Hoops Rumors » Denver Nuggets Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2018-01-20T05:04:53Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nuggets Notes: Jefferson, Malone, Chandler]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=84127 2018-01-19T20:17:15Z 2018-01-19T20:17:15Z With the Clippers riding a six-game winning streak, the Nuggets currently find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. At 23-22, Denver is just a half-game back of the Clips and Pelicans, and one game back of the Trail Blazers, so it’s hardly time to panic yet. Still, as Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders writes, the Nuggets are one of a few teams treading water in the West right now.

Grouping Denver with the Pelicans and Blazers as middle-of-the-pack Western playoff contenders, Grizzard notes that the Nuggets’ late-game execution has been inconsistent with Paul Millsap on the shelf. Richard Jefferson attributes those struggles to the club’s overall youth: “I think guys are still learning. Most of the guys that are in these positions are in these positions for the first time. I think we’ll continue getting better as the season goes on.”

Here’s more out of Denver:

  • Jefferson was brought in at the start of the season to provide veteran leadership for the Nuggets, but the veteran forward has taken on a role in the club’s rotation within the last week, as Gina Mizell of The Denver Post details. “People forget — and I have to remind myself, for that matter — R.J. last year in Cleveland, on a team that went to the Finals, was playing 20 minutes a night,” head coach Michael Malone said of Jefferson. “He still has something left, and I have to give him a chance to play.”
  • Speaking of Malone, he’s under pressure this season to prove that he’s a coach capable of guiding the Nuggets to a spot in the postseason, according to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post.
  • After parting ways with Roc Nation last May, Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler has returned to his old agency, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Chandler, who was being represented by Excel Sports for most of 2017, will be repped by Sam Permut with Roc Nation, says Amick. With a $12.8MM player option looming for 2018/19, Chandler will either be seeking a new team this summer or entering next season on an expiring contract.
  • Jamal Murray, who has been in the NBA’s concussion protocol this week, has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for the team’s Friday game against Phoenix, per Mizell.
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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nuggets Recall Tyler Lydon From G League]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83801 2018-01-15T21:51:25Z 2018-01-15T21:50:57Z
  • Rookie forward Tyler Lydon has been recalled from the G League by the Nuggets, according to the team (Twitter link). Since Denver doesn’t have a G League affiliate of its own, Lydon had been playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He has averaged 13.4 PPG and 9.1 RPG in 14 G League games this season.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nikola Mirotic, 15 Others Become Trade-Eligible]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83784 2018-01-15T15:55:12Z 2018-01-15T14:44:29Z Today is January 15, which means that trade restrictions have lifted for most of the rest of the NBA’s 2017 offseason signees. While the majority of those ’17 free agents became trade-eligible on December 15, there was a small subset of free agent signees whose trade ineligibility lasted for another month.

    The 16 players whose trade restrictions lift today meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous teams this offseason, but they received raises of at least 20%, their salaries are worth more than the minimum, and their teams were over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.

    The most notable name in this group is Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic. He’s not the best player on the list — Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry would be among those vying for that honor. But Mirotic is the most likely player to be dealt out of the 16 guys becoming trade-eligible today. He has been linked to a handful of teams already, including the Jazz, Pistons, and Trail Blazers.

    Here are the 16 players becoming trade-eligible today:

    With three and a half weeks left until this season’s February 8 trade deadline, nearly all of the NBA’s players are now eligible to be dealt. The only players still ineligible to be moved are those who signed free agent contracts later than October 15, plus certain players who signed contract extensions in the offseason.

    Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (January 17), Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson (January 19), and Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (January 22) are now the only remaining players who will become trade-eligible between today and February 8. For the full list of players who won’t become trade-eligible before this year’s deadline, click here.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Jefferson To Be Part Of Nuggets' Rotation]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83710 2018-01-14T16:21:43Z 2018-01-14T16:21:43Z
  • Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell has become the MVP for the Jazz in a difficult season, according to Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. The 13th overall pick is leading all rookies in scoring at 18.8 points per game and has four 30-point performances already. Utah was focused primarily on Mitchell’s defensive prowess when it acquired him in a draft-night trade with the Nuggets, so the scoring has been a pleasant surprise. In his other midseason ratings, Sorensen picks Ricky Rubio as the team’s most disappointing player and Royce O’Neale as the most pleasant surprise.
  • The Nuggets plan to use veteran forward Richard Jefferson as part of their rotation for the rest of the season, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports. Coach Michael Malone said he wants to see “what we have” in the 37-year-old, who has been playing about eight minutes per night and is averaging 1.6 points through 13 games.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Kenneth Faried's Future In Denver Uncertain]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83471 2018-01-12T06:14:03Z 2018-01-11T21:04:07Z While his days with the team have appeared numbered for a while now, Kenneth Faried‘s role with the Nuggets seems particularly tenuous now that he has failed to see action in 10 of the club’s past 12 games. A discussion piece at the Denver Post covers the Manimal’s future in Denver.

    There are plenty of things that Faried does well when he’s active with the Nuggets. His energy level is contagious and he fares well in certain efficiency metrics given his ability to fill the stat sheet in limited minutes. Alas, defensive shortcomings, paired with the fact that Denver has plenty of other suitable forwards, have led to a lack of opportunity for the 28-year-old veteran.

    A trade for Faried could be forthcoming, although such a revelation doesn’t exactly qualify as groundbreaking. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, Faried’s stock could be lower now than when he was first floated as a possible trade piece.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Paul Millsap On Track To Return Around All-Star Break]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83458 2018-01-11T17:08:18Z 2018-01-11T17:08:18Z
  • Paul Millsap has been out of the Nuggets‘ lineup since undergoing wrist surgery in late November, but he recently had his cast removed and is progressing toward a return, writes Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. According to Mizell, Millsap is on track to get back on the court around the time of the All-Star break next month.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Darrell Arthur Emerges As Team Leader]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=83289 2018-01-09T04:35:03Z 2018-01-09T04:35:03Z
  • Forward Darrell Arthur has appeared in just five games this season for the Nuggets but he’s contributing as a leader, according to Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website. “What you have to love about him right now is he’s not playing, and he’s more than capable of helping us out,” coach Michael Malone told Dempsey. “But he’s a guy that right now from a numbers standpoint isn’t getting called on very often. He has not allowed that to detract from his leadership role and staying positive, staying engaged.” Arthur holds a $7.46MM player option on his contract for next season and his lack of playing time increases the possibility that he’ll stay put.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Home-Heavy Schedule Provides Hope]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=82752 2018-01-02T16:38:24Z 2018-01-02T02:55:17Z Shooting guard Troy Daniels is one of the players the Suns could move before the trade deadline, according to Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Daniels is averaging 8.3 PPG off the bench this season while shooting 42.5% from long range. He is signed through next season for a very affordable $3.25MM but if rookie Davon Reed comes on strong this month, Daniels becomes expendable, Bordow continues. Veterans Tyson Chandler, Greg Monroe and Jared Dudley could also be moved during the next five weeks, Bordow adds.

    In other Western Conference developments:

    • The Suns have been using Devin Booker at the point during crunch times situations, Bordow notes in the same piece. Interim coach Jay Triano believes Booker could eventually become a playmaker in the mold of James Harden.
    • A friendly schedule could boost the Nuggets over the two next months, as Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website points out. They play 17 of their next 25 games at home, where they have gone 12-4 this season. “Hopefully we can use January, which is a lot of home games, to kind of build and get ahead and not be two games over .500,” coach Michael Malone told Dempsey. “I’m pretty satisfied with where we are, but we have a lot of work to do.”
    • Gerald Green was surprised how much he was able to contribute after signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Rockets last week, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Green scored 18 points in 27 minutes off the bench on Friday in Washington, his first NBA game since a preseason stint with the Bucks. “I am very surprised about my wind,” he told Feigen. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’m actually happy with myself about the work I’ve been putting in. That’s really been paying off.”
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Malone Downplays Regrets Over Mitchell Trade]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=82430 2017-12-27T15:10:24Z 2017-12-27T15:10:24Z
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone downplays the feeling that the franchise made a mistake dealing Mitchell, the No. 13 pick, to the Jazz, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News tweets. “The only thing I can say is obviously we got (forward) Trey Lyles in that deal and Trey Lyles has been great for us,“ Malone told Woodyard. Mitchell doesn’t hold any grudges against Denver for trading him, Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets.
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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Plumlee Making Most Of His Playing Time]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=82314 2017-12-24T22:32:50Z 2017-12-24T22:32:50Z
  • Injuries to Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic have allowed Mason Plumlee to receive more playing time and the Nuggets’ center is becoming a trusted vocal leader for the team, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post writes.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Denver Nuggets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=82086 2018-01-05T03:29:27Z 2017-12-22T03:27:09Z After years of being a beloved up-and-coming Western Conference hopeful, the Nuggets have lost some of their sheen due to circumstances somewhat out of their control. The franchise made its intentions clear by signing Paul Millsap to a contract north of $31MM this season, which only adds to the frustration caused by a relatively mediocre start.

    The Nuggets had their hands full adding Millsap to the fold alongside 22-year-old Nikola Jokic, so we can’t exactly fault the club for getting out to a slow start, but – at just 16-15 – they have. When word broke that the 32-year-old free agent would miss months with a wrist injury, the outlook grew even more bleak.

    All told, the Nuggets may not be quite as mysteriously captivating as they were in the past, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be a solid team eventually given the still-very-much intriguing young pieces that dot the roster.

    Darrell Arthur, PF, 30 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $23MM deal in 2016
    While Arthur has played nine seasons with just two NBA franchises, carving out a role as a consistently reliable rotation player on both despite never logging more than the 21.7 minutes per game, his pedestrian career marks of 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game aren’t likely to yield much on the open market. For that reason, expect him to pick up his $7.5MM player option.

    Will Barton, SG, 27 (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $10MM deal in 2015Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets vertical
    In three and a half seasons with the Nuggets, Barton has made a name for himself as a solid spark plug off the bench. The soon-to-be 27-year-old unrestricted free agent will hit the open market in July and seems likely to command more from another suitor than the Nuggets would be comfortable matching given the other building blocks they’ll need to commit to.

    Wilson Chandler, SF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $47MM deal in 2015
    Despite having a career year in 2016/17 and starting every game of the season for the Nuggets so far this year, Chandler isn’t a major part of Denver’s long-term plans. Given that we may see more penny pinching next summer than we did the last two because of a league-wide dearth of cap room, it’s hard to imagine the forward landing more than what he’ll be able to get just by accepting the $13MM player option he has for $2018/19.

    Richard Jefferson, SF, 38 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
    After landing with the Nuggets on a minimum deal following his release from the Cavaliers at the start of the season, Jefferson will hit free agency once again next summer. At the ripe age of 38, no longer privy to the luxuries of competing for a championship, don’t put it past the podcasting superstar to retire.

    Nikola Jokic, C, 23 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $6MM deal in 2015
    The Nuggets have options for dealing with Jokic’s inevitable free agency. There’s no denying that the affable big man with a 24.1 career PER will command max money whenever he’s eligible to sign a new deal — whether that happens next summer or the one after that is the question. Denver holds a team option for Jokic’s 2018/19 campaign. While they could technically turn down his team option and look to lock him up as a restricted free agent in 2018, the Nuggets are already flirting with the luxury tax for next season without a monster Jokic deal on their books (or a possible Barton deal, for that matter). The front office could be better suited accepting the team option and then making a major play for the big man in 2019, once the contracts of Chandler, Arthur and Kenneth Faried expire. Still, there are optics to think about in that scenario. Regardless, Jokic has earned big money, so let’s pull up some chairs and watch how Tim Connelly and Arturas Karnisovas try to figure this out.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Marco Belinelli Could Be Good Fit For Nuggets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=81607 2017-12-15T23:37:15Z 2017-12-15T23:32:52Z
  • While there’s no direct indication that the Hawks are shopping Marco Belinelli, the veteran would be an excellent fit for the Nuggets, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes. Belinelli has connections to Denver’s front office and the 95% free-throw shooter could provide support in one area that the team particularly needs it.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Injured Paul Millsap Back With The Team]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=81535 2017-12-14T21:08:13Z 2017-12-14T21:08:13Z
  • While his return is still weeks, if not months away, injured Nuggets forward Paul Millsap is back with the team and doing everything possible to return to the court as quickly as possible, Christopher Dempsey of Denver’s official site writes.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Millsap Explains Delay In Surgery]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=81465 2017-12-14T01:24:02Z 2017-12-14T01:24:02Z
  • Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, out for three months after surgery on his left wrist in late November, explained why he didn’t have the procedure done right away, tweets T.J. McBride of Mile High Sports. In an interview with Altitude TV, Millsap said the delay involved finding the right surgeon and staff to perform the operation. Denver’s top free agent addition over the summer, Millsap has played 16 games and is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Revisiting The Paul George Trade]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=81462 2017-12-15T15:22:21Z 2017-12-14T00:16:22Z Paul George is back in Indiana tonight for the first time since the blockbuster trade that sent him to Oklahoma City. The deal was supposed to signal the start of a rebuilding process for the Pacers and the creation of a title contender in Oklahoma City, but things haven’t worked out that way. Indiana enters tonight’s game 16-11 and in fifth place in the East, while the Thunder are a disappointing 12-14 and stuck in ninth place in the West.

    George was shipped to OKC in early July in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, who are both putting up career-best numbers in Indiana. Oladipo is scoring 24.5 points per game, while Sabonis is averaging 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds, both more than double his totals from last season.

    Meeting with reporters today, George expressed joy in seeing the Pacers playing so well and said the reason he had his agent tell the team he was unlikely to re-sign after this season is so it could start preparing right away, according to Matthew VanTryon and Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star.

    “When we reached out to the front office, to tell them our plans, our future plans, it was to help them along the way,” George said. “And it was bad at first, so to speak, that maybe this trade wasn’t going to pan out. But it obviously did. They got two great, young pieces.” 

    We rounded up a few more reactions as writers revisited the July deal:

    • The Pacers should receive an apology for the initial negative reaction to the trade, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The general feeling was that Indiana didn’t get enough in return for George, with Cavaliers owner Dan Snyder saying, “I will say [the Pacers] could’ve done better,” and the Oklahoma City police department tweeting about the theft of George. Deveney adds that the deal turned out to be better than some other offers the Pacers received, including Gary Harris and draft choices from the Nuggets, and Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and some non-lottery picks from the Celtics.
    • The Thunder had to take the gamble when a star like George became available, contends Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Even if Oladipo turns out to be an All-Star, he wasn’t a good fit with Westbrook during his lone season with the Thunder, Tramel writes, with some observers contending he was out of shape and others saying he couldn’t adjust to Westbrook’s ball dominance. George can be a dominant player on both ends, and his acquisition may have been what inspired Westbrook to agree to a five-year extension in September.
    • The Pacers should be elated with the results of the deal, according to a consensus of writers on an NBA.com Blogtable. Indiana could be headed for a playoff spot, while George may be joining the Lakers next summer — if not earlier.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Embiid Bonus Could Affect Sixers’ Cap Space]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80717 2017-12-03T18:59:32Z 2017-12-03T05:06:31Z Joel Embiid‘s strong start could lead to a bonus that would affect the Sixers’ ability to compete on the free agent market next summer, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN.

    The second-year center signed a five-year extension over the summer that has a base value of $146MM, but could rise as high as $178MM if he reaches certain benchmarks. That includes a hefty bonus if he is named Most Valuable Player or earns first-team All-NBA honors this season. Embiid, who came into tonight averaging 22.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, is certainly a candidate to make the All-NBA team at center, especially with the injury to Rudy Gobert and the move of Anthony Davis to power forward.

    The bonus would raise Embiid’s cap hit from $25.3MM to $30.3MM for 2018/19 and would cost Philadelphia $5MM in cap space for each subsequent year of the contract. The Sixers have nearly $32MM in projected cap room right now, not counting $1.6MM team options for T.J. McConnell and Richaun Holmes, so $5MM could affect their ability to offer a full max contract.

    Emiid’s contract also contains a minutes clause that could boost his future earnings. He can make his contract fully guaranteed starting in 2020/21 or 2021/22 if he plays at least 1,650 minutes in three consecutive years or three out of four starting with this season. He has accumulated 532 minutes in 18 games, putting him on pace to reach that figure for this year.

    Marks passes on a few other tidbits related to contract incentives:

    • The punch from Bobby Portis that hospitalized Nikola Mirotic has cost the Bulls forward $1MM in bonuses. Mirotic had four benchmarks valued at $250K each, and although each was unlikely, he needed to play 65 games to be eligible and he has already missed 20.
    • Nets guard Jeremy Lin, who played just one game this season before needing knee surgery, missed a chance to earn several bonuses worth $750K.
    • Nuggets forward Paul Millsap has a $500K incentive for making the All-Star team, which is impossible after wrist surgery that will keep him sidelined until after the February 18 game. Millsap had been an All-Star the past four seasons in the East. He also would receive a $150K bonus for playing 65 games and averaging seven rebounds per 36 minutes, but that’s out of reach because of the injury. He can still get $150K if the Nuggets make the playoffs, but for now his cap hit for next season will be cut from $29.7MM to $29.2MM.
    • Gobert took the biggest hit because of injury, which could cost him up to $2MM. The Jazz center, who is not expected back until the middle of the month because of a bone bruise in his right knee, had a pair of $250K incentives based on 67 games played, along with a $500K bonus for being named first team All-Defense and $1MM for making the All-Star game.
    • Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon needs his scoring and rebounding averages to total more than 16 to collect a $900K bonus. He was at 11.1 PPG and 7.8 RPG before his recent injury.
    • The Trail Blazers could see a smaller luxury tax bill if Maurice Harkless continues to struggle with his three-point shot. Currently shooting 24.3% from distance, Harkless needs to reach 35% at the end of the season to get a $500K bonus. If he falls short, Portland’s tax bill will dip from $4.3MM to $3.5MM.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nuggets Hope Jokic's Ankle Injury Is Only A Sprain]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80577 2017-12-01T19:43:51Z 2017-12-01T19:43:51Z
  • Nikola Jokic injured his ankle on Thursday night, and while the Nuggets are running additional tests today, initial X-rays were negative, and the team is optimistic that the injury is just a sprain, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Long Road For Craig's NBA Debut]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80501 2017-11-30T04:58:52Z 2017-11-30T04:58:52Z
  • After three years of playing overseas, Nuggets forward Torrey Craig got his first taste of NBA action Tuesday, writes Christopher Dempsey of NBA.com. The 26-year-old signed a two-way contract over the summer and was called up to Denver this week after averaging 25.7 points per game in the G League. “It wasn’t too many nerves,” he said. “I’ve been playing basketball for a long time. So, I’m well adjusted to the atmosphere, to the game of basketball.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Extension Talks Never Got Serious For Jazz, Favors]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80400 2017-11-28T17:20:02Z 2017-11-28T17:20:02Z While not many veteran NBA players qualify for contract extensions, Derrick Favors has been extension-eligible for each of the last two seasons, and came into the 2016/17 campaign hoping to sign a new deal. However, as Favors tells ESPN’s Zach Lowe, he and the Jazz never got close to working out an agreement, despite the fact that Utah had excess cap room to renegotiate his contract.

    “They wanted to re-sign Gordon [Hayward], maybe extend George Hill,” Favors said. “And I got hurt. I understand the business part of it. If they had come to me, I’d have been open to it.”

    Unrestricted free agency is fast approaching for Favors, who is earning $12MM in 2017/18 on an expiring deal. Considering the Jazz didn’t show much interest in extending Favors’ contract last season when they had plenty of cap flexibility, it’s probably safe to assume the team won’t make an effort to lock him up to an in-season extension this year either, even though he remains eligible. In fact, though he doesn’t cite any sources, Lowe suggests that Utah is more likely to explore the trade market for the 26-year-old.

    According to Lowe, it’s not clear if the Jazz could even extract a low first-round pick or an equivalent young player for Favors at this point. Lowe names the Pistons, Pelicans, Bucks, and Nuggets as teams that might be among the potential fits, but cautions that none of those clubs are likely to give up much for a rental.

    Favors’ production has been up and down since the start of the 2016/17 season, though he has played well over the last couple weeks with Rudy Gobert sidelined. Having seen more playing time at center during that stretch, Favors has averaged 15.9 PPG and 8.8 RPG in eight games.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Paul Millsap Undergoes Surgery, Out Three Months]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80312 2017-11-27T02:23:15Z 2017-11-27T02:17:06Z After some debate, Paul Millsap and the Nuggets decided that surgery would be the best option for the injured forward. Per Shams Charania of The Vertical, Millsap underwent successful surgery on his left wrist today and is expected to be sidelined for three months.

    Last week we wrote about Millsap injuring his wrist in a game. It was determined by way of an MRI at the time that the forward hadn’t fractured it but sprained it. Eventually, word spread that it was a torn ligament.

    While Millsap has taken time adjusting to his new role with the Nuggets, he’s put forth respectable numbers, including 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Just as the 32-year-old seemed to be acclimating himself, however, this setback has thrown a wrench in plans.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Nikola Jokic Exhibiting New Leadership Skills]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80304 2017-11-27T00:22:31Z 2017-11-27T00:22:31Z The time is now for Nikola Jokic to blossom into a leader. Nuggets head coach Mike Malone recently told his third-year big man as much given the absence of veteran power forward Paul Millsap in the lineup, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes.

    The Nuggets have stressed that they need to see Jokic exhibit more leadership qualities, his production on the floor, while impressive, no longer enough for a young team eager to claim its first playoff berth since 2013.

    Mizell writes that Jokic came through this week, uncharacteristically speaking up to motivate a lethargic looking Nuggets roster one night and then showing off his mental toughness by returning to the court on an injured ankle the next time out.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Millsap Explores Alternatives To Surgery]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80079 2017-11-23T14:37:22Z 2017-11-23T04:57:52Z Nuggets forward Paul Millsap is exploring alternatives to wrist surgery that would keep him out of action for about three months, according to Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. The four-time All-Star, who came to Denver this summer on a three-year contract worth more than $90MM, has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Poll: Will Nuggets Make 2017/18 Postseason?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80036 2017-11-22T18:38:39Z 2017-11-22T18:38:39Z The Nuggets are currently tied for the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, at 10-7, but the team got some bad news on Tuesday. Veteran big man Paul Millsap is reportedly set to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist, and while his recovery timetable hasn’t been finalized, reports have indicated he may miss the next three months.

    It’s a big blow for the Nuggets, who used nearly all of their available cap space in the offseason to add Millsap, a reliable power forward capable of complementing Nikola Jokic on offense and helping to stabilize a defense that had been one of the NBA’s worst last year. Denver’s defense still hasn’t been great this season, but it’s been better, and Millsap – who is averaging 15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 BPG, and 1.1 SPG – has been a big part of that.

    The Nuggets still haven’t confirmed a recovery timeline for Millsap, but if we assume he’ll be sidelined for three months, that would put him in line to return shortly after the All-Star break. If Millsap were to return on February 23, Denver’s first game after the break, he’d miss the team’s next 41 contests, or exactly half the regular season.

    The Nuggets still have a talented roster without Millsap in the mix. The team went 40-42 last season, and is counting on further development from young centerpieces like Jokic and Jamal Murray in 2017/18. But the roster isn’t exactly stocked with experienced, playoff-tested veterans like Millsap, so his absence will be felt.

    At 10-7, the Nuggets currently trail the Rockets, Warriors, and Spurs in the Western Conference, and they’re tied with the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves. Those five teams look like probable playoff clubs. Behind Denver, teams like the Pelicans (9-8), Grizzlies (7-9), Thunder (7-9), and Jazz (7-11) will be some of the teams battling for one of the other three postseason berths in the West, with the Lakers (8-10) and Clippers (5-11) among the dark horses.

    What do you think? Can the Nuggets withstand Millsap’s absence and put themselves in position to get back to the playoffs this season, or will the injury be too much for the team to overcome? Vote in our poll and jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

    Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[An Early Look At Five 2018/19 Player Options]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80031 2017-11-22T16:22:40Z 2017-11-22T16:22:40Z Back in 2016, player option decisions were essentially mere formalities. With the NBA salary cap set to spike, nearly every veteran with a player option on his contract decided to opt out and explore the free agent market. Only three players – Tim Duncan, Mo Williams, and Caron Butler – exercised their player options that year, and none of those players have appeared in the NBA since then.

    The market shifted a little in 2017, as five players picked up their player options, and several other players perhaps should have. Dante Cunningham, Rudy Gay, Aron Baynes, and Nick Young are among the players earning less this season than they would have if they’d exercised their options, and David Lee opted out of his deal only to announce his retirement a few months later.

    The NBA’s salary cap continues to increase, but it’s no longer jumping at nearly the same rate it was in 2016, which means veterans holding player options for 2018 may be less inclined to explore the market — there simply aren’t as many teams willing to throw money around.

    A look at the list of player options for 2018/19 reveals several options that will likely be picked up. For instance, Wesley Matthews ($18.6MM), Darrell Arthur ($7.5MM), Wesley Johnson ($6.1MM), Jason Smith ($5.5MM), and Ron Baker ($4.5MM) are unlikely to find offers on the open market that are more lucrative than their option salaries. Of course, there are also still plenty of options that will be quickly declined — the odds of Paul George exercising his $20.7MM player option are slim.

    Somewhere in between those two extremes, there are several 2018/19 player option decisions that remain unclear. These players may be leaning one way or the other right now, but the decision isn’t so obvious that it should be considered a lock quite yet. Here are five of those player option decisions worth keeping an eye on this season:

    1. Carmelo Anthony verticalCarmelo Anthony, Thunder ($27,928,140): The Thunder’s new-look roster has been dubbed a one-year experiment, but even if things go south in Oklahoma City this season, there’s little reason not to expect two of the team’s “Big Three” players back next year. Russell Westbrook is on a long-term extension, and Anthony’s $27.9MM option is probably too lucrative to pass up, considering he’s 33 years old and is seeing his production decline. If the season goes really poorly for the Thunder, maybe Anthony opts out just to get a change of scenery, but at this point, I’d count on him opting in.
    2. Jeremy Lin, Nets ($12,516,746): After an injury-plagued 2016/17 season in which he appeared in just 36 contests, Lin had high hopes for the 2017/18 campaign. However, he didn’t even make it through a single game this year, rupturing his patellar tendon in the Nets’ opener. When Lin is healthy, he’s a dynamic point guard who could command a solid long-term deal. But he’ll be 30 next summer and will be coming off a major injury. It might make sense to just play it safe and opt in for one more year in Brooklyn.
    3. Wilson Chandler, Nuggets ($12,800,562): Chandler has been a Nugget since 2011, making him the team’s longest-tenured player, but it has been a bumpy ride at times. Although Chandler has averaged between 30.9 and 31.7 minutes per contest in every season since 2013/14, he hasn’t always been happy with his role over the years, with a report back in February suggesting he was hoping for a trade. Chandler has struggled this season, and his three-point efficiency has been on the decline, but if he can bounce back, he’d be an appealing free agent target for teams in need of a wing with some size or a small-ball power forward. He probably wouldn’t earn more than $12.8MM per year, but he should be able to exceed that figure in terms of total salary.
    4. Cory Joseph, Pacers ($7,945,000): Long regarded as one of the NBA’s top backup point guards, Joseph’s numbers in Toronto and now Indiana have been fairly modest. Still, it might make sense for him to pass up an $8MM salary in search of a larger payday and perhaps a chance to earn a slightly larger role. An improved outside shot figures to make Joseph more appealing to potential suitors — in his first five NBA seasons, he made just 29.4% of his three-point attempts, but he has increased that mark to 38.5% since the start of the 2016/17 season.
    5. Enes Kanter, Knicks ($18,622,514): Kanter’s option decision was considered so obvious that his probable opt-in was reported back in August, with his decision deadline still 10 months away. Has his strong play in New York changed that? Probably not. Despite averaging a double-double with 13.8 PPG and 10.6 RPG so far, Kanter remains an average defender at best, and big men who don’t either protect the rim or shoot three-pointers have limited upside in free agency. Although the future for Kanter looks brighter than it did a few months ago, it’s still hard to imagine him turning down an $18.6MM salary for next season.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Nuggets Will Rely On Struggling Players In Millsap's Absence]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=80014 2017-11-22T14:25:57Z 2017-11-22T05:06:46Z
  • After crowded frontcourt rotation has become a feature rather than a bug for the Nuggets, who will have to rely heavily on the likes of Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee to produce in Paul Millsaps absence, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes. As we noted earlier, Millsap may miss two or three months after undergoing surgery on his left wrist.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Paul Millsap To Undergo Wrist Surgery, Miss 2-3 Months]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79993 2017-11-22T01:19:20Z 2017-11-21T23:06:26Z Paul Millsap will undergo surgery on his left wrist and he’ll be sidelined indefinitely as he recovers, Sham Charania of The Vertical reports (Twitter link). The power forward injured his wrist on Sunday against the Lakers.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) hears that the surgery is to repair a torn ligament in the wrist and the power forward could be sidelined for the next three months.

    Millsap signed a three-year, $90MM deal with the Nuggets this past offseason and he got off to slow start with the club, as I detailed in a recent edition of Fantasy Hoops. However, he was starting to look more comfortable in his new offense prior to leaving the game on Sunday.

    Denver has morphed into a respectable team on the defensive end this season and Millsap’s presence is a major reason why. The Nuggets currently rank 17th in the league in defensive rating, a season after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (Lakers).

    Kenneth Faried got the start at power forward against the Kings on Monday, but it’s unclear if he’ll remain as involved after a poor showing. Faried was relegated to the bench after just 19 minutes of action where he made just one of seven shots.

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    Clark Crum <![CDATA[Michael Malone Suspended; Jokic Fine Rescinded]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79899 2017-11-21T05:46:18Z 2017-11-21T00:21:09Z The NBA has suspended Nuggets head coach Michael Malone for one game without pay for entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official during yesterday’s loss to the Lakers, the league announced today in a press release. Malone will serve his suspension tonight when the Nuggets travel to Sacramento to face the Kings.

    The NBA also announced in the same press release that the fine given to Nikola Jokic for being ejected from yesterday’s game has been rescinded. The league says that Jokic properly received a technical foul for his actions but that he should not have been ejected.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[X-Rays Negative On Paul Millsap’s Wrist]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79858 2017-11-20T22:00:26Z 2017-11-20T22:00:26Z X-ray results on Paul Millsap‘s injured wrist came back negative, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN (Twitter link). Although Millsap won’t play for the Nuggets tonight, the team can breathe a sigh of relief that those x-rays didn’t show a break.

    Millsap left Sunday’s game against the Lakers with a left wrist injury that was diagnosed as a sprain. However, as Haynes notes, there was some concern that x-rays may reveal a fracture. The Nuggets big man avoided that worst-case scenario, but it’s not clear when he’ll get back on the court — he may still miss several games, depending on the severity of the sprain.

    Millsap, 32, signed a three-year deal with Denver in the offseason and has played well for the club so far, averaging 15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 3.0 APG in 16 games (all starts). While his numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, particularly for one of the NBA’s highest-paid players, Millsap has stabilized the Nuggets’ frontcourt defense, and has helped the club get off to a 9-7 start.

    In Millsap’s absence, Kenneth Faried and/or Mason Plumlee could receive an increase in playing time. With Wilson Chandler listed as questionable for tonight’s game, Juan Hernangomez and Will Barton may also see expanded roles.

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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Nuggets Notes: Murray, Nelson, Irving]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79800 2017-11-19T20:27:54Z 2017-11-19T20:27:54Z The Nuggets were in discussions with the Suns about an Eric Bledsoe trade, but it appears their decision not to offer too much for a new starting point guard is paying dividends. Jamal Murray, who has been Denver’s starting point guard since the beginning of the season, is playing well and the team is encouraged by his development.

    “I love the pace he’s playing with,” said coach Michael Malone after a recent game (via Christopher Dempsey of NBA.com). “He’s got to set the pace that we want to play at, he’s got to be aggressive and he’s got to play with confidence. And you’re seeing that a lot more consistently right now. He’s starting to become a consistent starting point guard in the NBA.”

    The 2016 No. 7 overall pick spent much of his playing time at shooting guard during his rookie season, but this year, he’s seeing all of his minutes at the one.

    Here’s more on the Nuggets:

    • Denver had a deal in place to trade Jameer Nelson to a lottery team for a protected second-rounder prior to the season, though the team could “not stomach” sending the 35-year-old to a bad team, sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN. The Nuggets ended up waiving Nelson, a move that allowed the vet to pick his own suitor.
    • Malone would have liked to keep Nelson on the team, though he is supportive of the organization’s decision to let the veteran go, Lowe relays in the same piece. “It was tough to see Jameer go,” Malone says. “The players trusted him. I find value in veteran mentors. In our meetings, of course I brought up all the reasons it made sense to keep him. But you have to think big picture. It wasn’t like I was kicking and screaming. By the end, we were all on board.”
    • The Nuggets had exploratory discussions with the Cavs about Kyrie Irving prior to them dealing away the point guard, though talks never got that far, per Lowe (same piece). The scribe notes that Murray, Wilson Chandler, and a lightly-protected first-rounder would have intrigued Cleveland, but Murray was never on the table.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Nuggets Were Close To Eric Bledsoe Trade]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79558 2017-11-16T16:55:35Z 2017-11-16T14:57:57Z Denver was in the “red zone” on a potential trade for Eric Bledsoe last month, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Complete details aren’t provided, but Lowe believes Phoenix would have received Emmanuel Mudiay and a first-round pick.

    Negotiations with the Suns eventually fell apart and the Nuggets moved on, leaving them with an extremely young point guard duo in Mudiay and Jamal Murray.

    “We chase every opportunity to improve ourselves,” said Denver GM Tim Connelly, who refused to comment directly on the Bledsoe talks. “We’ve had a lot of excellent players offered to us for our young talent. There’s a fine line between overvaluing your own players and being too aggressive chasing short-term results.”

    The decision not to give up too much for Bledsoe is understandable, writes Lowe, who says he wouldn’t have made made the Nuggets title contenders this season or next. After that, he will be seeking a huge contract as a free agent in his 30s with a history of knee problems.

    Lowe also notes that Denver had an opportunity to make a run at Kyrie Irving over the summer, but refused to include Murray in a potential deal. He believes a package of Murray, Wilson Chandler and a minimally protected first-rounder would have gotten the Cavaliers’ attention.

    The experience issue at point guard was created just before the season started when the Nuggets elected to waive Jameer Nelson, who played 75 games last season and started 39. Denver worked out a deal to trade him to a lower-level team in exchange for a protected second-round pick, but pulled out because the front office didn’t want Nelson to be stuck on a team with no shot at the playoffs. He eventually signed with the Pelicans after clearing waivers.

    “It was tough to see Jameer go,” coach Mike Malone said. “The players trusted him. I find value in veteran mentors. In our meetings, of course I brought up all the reasons it made sense to keep him. But you have to think big picture. It wasn’t like I was kicking and screaming. By the end, we were all on board.”

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[2018 Salary Cap Outlook: Northwest Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79518 2017-11-15T21:47:37Z 2017-11-15T21:47:37Z NBA rosters will undergo some changes over the course of the 2017/18 season, particularly around the trade deadline, and those changes may have an impact on teams’ cap sheets for future seasons. Based on the NBA’s current rosters, however, we can identify which teams are most and least likely to have cap room in the summer of 2018, which will dictate the type of moves those clubs can make in the offseason.

    We’re taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams by division this week. Today, we’re tackling the Northwest division. With the help of salary information compiled by Basketball Insiders, here’s how the summer of 2018 is shaping up for the five Northwest teams:

    Portland Trail BlazersJusuf Nurkic vertical
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $110,456,026
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Trail Blazers reduced their future commitments by trading Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn earlier this year, and Ed Davis will come off the books next summer, giving Portland a chance to avoid the luxury tax in 2018/19. However, their $110MM+ in guaranteed salaries for next season doesn’t include a contract for Jusuf Nurkic, who will be a restricted free agent. If they want to re-sign Nurkic and don’t dump another salary, the Blazers figure to return to tax territory.

    Minnesota Timberwolves
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $110,233,979
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Timberwolves’ salary commitments look a lot different now than they did a year ago. Gorgui Dieng‘s lucrative new extension went into effect this summer, and Andrew Wiggins‘ max deal will begin in 2018. Throw in substantial salaries for offseason acquisitions Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson, and Minnesota projects to be well over the cap for 2018/19. With a potential extension for Karl-Anthony Towns looming for 2019/20, the Wolves won’t have cap space for the foreseeable future if they intend to keep their current core group together.

    Denver Nuggets
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $89,903,848
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Nuggets’ guaranteed salaries for 2018/19 currently sit around $90MM, but even based on a $101MM cap projection, we shouldn’t expect the team to have any room. There are too many factors working against it.

    For one, Denver will face a tough decision on Nikola Jokic — exercising his ultra-affordable $1.6MM team option would put him on track to become an unrestricted free agency in 2019, so the club may opt to decline that option and make him a restricted free agent. In that scenario, a new contract for Jokic would push the Nuggets over the cap.

    Even if they simply pick up Jokic’s cheap option, the Nuggets will also have to consider player options for Kenneth Faried ($12.8MM) and Darrell Arthur ($7.5MM). Arthur is a good bet to exercise his option, and even though Faried hasn’t always loved his role in Denver, it’s possible he’ll pick up his too, since it features a pretty player-friendly salary.

    Oklahoma City Thunder
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $88,907,222
    Projection: Over the cap

    Carmelo Anthony‘s early termination option for 2018/19, worth nearly $28MM, is a major X factor for the Thunder, whose guaranteed team salary would increase from approximately $89MM to nearly $117MM if Anthony opts in. Taking into account Carmelo’s age, his production trends, and the current state of the free agent market, it makes sense for him to play out the final year of his current deal, so we’re penciling in Oklahoma City as a probable over-the-cap team.

    Even if Anthony opts out and Paul George doesn’t re-sign, OKC could only get up to about $8.8MM in cap room. That’s barely more than the projected value of the mid-level exception, so even in that scenario, the Thunder may simply remain over the cap to avoid renouncing all their exceptions.

    Utah Jazz
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $67,839,543
    Projection: Up to approximately $28MM in cap room

    Only six Jazz players have fully guaranteed salaries for 2018/19, while seven others have non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries, or are restricted free agents. That gives Utah some flexibility if the team wants to maximize its cap room.

    However, retaining Thabo Sefolosha for his reasonable non-guaranteed salary of $5.25MM would cut into the Jazz’s space, as would re-signing Rodney Hood and/or Dante Exum. Realistically, unless Utah decides to only hang onto those six fully guaranteed players and make major changes around them, we shouldn’t expect the club to enter July 2018 armed with a ton of cap room.

    Previously:

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Faried, Plumlee Struggling For Consistent Bench Minutes]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79482 2017-11-15T17:51:39Z 2017-11-15T05:02:39Z
  • Finding equal minutes for both Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee off the bench has been a challenge for Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post writes.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Millsap Getting Comfortable With Nuggets' Offense]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79267 2017-11-12T20:23:28Z 2017-11-12T03:53:16Z
  • Free agent addition Paul Millsap jokes that finally “knowing the plays” has led to the improvement in the Nuggets’ offense, relays Gina Mizell of The Denver Post. Millsap, who signed with Denver in July after four years in Atlanta, rates his current comfort level with the team’s approach at seven out of 10. “It’s a relief,” he said. “Your mind’s not all over the place. You’re not guessing or thinking. It’s second nature. You get out there and just play basketball. I dreamed of getting to this place, where I can just get out there and just play. I’m pretty much there.”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Cavaliers Have ‘Strong Interest’ In Greg Monroe]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79249 2017-11-11T22:55:59Z 2017-11-11T22:55:59Z With a shortage of big men, the Cavaliers have turned their attention toward Greg Monroe and are considering an offer to the Suns, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.

    The veteran power forward/center was shipped from Milwaukee to Phoenix this week as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The Suns reportedly don’t have any long-term plans for Monroe and would consider a buyout if they can’t move him in another deal.

    The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract with a $17.8MM salary. In addition to providing an inside presence, Monroe is a “team-first player,” according to Amico, who would be willing to sacrifice his stats for the chance to rejoin a contender.

    Monroe appeared in just five games with the Bucks before the deal and had his minutes cut sharply to 15.8 per night. However, he is a proven scorer and rebounder who averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 81 games last season, then raised those numbers to 13.2 and 7.3 in the playoffs.

    The Cavaliers need inside help after losing starting center Tristan Thompson to a strained left calf in a November 1 game. He was projected to miss three to four weeks, which puts him out for most of the month.

    It’s not clear what the Suns might ask in return for Monroe, but Iman Shumpert [$10,337,079] and Channing Frye [$7,420,912] provide an almost perfect salary match. Shumpert, who was on the trading block throughout the offseason, has a player option for next year worth slightly more than $11MM, while Frye, who spent three seasons with Phoenix early in his career, has an expiring deal.

    Amico adds that the Spurs and Nuggets have also expressed interest in Monroe.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Will Barton Expanding Role, Skill Set In Contract Year]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79146 2017-11-10T15:16:46Z 2017-11-10T14:55:55Z
  • Will Barton has been taking on some point guard duties for the Nuggets this season in the wake of Jameer Nelson‘s release, per Christopher Dempsey of Nuggets.com. The timing is right for Barton to take on more responsibilities and a larger role, since he’s in a contract year — showing off an expanded skill-set should only increase his value on the open market next July.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nuggets Recall Tyler Lydon From G League]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79054 2017-11-08T20:33:32Z 2017-11-08T20:33:32Z
  • The Nuggets have recalled rookie forward Tyler Lydon from the G League, according to the club (Twitter link). Since Denver doesn’t have its own G League squad, Lydon had been assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s affiliate.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Malik Beasley Making Impression On Nuggets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78990 2017-11-07T21:56:08Z 2017-11-07T21:56:08Z
  • After playing just 165 total minutes in his rookie season, Malik Beasley has been a more regular part of the Nuggets‘ rotation early this season. As Gina Mizell of The Denver Post details, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone likes the confidence and aggressiveness he’s seeing from 2016’s 19th overall pick.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[New Frontcourt Still A Work In Progress]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78877 2017-11-06T01:20:55Z 2017-11-06T01:31:58Z The new Nuggets frontcourt has gotten off to a slow start this season but that doesn’t mean Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap won’t figure it out eventually. As Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders writes in a feature exploring the duo’s production thus far, the club is committed to building something special.

    Over the course of his first 10 games with the Nuggets, Millsap has averaged 15.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest. That’s down from his last year averages of 17.1 and 7.7, respectively, with the Hawks.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Nuggets Should Commit To Developing Jamal Murray]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78665 2017-11-03T00:59:39Z 2017-11-03T00:59:39Z The Nuggets have an opportunity to develop Jamal Murray into a significant part of their franchise for years to come, they just need to make sure that they handle things better than Denver’s NFL counterpart has handled their quarterback situation, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes.

    Those unfamiliar with the Broncos depth chart need only know that the club has attempted to eke into the postseason with a short-term quarterback rather than organically developing their younger, higher-ceiling, long-term quarterback. Kiszla fears that a hasty acquisition of Eric Bledsoe could put the Nuggets in a similarly short-sighted position.

    While nobody is denying that Bledsoe is a solid NBA player, Kiszla writes that the Nuggets would be better off giving Murray the opportunity to learn to be a solid starter. The club should push his learning curve to find out just what he’s capable of.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Will Barton Credits Hots Start To Extra Aggressiveness]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78349 2017-10-30T00:17:23Z 2017-10-30T01:02:34Z
  • Having made a point of being extra aggressive, Nuggets guard Will Barton has started off the 2017/18 campaign with a bang, Christopher Dempsey of Denver’s official site writes. Barton has averaged 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game so far this season.
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