Denver Nuggets

Nuggets Sign Monte Morris To Two-Way Contract

The Nuggets have signed second-round pick Monte Morris to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release. It’s the second two-way deal for Denver — the club confirmed earlier this week that forward Torrey Craig received the other one.

[RELATED: 2017/18 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Morris, 22, played his college ball at Iowa State, averaging 16.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 4.8 RPG in his senior year. The young point guard was selected 51st overall in the 2017 NBA draft last month, so he’ll become the highest pick so far to agree to a two-way contract rather than an NBA deal.

Two-way contracts are a new addition to the NBA’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, so it has been interesting to see how teams have been using them for second-round picks in particular. So far, the four players drafted between Nos. 51 and 54 have all reportedly agreed to two-way deals.

For more information on how two-way contracts work, be sure to check out our FAQ.

Nuggets Sign Torrey Craig To Two-Way Contract

JULY 19: The Nuggets have officially signed Craig to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 16: The Nuggets and Torrey Craig have agreed to a deal to add the small forward to the team, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando reports. The deal will be a two-way contract, according to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

Players on two-way deals will spend most of their season in the G-League since they cannot spend more than 45 days with an NBA club, as our glossary page on two-way contracts shows.

Craig, who has had an impressive Summer League for Denver’s squad, played abroad over the last several seasons. He earned the NBL Best Defensive Player Award as well as All-NBL Second Team honors while playing for the Brisbane Bullets during the 2016/17 season.

Carmelo Anthony Trade Talks On Hold

JULY 14, 9:13am: As the Knicks regroup on the Anthony front, the team’s primary hope is that Carmelo will consider expanding his wish list beyond Houston and Cleveland, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, could veto any deal, but has expressed a willingness to waive that NTC for the Rockets or Cavaliers — the Knicks have been unable to work out a deal with either of those teams, so adding more clubs to the list could increase their chances of getting something done.

Berman also notes within his story that the Nuggets were among the clubs who explored getting involved in three- or four-team trade talks when those discussions were active.

JULY 13, 9:04pm: The Knicks have paused Carmelo Anthony trade talks with both the Rockets and Cavaliers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. New York would like to reopen dialogue with Anthony about “reincorporating him into the organization.”

It was previously reported that Anthony’s representatives wanted to see a deal get done this week. The Rockets and Knicks were looking to pull off a multi-team trade and were searching for a fourth team to help facilitate a deal. The two sides discussed a three-team deal last weekend, but those talks reportedly “stalled.”

Scott Perry’s pending arrival as GM has made team executive Steve Mills reconsider his stance on trading Anthony, the pair of scribes add. Perry, who currently is the Kings VP of basketball operations, and the Knicks have agreed on a deal to make the executive the team’s new GM. However, Sacramento and New York still need to work out compensation in order to finalize Perry’s hiring.

The Knicks would like Anthony to meet with the team’s new front office as well as coach Jeff Hornacek soon, but the pair of ESPN scribes add that it’s unlikely Anthony will respond with eagerness to stay with the franchise.

The Rockets acquired Chris Paul two weeks ago and since the trade, Houston has been cited as a potential landing spot for Anthony. In order to bring the 10-time All-Star aboard, Houston would presumably need to move Ryan Anderson, who will earn more than $19.5MM during the 2017/18 campaign. New York has no interest in adding Anderson to the team.

Nuggets Officially Sign Paul Millsap

JULY 13, 12:38pm: The Nuggets have officially signed Millsap, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 3, 10:05am: Millsap’s third year will be a team option, Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post confirms. We’ll have to wait for Millsap to officially sign to see whether it’s a true team option, or whether that third year will just be non-guaranteed (perhaps with a buyout attached).

JULY 2, 10:00pm: The Nuggets have reached a deal with Paul Millsap, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. The agreement is said to be for three years and $90MM. Matt Moore of CBS Sports suggests (via Twitter) that the third year is a team option, which would be a coup for the Nuggets, though that hasn’t yet been confirmed.paulmillsap vertical

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

Millsap entered free agency as one of the most talented players available and will join a Nuggets squad currently anchored by promising youngsters Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.

In Millsap, the suddenly dangerous Nuggets will add a reliable veteran on the heels of four consecutive All-Star seasons. In 2016/17, the 32-year-old averaged a career high 18.1 points to go along with 7.7 rebounds and over a three-pointer per game. He ranked fifth on our list of 2017’s top 50 free agents.

Prior to committing to the Nuggets, Millsap had engaged in talks with the Kings and Suns, according to Charania in his full report for The Vertical. Charania suggests that the forward was ultimately intrigued by the young core that the Nuggets have assembled. The Timberwolves also reportedly had interest in Millsap, but would have needed to move contracts to create space for him, and opted instead to sign Taj Gibson to a more affordable deal.

Millsap’s move to Denver makes him the latest Eastern Conference star to head west. Three of this year’s Eastern All-Stars have joined Western Conference clubs in the last couple weeks, with Jimmy Butler traded to Minnesota and Paul George landing in Oklahoma City.

The Nuggets had attempted to make a splash in the free agent market a year ago, meeting with Dwyane Wade and making a strong pitch to the veteran guard. While Denver struck out in 2016, the team got its man this time around, and the timing is good for the franchise — Gary Harris is extension-eligible this offseason, and Nikola Jokic may be a restricted free agent next summer, so the window to sign a max free agent may have closed quickly. Millsap had been on Denver’s radar for some time, with reports suggesting the team was close to trading for him last offseason and prior to the 2017 trade deadline.

As for the impact Millsap will have on Denver’s free agency plans this summer, it looks as if the Nuggets still have enough room for Mason Plumlee‘s qualifying offer after their commitment to Millsap, which will allow the team to match any offers for Plumlee.

However, the club seems likely to renounce Danilo Gallinari‘s cap hold to fit in Millsap, which would eliminate the possibility of a new deal in Denver for the longtime Nugget. Of course, during the moratorium, discussions are always fluid, so it’s possible Denver could make trades to clear other contracts and maintain Gallinari’s cap hold.

As things stand right now, Millsap’s deal will eat up most of the rest of the Nuggets’ cap room, but the club will still have a little space, and will be able to use its $4.3MM room exception once that space is used.

Meanwhile, the Hawks will have a new-look frontcourt under new GM Travis Schlenk, who also traded Dwight Howard last week. Atlanta will lose a key big man in free agency for the second offseason in a row, with Millsap departing a year after Al Horford left for Boston. Still, Schlenk never sounded overly enthusiastic about making an aggressive offer for Millsap, and letting him walk will leave the team with more than $30MM in cap room to use elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Nuggets Waive Mike Miller

The Nuggets have parted ways with Mike Miller, announcing today that the veteran guard has been waived from the roster (Twitter link). Miller’s salary for 2017/18 would reportedly have become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract beyond Wednesday.

Miller, 37, appeared in just 20 games for the Nuggets last year in his second season with the club. The veteran sharpshooter played a career-low 7.6 minutes per game, averaging just 1.4 PPG and 1.9 RPG. During his very limited playing time, Miller still exhibited an ability to shoot from outside, making 40% of his three-pointers (albeit on just 20 attempts).

Miller’s contract with the Nuggets called for him to earn a $3.5MM salary in 2017/18, but that entire figure was non-guaranteed, according to Basketball Insiders. As such, cutting Miller allows Denver to clear that amount from its cap, opening up a little more room.

Assuming Mason Plumlee‘s cap hold stays on the Nuggets’ books and Paul Millsap‘s deal is finalized soon, the team should have about $5.5MM in cap space, plus its $4.3MM room exception. Those figures can’t be combined to use on a single player.

Free Agent Rumors: Dedmon, Teague, Timberwolves, Heat

The Hawks are interested in free agent center Dewayne Dedmon, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets. They are also looking at Willie Reed, Scotto passes along in the same tweet via Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. The Nets and Celtics have also been mentioned as possibilities for Dedmon, who played for the Spurs last season. Reed, who played for the Heat last season, met with the Clippers on Friday and has drawn interest from several other clubs.

In other developments involving free agency:

  • The Kings and Nuggets along with his former team, the Pacers, were interested in Jeff Teague before he signed with the Timberwolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV tweets via his colleague Joe Schmit. The Kings wound up signing point guard George Hill, while the Nuggets spent most of their free agent money on power forward Paul Millsap. Teague signed a three-year, $57MM deal with Minnesota.
  • Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau is still shopping for two wings and a point guard to upgrade their bench, Wolfson notes in a separate tweet. However, Thibodeau has likely filled one of those wing spots with Jamal Crawford, who agreed to a two-year contract after negotiating a buyout agreement with the Hawks and being placed on waivers. Crawford has cleared waivers and is expected to sign sometime this week, Chris Haynes of ESPN tweets.
  • The Heat are in discussions with forwards Luke Babbitt and Udonis Haslem, according to an Associated Press report. Those deals, if completed, would likely be veteran minimum, the report adds. Babbitt appeared in 68 games, including 55 starts, for the injury-depleted Heat last season. Haslem saw action in just 16 games.

Clippers Sign Milos Teodosic

Aug 19, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Serbia point guard Milos Teodosic (4) shoots the ball against Australia power forward Aron Baynes (12) during the men's basketball semifinal in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY SportsJULY 10, 3:27pm: Teodosic has officially signed his contract with the Clippers, according to a tweet sent out by his agency.

JULY 6, 1:44pm: European point guard Milos Teodosic has reached an agreement with the Clippers, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. It will be a two-year, $12.3MM contract with a player option on the second season (Twitter link).

Several teams have been in competition for the 30-year-old, who is considered to be one of the top players outside the NBA. He was reportedly seeking a three-year deal worth $25MM to $30MM, but his new contract is substantially less, at least in the first season.

The Heat, Kings, Nuggets, Jazz, Nets, Bulls and Timberwolves were among the other teams that expressed interest. Minnesota offered its room exception, but understood that he could get more money elsewhere, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Brooklyn decided that Teodosic’s defensive shortcomings made him a poor candidate for big money or big minutes, according to NetsDaily (Twitter link).

A star with Serbia at the 2016 Olympics, Teodosic made his current team, CSKA Moscow, one of the best in the Euroleague. He has averaged 16.1 points per game over the past two seasons and 6.5 assists over the last three. The Russian squad was hoping to keep him, but admitted that it couldn’t compete financially with NBA teams.

Teodosic’s signing may end the Clippers’ interest in Derrick Rose, who met with the team on Wednesday. With Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams already on the roster, there doesn’t seem to be any room for Rose.

NBA Teams With Cap Room Remaining

We’re only on the 10th day of the NBA league year, but already, the number of teams with cap room still available is dwindling.

Clubs without cap room remaining could create space at some point — the Knicks, for instance, used the last of their cap room to finalize Tim Hardaway‘s offer sheet, but may try to clear salary by trading Carmelo Anthony and/or Courtney Lee. For now though, only a handful of teams have a useful amount of cap space left.

Those teams with cap room are listed below, along with an informal breakdown of what their situation looks like. Many deals haven’t yet been finalized, so these figures our based on our projections, with the help of information from Basketball Insiders and HeatHoops.

Teams with cap room remaining:

  • Atlanta Hawks: With agreed-upon deals for Mike Muscala and Tyler Dorsey not yet official, the Hawks retain about $18-19MM in cap room. And that’s not counting whatever amount of money Jamal Crawford was willing to give up in his buyout, so that figure may creep a little higher.
  • Brooklyn Nets: The Nets remain in a holding pattern with Otto Porter, but after he officially moves over to the Wizards’ books and Brooklyn completes its trade for DeMarre Carroll, the team should have about $16-17MM in cap room. The Nets could create a little more space by waiving one or more non-guaranteed players.
  • Denver Nuggets: Once the Nuggets’ signing of Paul Millsap becomes official, the team won’t have much cap flexibility left, though that could change if Mike Miller is waived and/or Mason Plumlee is renounced. If both of those players remain on the cap, Denver will only have about $2MM in room. If they move on from both players, the Nuggets could get up to about $11MM+ in space.
  • Indiana Pacers: Assuming the Pacers stretch Monta Ellis‘ salary, as has been reported, they should have in the neighborhood of $7-8MM in remaining cap room, even after finalizing the acquisitions of Darren Collison, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Cory Joseph.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers have approximately $17MM in cap room left, though they’d have to renounce their remaining unrestricted free agents to make use of all that space.
  • Orlando Magic: The Magic could have retained their exceptions and cap holds and stayed over the cap, but it looks like they’re operating under the cap, signing Shelvin Mack with room instead of the mid-level exception. Orlando doesn’t have much space available, but could get up to $8MM+ in room by waiving C.J. Watson, and could increase that number a little more by cutting other non-guaranteed players.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers’ remaining cap room will depend on the exact numbers for J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson, but it figures to be in the neighborhood of $16-17MM.
  • Phoenix Suns: Alex Len‘s $12MM+ cap hold is a significant factor in the Suns’ remaining cap room. If they were to renounce Len, the Suns could get up to about $23MM in room, with the ability to create even more by waiving non-guaranteed contracts. However, if they keep Len on the books, Phoenix’s cap room is below $11MM, and will be reduced further when Alan Williams‘ new deal becomes official.
  • Sacramento Kings: Deals for George Hill, Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic will use up most of the Kings’ space, but the team should still have room in the $8-10MM range after those signings become official.

Teams that went under the cap, but have used all (or virtually all) of their room:

  • Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks

These teams went below the cap this summer to accommodate big-money moves. In some cases, those deals aren’t yet official, but when they’re finalized, they’ll eliminate any cap room these teams have left. A couple of these clubs have already committed their room exception to certain players, with the Celtics on track to sign Aron Baynes and the Wolves lining up a deal with Jamal Crawford.

Teams that are operating over the cap, but could create some cap room:

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Utah Jazz

These teams are currently operating as over-the-cap clubs in order to retain their full mid-level, bi-annual, and trade exceptions, but there could be scenarios in which it makes more sense to renounce those exceptions and dip below the cap.

In the Bulls’ and Mavs’ cases, it would likely only happen if they don’t retain top RFAs (Nikola Mirotic and Nerlens Noel, respectively). Meanwhile, the Jazz could only create up to about $12MM in room if they were to waive their non-guaranteed contracts  and wait to sign Joe Ingles.

Note: Items on Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic were edited after publication to adjust figures.

Clippers, Hawks, Nuggets Agree On Three-Way Deal

July 6: The trade is official, according to a Hawks team press release.

July 4: The Clippers, Hawks, and Nuggets are in agreement on a three-way deal that will send Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers in a sign-and-trade arrangement, reports Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The deal has been discussed extensively, and there was an expectation it would get done, but it hadn’t been formally agreed upon until now. It can be made official when the moratorium ends on Thursday.Danilo Gallinari vertical

Based on the terms reported, the trade is expected to look like this:

  • Clippers receive: Gallinari (sign-and-trade, three-year deal worth $65MM)
  • Hawks receive: Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, first-round pick from Clippers (Rockets’ 2018 first-rounder), cash.
  • Nuggets receive: Second-round pick from Hawks (it will be the Wizards’ 2019 second-rounder, tweets Vivlamore)

The key piece in the transaction is Gallinari, a free agent forward who turns 29 next month. He has had some trouble staying on the court in recent years, appearing in just 175 total games over the last four seasons, but he’s a versatile and effective scorer when he plays, averaging 18.2 PPG with a shooting line of .447/.389/.902 in 2016/17. The Clippers envision him sharing the frontcourt with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

The Clippers didn’t have the cap room to sign Gallinari outright, and the Nuggets didn’t want to take back salary in a sign-and-trade since they’re preserving their space to finalize Paul Millsap‘s signing. That opened the door for the Hawks to enter the mix and nab a future first-round pick – along with a young prospect in Stone – for their willingness to take on Crawford’s contract.

While Crawford will land in Atlanta as part of this three-way deal, there’s a belief that he’ll seek a trade or buyout. A trade will be tricky to complete, and the Hawks would likely want Crawford to forgo a significant chunk of the $17MM+ in guaranteed money remaining on his deal in order to buy him out. If the two sides can work something out though, the Lakers, Warriors, Spurs, and Cavaliers are among Crawford’ possible landing spots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyler Lydon Signs Rookie Contract With Nuggets

Tyler Lydon, the Nuggets’ first round-pick out of Syracuse, has officially signed his rookie contract, the team announced on its website.

A 6’10” forward, Lydon was taken by Utah with the 24th pick and shipped to Denver along with Trey Lyles in exchange for 13th pick Donovan Mitchell.

As a sophomore, Lydon was All-ACC Honorable Mention after averaging 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Orange. He helped Syracuse reach the Final Four as a freshman.

Lydon, 21, can make nearly $1.58MM in his first season and nearly $9.48MM over four years, according to the Hoops Rumors chart of rookie scale salaries.

Lydon will play for Denver’s summer league team starting Friday in Las Vegas. He is the 21st first-rounder to agree to a contract.

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