Malik Beasley

Nuggets Notes: Free Agents, Beasley, Murray

The Nuggets are about to find out whether a roster full of players who deserve regular minutes is really a good problem to have, writes Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. That’s how coach Michael Malone has been framing the situation, but keeping everyone happy on one of the league’s deepest teams could be a season-long challenge. Coming off a 54-win season, Denver traded for Jerami Grant this summer and will have to incorporate 2018 lottery pick Michael Porter Jr.

Playing time will be important with potentially half the roster heading into a contract year. Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee both have expiring deals, and Grant could become an unrestricted free agent as well if he declines a $9.3MM option for 2020/21. Juan Hernangomez and Malik Beasley are both eligible for rookie scale extensions, while Monte Morris and Jarred Vanderbilt will be eligible for extensions next summer. Torrey Craig is headed for restricted free agency.

“Sacrifice is the biggest word in our locker room,” Morris said. “We’re so deep that you have to be able to know sometimes that it ain’t gonna be your night. It’s knowing that you can be the so-called hero with six points on any given night.”

There’s more out of Denver:

  • The team has a little more than a week to reach an extension with Beasley before facing the prospect of matching a very expensive offer sheet next summer, Kosmider notes in a separate story. Beasley already rejected a three-year, $30MM offer and recently hired Rich Paul of Klutch Sports as his new representative. The fourth-year shooting guard has a chance to cash in if he can repeat last year’s outbreak, which saw him average 15.9 PPG while shooting 55% from the floor and 50% from 3-point range. “I don’t think you can look at an 82-game season as a fluke,” Malone said. “… He built up to that. He worked toward that and when the opportunity presented itself, he took advantage of it.”
  • It was only a matter time of time before Jamal Murray signed a maximum-salary contract, so Denver determined it made sense to do it sooner rather than later, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. With championship hopes this season, the Nuggets wanted to resolve Murray’s contract situation early so he could focus on basketball.
  • Denver isn’t likely to make a trade early in the season, Singer adds in the same piece. Barton, Hernangomez and Gary Harris all missed time with injuries last year, so that depth could be needed until opportunities emerge closer to February’s trade deadline.

Nuggets, Malik Beasley Engaged In Extension Talks

The Nuggets are engaged in talks with Malik Beasley and his representatives – including agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports – about a potential contract extension, a league source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

As a former first-round pick entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, Beasley is eligible to sign an extension up until October 21, the day before the regular season begins. If he and the Nuggets don’t work something out by then, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency during the summer of 2020.

Bobby Marks of ESPN reported last week that Beasley turned down a three-year, $30MM extension offer from the Nuggets, and a source confirms to Singer than the team did make an offer in that range. However, according to ESPN’s report, Beasley declined that offer before changing agents, so it’s not clear where negotiations stand with Paul and Klutch Sports.

After playing limited minutes in his first two NBA seasons, Beasley emerged as one of the Nuggets’ most effective bench players in 2018/19, averaging 11.3 PPG on .474/.402/.848 shooting in 81 games (23.2 MPG). He’s also still just 22 years old and could continue to improve — Singer speculates that a strong 2019/20 could increase Beasley’s value to $14-16MM per year.

Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Michael Porter all missed significant time last season, so if they’re all healthy to start the ’19/20 season, it will be interesting to see how Beasley’s role is affected. The Nuggets have a deep, talented rotation when everyone is healthy, but the former Florida State standout showed last season that he deserves a regular role.

In addition to Beasley, Juan Hernangomez is another extension-eligible player who is in the Nuggets’ long-term plans, Singer notes.

Malik Beasley Declined Three-Year, $30MM Extension Offer

Before his recent agent change, shooting guard Malik Beasley turned down a three-year, $30MM contract extension offer from the Nuggets, sources tell Bobby Marks of ESPN.com (Insider link). Beasley, who is entering the final year of his rookie scale contract, is eligible to sign a new deal up until October 21.

After playing limited minutes in his first two NBA seasons, Beasley emerged as one of the Nuggets’ most effective bench players in 2018/19, averaging 11.3 PPG on .474/.402/.848 shooting in 81 games (23.2 MPG). The former Florida State standout is still just 22 years old, so it’s possible he’ll take another step forward this season, which would line up for a nice payday in restricted free agency in 2020.

Pointing to Beasley’s up-and-down performance in the playoffs, Marks suggests that a three-year, $30MM contract – which is approximately equivalent to a mid-level deal – is a fair price. However, with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports now representing him, the former first-round pick figures to be seeking a more lucrative offer.

The four-year, $53MM contract signed in 2018 by Nuggets swingman Will Barton could be a relevant point of reference in negotiations, as Marks observes. Beasley outplayed Barton last season, and if he does so again in 2019/20, he’d have a strong case to top his teammate’s deal.

With Paul Millsap, Mason Plumlee, and a handful of other players on expiring contracts this season, the Nuggets currently only have about $93MM in guaranteed money on their cap for 2020/21, so they can afford to lock up Beasley if the two sides find common ground.

Nuggets Notes: Bol, Beasley, Porter, Small Forward

Nuggets rookie Bol Bol told reporters at Media Day that he expects to be cleared for five-on-five drills sometime in late October or November, relays Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post. Bol is still recovering from a season-ending foot injury he suffered last year at Oregon. He signed a two-way deal with Denver after being drafted with the 44th pick, but hasn’t been medically cleared to start playing again.

Bol said the team has been “taking it slow” regarding his rehabilitation and no plan has been set for when he might be able to return. He may spend the entire season in the G League, but because the Nuggets don’t have a direct affiliate, his playing time will be determined by another organization.

“It’s kind of like a check-step process,” Bol said of his recovery. “Month by month, you check in to see how I am doing. But I think in the next month or two I’ll be able to (play) five-on-five.”

There’s more from Media Day in Denver:

  • With three weeks left before the deadline for a rookie scale extension, Malik Beasley is focusing on his game and letting newly hired agent Rich Paul take care of negotiations, tweets Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. Beasley, who will be a restricted free agent next summer if no deal is reached, chose Klutch Sports as his representative last week.
  • Michael Porter Jr. remains a mystery after sitting out his rookie year and most of his lone college season with back issues, but he’s ready to start proving he was worth a lottery pick, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports. Porter said it was tough to skip Summer League again, but he has been focused on preparing for the season. “My time will come eventually,” Porter said. “So I’ll be patient. I’ve been working through this stuff for a couple of years, so what’s another month or so?”
  • Coach Michael Malone promises an “open competition” for the starting spot at small forward, Dempsey tweets.

Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Beasley, Schroder, Scott

Center Hassan Whiteside has never averaged more than one assist in any season but he predicts that will change dramatically in his first season with the Trail Blazers, Jason Quick of The Athletic reports.

“I think I’m going to blossom a lot here,” Whiteside told Quick. “[The Trail Blazers] have so much movement, they have so many different plays and reads, I can probably get a triple-double with assists here. You know, I’ve been getting so many assists and dimes … I’m playing more like a point-center here.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • If the Nuggets don’t sign guard Malik Beasley to an extension, they could move him prior to him becoming a restricted free agent, Mike Singer of the Denver Post speculates. Beasley recently hired Rich Paul to represent him and he views himself as a starter but there’s no spot in the lineup for him, Singer continues. If the Nuggets offer Beasley in the $10-11MM annual range and he turns it down, they could theoretically try to trade him for a first-round pick after giving up next June’s first-rounder for Jerami Grant, Singer adds.
  • With Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the roster, Dennis Schroder‘s playing time would seemingly take a hit. Thunder GM Sam Presti insists that’s not the case, as he detailed to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman“There probably will be some discovery with how we see the team develop over the course of time, and (coach) Billy (Donovan) has got to make sure that the team is growing through the season and not just staying fixated because that’s how we started. And Dennis will be a huge … part of the team. He’s just that talented.”
  • Point guard Mike Scott had reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the Jazz but he was not listed on the training camp roster that the club released on Friday. Scott, not to be confused with the Sixers forward who shares the same name, has spent the last four seasons overseas after coming out of Idaho in 2015. It’s still possible that Scott could be added, though the Jazz would have to drop someone from the 20-man roster.

Charania’s Latest: Nets, Heat, CP3, Noah, Clippers

Despite the fact that multiple Nets players are reportedly pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony, Brooklyn appears very unlikely to do so at this point, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Nets are more likely to fill their 20-man offseason roster they’ve worked out in recent weeks, including perhaps veteran forward Lance Thomas and swingman C.J. Williams. Dante Cunningham and Luol Deng are among the other free agents who have emerged as viable targets for Brooklyn, Charania adds.

With Wilson Chandler facing a 25-game suspension, the Nets could theoretically move on from the former Nugget to open up a spot on their 15-man regular season roster, but they currently have no plans to do so. As Charania points out, keeping Chandler on the suspended list during his 25-game ban will allow the franchise to recoup some of his salary. Plus, team executives believe Chandler would be quickly scooped up by another team if he were released later in the season.

Here are a few more items of interest from Charania’s latest round-up:

  • The Heat still have some level of trade interest in Thunder point guard Chris Paul, according to Charania. Miami is expected to wait to see how the start of the season goes before seriously considering whether to renew its pursuit of CP3, who would reciprocate the Heat’s interest.
  • Free agent big man Joakim Noah intends to join the Clippers for workouts this week, sources tell Charania. Noah’s father first suggested earlier this month that his son would be working out for the Clippers.
  • Nuggets guard Malik Beasley, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension up until October 21, has hired Rich Paul and Lucas Newton of Klutch Sports for representation, says Charania.
  • Although DeMarcus Cousins is only a one-year contract and seems likely to miss the entire 2019/20 season due to his torn ACL, the Lakers aren’t ready to move on from him yet. The Lakers wants to integrate him into the club’s culture, according to Charania, who notes that Cousins is expected to be around the team during its mini-camp in Las Vegas this week.

Nuggets Notes: Beasley, Hernangomez, Bol, Cancar

Possible extensions for Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez are the last pieces of business the Nuggets may address before the opening of training camp, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Denver’s front office acted quickly to give Jamal Murray a max extension, but the others aren’t clear-cut decisions, and Singer examines the positives and negatives of reaching deals with both players before the October 21 deadline.

Beasley emerged as a valuable bench player last season after injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton. He averaged 15.9 PPG and shot 55% from the field as a starter, including 50% on 3-pointers. He enters this season as Harris’ primary backup, but still needs to improve on defense before coach Michael Malone will be comfortable playing him late in games. Singer speculates that based on last year’s performance, Beasley may want to skip an extension and try his luck as a restricted free agent next summer.

Hernangomez is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him fall out of the rotation by the second half of the season. He had core surgery after the season ended and is coming off a strong performance with Spain’s gold medal-winning World Cup team. Hernangomez doesn’t have an established role and figures to compete for playing time with Barton, Torrey Craig, Michael Porter Jr. and Jerami Grant.

There’s more today from Denver:

  • It may be time for the Nuggets to move some of their depth in exchange for an established star, suggests Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. If the Wizards decide to part with Bradley Beal, for example, Kosmider believes Denver could put together a competitive offer involving Harris, Porter and a future first-rounder or possibly Hernangomez, Monte Morris, Beasley and a future pick. Other possible targets could include Kevin Love, Jeff Teague or one of the Raptors‘ veterans.
  • Bol Bol may spend his entire rookie season in the G League, Kosmider states in a mailbag column. Bol was a highly touted college prospect before injuries cut his season short, and the Nuggets view him as a project that will take time to develop, Kosmider adds, which is why he was signed to a two-way contract. Bol’s progress may be complicated because Denver doesn’t have a direct G League affiliate, which means much of the work will be done by another organization.
  • Vlatko Cancar may be in the same position, but his standard contract gives him a better chance to win a role in training camp, Kosmider notes in the same piece.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Beasley, Bol, Trail Blazers

The Jazz will be among the NBA’s best-represented franchises at this year’s FIBA World Cup, and team officials believe the benefits of international competition outweigh the risks, writes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. Donovan Mitchell was the leading scorer for Team USA in Friday’s win over Spain and appears to be headed for a significant role. Rudy Gobert is one of the stars of the French team, while Joe Ingles is a prominent player for Australia.

“We’ve been the beneficiaries this year, and for quite a few years now, of national team experience,” said new Utah GM Justin Zanik.

They’ve also seen the down side, as Dante Exum suffered a torn ACL four years ago in an exhibition game against Slovenia. The injury sidelined Exum for the entire 2015/16 season and launched an injury-plagued career for the Australian guard, who has played a combined 56 games over the past two seasons.

“I think we want to support, certainly, our players’ goals in terms of getting better and their desires to compete and play for their national teams. We also support them if they choose not to,” Zanik said. “We want them to train, and whether that be at our great facilities, or whether or not they’re in the country, we want to support them in getting better and pursuing their goals.”

There’s more tonight from the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets guard Malik Beasley is keeping his summer routine a secret as he works to follow up his breakthrough season, relays Alex Labidou of NBA.com. During the 2018/19 campaign, Beasley raised his scoring average from 3.2 to 11.3 PPG and improved his long-distance shooting to 40.2%. “If I can make through this season without being injured, that’s the first thing. I’m good with that,” Beasley said. “Everything will fall into place from the hard work this summer.”
  • Nuggets rookie Bol Bol covers a wide range of topics — basketball and otherwise — in an interview with Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype. Bol says Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is among his favorite players and he tries to learn from watching him, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.
  • Two offseason trades will determine the success of the Trail Blazers’ offseason, writes David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. Portland added a pair of rotation players by dealing for Hassan Whiteside, who will eventually be part of an imposing center rotation when Jusuf Nurkic returns from injury, and Kent Bazemore, who may start at small forward.

Northwest Notes: Beasley, Ferguson, OKC, Wolves

The Nuggets have been one of the feel-good stories of the season. Despite relying on a core of young players leading the way through countless injuries, the team has continued to win at a strong pace and stay in the top two in the Western Conference. Throughout the first half of the season, many role players have stepped up, including Malik Beasley.

As Sean Keeler writes for The Denver Post, Beasley made some tweaks to his shot over the summer and things have been clicking for him this season. Beasley is currently averaging career-highs across the board as his production has increased with his new role on the team.

Beasley is just another age-23-or-under player who is contributing to the Nuggets’ success, which is a good indication that Denver will be strong for many seasons to come.

There’s more from the Northwest division:

  • The Thunder have certainly benefitted from Terrance Ferguson admirably filling in his role as the team’s fifth starter. Considering Ferguson’s youth and low contract, the value he is providing has helped an expensive Thunder team that has limited young talent contributing to their success.
  • Speaking of the Thunder, Brett Dawson of The Athletic detailed the possible moves that the team could make at this season’s trade deadline, such as a possible acquisition of a strong 3-point shooter.
  • The Timberwolves will have to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Chris Hine writes for The Star Tribune that such a decision will be tough to make when factoring in team chemistry and the status of their coaches.

Nuggets Exercise Options On Murray, Hernangomez, Beasley

The Nuggets have officially exercised their 2019/20 team options on Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, and Malik Beasley, the team confirmed today (via Twitter). Michael Scotto of The Athletic had reported on Monday that Beasley’s option would be picked up, and the other two were viewed as locks.

The trio of fourth-year options will add about $10.5MM in guaranteed money to the Nuggets’ cap for next season — $4,444,746 for Murray, $3,321,030 for Hernangomez, and $2,731,714 for Beasley. All three players will now be extension-eligible as of July 1, 2019, and would reach restricted free agency in the summer of 2020 if they don’t sign new deals with Denver before then.

Murray, the seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft, is one of the Nuggets’ core pieces. So far this season, he’s averaging 16.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.8 APG in six games (31.2 MPG). Hernangomez and Beasley have more modest roles in Denver’s rotation, but have been seeing fairly regular playing time in 2018/19. They’re each averaging just over 15 minutes per contest.

The Nuggets’ announcement doesn’t mention Tyler Lydon, whose third-year option for 2019/20 must also be picked up by tomorrow to avoid making him an unrestricted free agency next July. Lydon has been unable to carve out a role in Denver’s crowded power forward picture, appearing in just three games since being selected 24th overall in the 2017 draft, so the club seems likely to pass on his option.

We’re tracking all of this year’s rookie scale option decisions right here.