Denver Nuggets

Nuggets Re-Sign Mason Plumlee

SEPTEMBER 20: The Nuggets have officially re-signed Plumlee, issuing a press release today to announce the deal.

SEPTEMBER 18: The Nuggets have reached a three-year deal with restricted free agent Mason Plumlee valued at $41MM, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Agent Mark Bartelstein tells Wojnarowski that the two sides struck an agreement late Sunday night.Mason Plumlee vertical

Plumlee came to Denver in a trade with Portland at last year’s deadline, with the Nuggets giving up Jusuf Nurkic and a first-round pick for Plumlee and a second-rounder. The 27-year-old center was used mainly in a reserve role behind Nikola Jokic and averaged 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds over 27 games.

Plumlee confirmed the signing in a “Letter to Nuggets Fans” posted on his website, saying he is looking forward to the upcoming season. “I meant what I said when I was traded here last year,” he wrote. “This is an exciting, talented young team with a bunch of high character guys and I’ve always admired the loyalty and dedication of Nuggets fans. With some of the big additions this summer and another year of experience for the young guns, I believe this team can compete with anyone in the league.”

Plumlee, who made a little more than $2.3MM last season, got a deal similar to the four-year, $56MM extension the Hornets gave Cody Zeller last fall, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The signing pushes Denver’s salary total to $103.2MM, which ranks 20th in the league (Twitter link).

At this point in the offseason, given the lack of cap room available around the NBA, it’s a strong deal for Plumlee, and reflects the value the Nuggets place on him, even with Jokic and Paul Millsap penciled in as the starters up front.

With Plumlee under contract, the only restricted free agents left on the market are Nikola Mirotic of Chicago, Alex Len of Phoenix and JaMychal Green of Memphis.

The Nuggets’ next priority, Wojnarowski adds, will be reaching an extension with Gary Harris before the October 16 deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Paul Millsap's Incentives

Thirty-four players around the NBA have incentives included in their contracts for the 2017/18 season, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who notes that total doesn’t include players with trade kickers or bonuses for Summer League participation. Of those 34 players, 14 signed new contracts as free agents during the summer of 2017, including Nuggets big man Paul Millsap, who has several interesting incentives in his new deal.

Millsap will earn an extra $500K on top of his base salary if he earns a spot in the All-Star Game in 2017/18, and would also get a bonus for making an All-NBA team, per Marks. Interestingly, Millsap’s contract also features a handful of incentives related to his defensive play — he’d receive $150K for making the All-Defensive second team, or $250K for a spot on the All-Defensive first team. The Nuggets forward will also be in line for a $150K bonus if he appears in at least 65 games and records at least seven defensive rebounds per 36 minutes.

Season Preview: Millsap Makes Nuggets Better

  • The Nuggets improved with the signing of Paul Millsap, but still may struggle to make the playoffs in a tough Western Conference, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Millsap will team with Nikola Jokic to give Denver an impressive inside game, but the team has several questions to resolve, starting with finding a role for former starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
  • David Adelman has formally joined the Nuggets‘ coaching staff, the team announced on its website. The son of longtime NBA coach Rick Adelman, David spent last season as an assistant in Orlando after several years in Minnesota. Denver also promoted Tommy Balcetis to Director of Basketball Strategies and Analytics.

Poll: Denver Nuggets’ 2017/18 Win Total

The Nuggets missed the postseason in 2016/17, but you could make a convincing case that they were the most talented team to land in the lottery. Only the Heat had a better record than Denver among non-playoff teams, but the difference was only one game, and the Nuggets played in the stronger conference.

That conference has gotten even more daunting within the last few months. Not only have teams above the Nuggets in the standings, such as the Rockets and Thunder, added star talent, but some of the West’s other lottery teams, like the Timberwolves and Pelicans, have made major moves and hope to enter the postseason picture themselves.

Denver made a signficant move of its own when free agency opened, landing All-Star big man Paul Millsap, who is expected to make an excellent frontcourt partner for breakout star Nikola Jokic. With young guards Gary Harris and Jamal Murray showing signs of developing into core pieces as well, the Nuggets have a strong foundation and look poised to get over the hump and make the playoffs in the West this season.

Still, Denver’s roster isn’t without its weaknesses. The point guard position remains unsettled, with neither Jameer Nelson nor Emmanuel Mudiay looking like a solid starter at this point. Longtime Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is also gone, and it still feels like the club needs to make one more trade for its roster to really take shape.

Oddsmakers are optimistic about the Nuggets’ chances of taking a major step forward in 2017/18 though. After finishing last season with a 40-42 record, Denver is currently projected to have an over/under of 45.5 wins for the coming year, per offshore betting site Bovada.

What do you think? Can the Nuggets finish with 46 wins or more, or is the Western Conference simply too tough for a non-playoff team like Denver to make that kind of leap in 2017/18? Vote below in our poll and then jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Previous over/under voting results:

Were Nuggets Targeting Anunoby In June?

Gary Harris (Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Celtics), Jabari Parker (Bucks), and Clint Capela (Rockets) are among the most intriguing players eligible for rookie scale contract extensions this offseason, Kevin O’Connor writes in his latest piece for The Ringer. In addition to going into detail on those four players, who have until October 16 to work out new deals with their respective clubs, O’Connor drops a few other notable tidbits within his article, so let’s round up the highlights…

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  • Multiple sources believe the Nuggets were targeting OG Anunoby in June’s draft when they traded down from No. 13 to No. 24, says O’Connor. Anunoby ended up coming off the board one spot earlier, with Toronto nabbing him at No. 23. Denver used the 24th pick on Tyler Lydon.

Juan Hernangomez Getting Chance To Shine At EuroBasket

Latest On Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade feels misled by the Bulls and hasn’t talked with anyone from the front office for two months, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. Those strained feelings have led to rumors of an impending buyout and the possibility that Wade might be headed to Cleveland, Los Angeles or Miami.

Sources tell Kennedy that Wade asked management for assurances that Chicago would have a competitive team next season before deciding to opt in for $23.8MM. The front office promised him it would, so Wade announced June 21 that he will stay for another year. The next day, the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves and signaled the start of a rebuilding process.

At 35, Wade doesn’t have a lot of years left in the league and he doesn’t want to waste a season playing for a lottery team. Kennedy states Wade’s only discussions with the organization since the deal were with coach Fred Hoiberg and didn’t involve anything related to the team.

Several recent stories in the national media have been negative toward Wade, which Kennedy speculates is the Bulls’ way of angering him so he might be willing to accept less in a buyout just to get out of Chicago. A recent report from ESPN suggested the Bulls’ younger players don’t like having Wade as a teammate. A Fox Sports story claimed Wade and Butler had a strained relationship, which Butler denies.

Even if a breakup is imminent, all public comments from the Bulls’ front office have indicated Wade is staying with the team. Kennedy adds that Wade is preparing to report to training camp if a buyout doesn’t happen in the next three weeks.

A source tells Kennedy the Cavaliers and Heat are the most likely destinations for Wade once a buyout is completed. If he does go to Cleveland, he will probably become a starter, with J.R. Smith being moved to a reserve role. The Cavs see a Wade addition as a way to improve their roster and appease LeBron James before he enters free agency next summer.

Wade recently took his children out of school in Chicago and moved them back to Miami, but Kennedy warns not to read too much into the move. Wade and Heat president Pat Riley have barely communicated since their 2016 breakup, and Wade wouldn’t be guaranteed a starting spot in Miami. Other teams, such as the Nuggets and Bucks, who both tried to sign Wade last summer, could also get involved.

Hoops Rumors Retro: Antonio McDyess To The Nuggets

Before the chair, before Grandpa Pierce, before DeAndre Jordan‘s infamous change of heart and the Emoji War that inspired it, there was Antonio McDyess. McDyess, obviously, but then of course French-Canadian ice hockey legend Patrick Roy, an impromptu charter flight across the southwest, dozens of unanswered pager calls and a good old-fashioned Rocky Mountain blizzard.Antonio McDyess vertical

In January 1999, a 24-year-old with jetpacks for calves and long sinewy arms found himself at an emotional fork in the road. Fresh off of his third season in the NBA and his first in the desert, Suns power forward Antonio McDyess had the choice between re-signing with the team he just won 56 games with or returning to the basement-dwelling franchise that shipped him out of town less than 18 months prior.

After playing his first two seasons with the Nuggets and establishing himself as one of the most satisfyingly athletic big men in the game, McDyess enjoyed his first taste of team success following his arrival in Phoenix. The trade that sent him from Denver to the Suns prior to that 1997/98 season was precipitated by the fact that McDyess and his representative, Arn Tellem, were seeking a six-year, $100MM contract extension back when the club’s front office refused to go any higher than $70MM.

I guess they had no choice but to trade me,” he said at the time, adding shortly thereafter that he didn’t think there was any possible way he would return to the Nuggets when he hit free agency seven months later.

Of course it was seven months later when things got unprecedentedly interesting.

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David Adelman To Join Nuggets’ Staff

Magic assistant coach David Adelman will become part of Michael Malone’s staff in Denver, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The son of former NBA coach Rick Adelman, he spent just one year in Orlando. Adelman broke into the league in 2011 as a player development coach on his father’s staff in Minnesota and remained with the Wolves through the 2015/16 season.

Adelman will probably serve as offensive coordinator with the Nuggets, tweets Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.

Paul Millsap Pairs Well With Nikola Jokic

The addition of Paul Millsap will give the Nuggets an established defender capable of helping the franchise improve its efforts on that side of the ball, Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders writes. Last season Denver sported the second-worst defense in the NBA.

Grizzard suggests that Millsap’s “humble-yet-forceful” personality could bring out the best in his Nuggets teammates, including Nikola Jokic who already opted out of EuroBasket 2017 to focus on more individual workouts.

He may not be the final piece that the Nuggets need to contend, Grizzard writes, but he certainly fits into the right puzzle.

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