days left for the two sides to work something out, Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas confirmed that a potential deal with Harris is “in the works,” telling Gina Mizell of The Denver Post that he’s optimistic about getting something done.

“He’s been such a huge part of what we’re trying to do here, a representation of what we’re building here,” Karnisovas said of Harris. “Him going through trade rumors and still staying with us and being consistent and being a good leader for our guys and (knowing) how to do it, he was the ultimate professional. We’re trying to find ways to keep him here as long as we can.”

During his visit to The Denver Post’s newsroom, Karnisovas – who received a promotion to general manager during the offseason – also addressed a few other noteworthy topics, so let’s round up a few of the highlights from the Nuggets executive:

On Kenneth Faried‘s strongly-worded comments about wanting to be a starter:

“We welcome that. It’s a competitive spirit, and we want our training camp to be competitive. We didn’t want to just give guys playing time. We want them to earn it. That’s a good approach. Whoever earns minutes in the preseason is going to play.”

On the most challenging aspect of building a roster and dealing with constant player movement:

“Overall, it’s continuity and do not exaggerate your wins and don’t over-exaggerate your losses. Just kind of stay calm through all this process. I think we also have to figure out the healthy balance between young talent and meshing it with veteran players. Players like Paul [Millsap]. We chased [Dwyane] Wade before. We kind of need players in the locker room that have done it.

“Paul has been an All-Star four times and he’s been part of 60-win teams. It was important for us to find a formula that we can kind of use a vet. Last year, we were (one of the) top three youngest teams in the league. When we added Paul, we were very excited. Ultimate professional. Good teammate. Our young players gravitate toward that kind of good example, and they learn from it.”

On his goal for the Nuggets’ progress in 2017/18:

“Progress is a good word. We never like to put a number on wins. Playoffs is our target. Where, in terms of [seeding], we don’t know. But I think from previous years, we need to start well. The first 20 games are a huge emphasis for us, to be competitive and hopefully to stay .500 and over .500. Just be better than last year. We were close last year to making the playoffs, so this year should be a good year. I think we have a group of young players that got better, and we added Paul Millsap. Hopefully, we can stay healthy. That’s always a huge factor

NBA GMs: Millsap Signing One Of Summer's Most Underrated Moves

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