PJ Dozier

Northwest Notes: Noel, Morris, Lillard, Dozier

Backup Thunder center Nerlens Noel missed the squad’s final scrimmage ahead of the NBA season restart in Orlando after accidentally not taking his daily COVID-19 test, according to Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman. The Thunder would go on to win that scrimmage, 131-120, against the Trail Blazers. Any player who misses a daily coronavirus test is required to quarantine in his hotel for at least a day before rejoining his team.

Noel signed a new one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the Thunder last summer. He has proved to be a useful rotation addition for the club, averaging 7.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.0 APG in 55 games. The Thunder will play their first game of the league’s restart on Saturday against the Jazz.

Here are more notes from around the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets backup point guard Monte Morris notes that he was entirely asymptomatic while testing positive for the coronavirus, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. “I never felt any kind of way in terms of symptoms,” he said. “I felt fine.”
  • All-NBA Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will play in the team’s first restart game on Friday against the Grizzlies, per Jason Quick of The Athletic. Lillard missed the team’s final two scrimmage games against the Raptors and Thunder with a sore left foot. “I was able to do everything [normally],” he said after a private 45-minute solo workout Wednesday. “I feel fine. I’m ready to go for tomorrow.”
  • Nuggets bench guard P.J. Dozier cleared his quarantine this morning, according to The Denver Post’s Mike Singer (Twitter link). Singer notes that, with Dozier’s new availability, every non-injured Nuggets player can now suit up for seeding games. Dozier arrived in Orlando for the season restart on July 28.

PJ Dozier Joins Nuggets In Orlando

Nuggets guard PJ Dozier has touched down in the NBA’s Disney World campus in Orlando, filling out Denver’s season restart roster, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The 6’8″ floor-spacing bench guard out of South Carolina has seen limited time for Denver in his third season, averaging 11.1 minutes per game for just 21 of the team’s 65 games. He is a career 39.5% three-point shooter, and has connected on 39.6% of his 1.3 attempts this season.

Dozier will need to immediately quarantine himself in his hotel room, clear a physical, and test negative for the coronavirus for two straight days before he can join the Nuggets for team activities. This timeline would allow him to participate in the team’s first seeding game on Saturday, August 1 against the Heat.

Starting point guard Jamal Murray, starting small forward Will Barton, bench small forward Keita Bates-Diop, and exciting rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. were only available to partake in their first scrimmage game yesterday, while backup point guard Monte Morris just cleared quarantine protocols and appears probable for Saturday’s first seeding game on Saturday, as we previously noted.

Coach Michael Malone said earlier this week that, prior to yesterday, the team’s various player absences have meant that scrimmages against other teams have served as the only time the Nuggets could play five-on-five basketball, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link). The Nuggets sport a 43-22 record ahead of their season restart this weekend, and are currently the No. 3 seed in the West.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Roberson, Thunder, Dozier

With Trevor Ariza unavailable for the NBA’s restart this summer, Damian Lillard thinks the Trail Blazers could opt for a big starting lineup that features Carmelo Anthony at the three (Twitter link via Royce Young of ESPN).

As Jason Quick of The Athletic writes, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts confirmed that returning center Jusuf Nurkic will reenter the starting lineup alongside Lillard, Anthony, and CJ McCollum. That leaves one starting spot up for grabs, and if Portland goes big, Zach Collins or even Hassan Whiteside could occupy that last spot.

“I haven’t ruled out starting Hassan and Nurk together,” Stotts said when discussing the Trail Blazers’ lineup. “Why not? … It gives you something to write about.”

Stotts, who referred to Ariza as the Trail Blazers’ top perimeter defender, suggested that the team will fill that hole in its rotation with a “by-committee” approach. As Quick details, Anthony, Gary Trent Jr., Mario Hezonja, and Nassir Little could all play a role in that committee.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder forward Andre Roberson, who hasn’t played in an NBA game in two-and-a-half years, has been participating in individual workouts at the club’s practice facility, head coach Billy Donovan told reporters on Wednesday (link via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman). Roberson’s availability for the restart will be determined after the team sees him in action in five-on-five workouts.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the company that owns the naming rights for the Thunder‘s arena, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, as Royce Young of ESPN writes. Chesapeake’s agreement with the Thunder runs through the 2022/23 season — it’s not clear how that deal will be affected by the company’s bankruptcy.
  • PJ Dozier‘s new deal with the Nuggets is a three-year pact that was completed the team’s using mid-level exception, as Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights notes (via Twitter). It features minimum salaries in all three seasons, including about $183K this season and a partial guarantee of $1.2MM in 2020/21, for a total guarantee in the neighborhood of $1.4MM.

Nuggets Sign PJ Dozier To Multiyear Contract

JUNE 30: The Nuggets’ deal with Dozier is now official, per the NBA’s transactions log. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), Dozier is believed to have received more than $1MM in guaranteed money on his new contract.

Denver is now expected to sign Tyler Cook as a substitute two-way player for Dozier.

JUNE 24: The Nuggets will move two-way player PJ Dozier to their standard 15-man roster during this week’s transaction window, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Dozier will sign a multiyear deal, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Dozier, 23, has appeared in 21 games (11.1 MPG) for the Nuggets this season, averaging 4.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG. He was a regular rotation player for a few weeks in January and February when Jamal Murray and Gary Harris were banged up, but otherwise hasn’t seen much action in 2019/20.

Still, Denver likes his size and potential impact as a combo guard, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who tweets that he wouldn’t be shocked to see the South Carolina native play in Orlando.

With an open spot on their 15-man roster, the Nuggets won’t have to waive anyone to add Dozier. On top of that, as of Saturday, Denver will be able to sign a player to a two-way contract to replace Dozier, though that player will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Bol Bol, whose contract runs through 2020/21, currently occupies the club’s other two-way slot.

Nuggets Likely To Fill Open Roster Spot

There’s a good chance the Nuggets will use the open spot on their 15-man roster to add a player this week, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Although Denver has no pressing needs, the team will likely fill that opening for insurance purposes, Singer notes.

[RELATED: What To Expect During This Week’s Transaction Window]

The Nuggets, who haven’t had a ton of breathing room below the luxury tax line for much of the season, have carried 14 players (not including their two-way players) for most of 2019/20, maintaining roster flexibility.

Given the extra financial flexibility the club created at the trade deadline and the modest cost of a free agent signing at this point in the season, Denver wouldn’t be in any danger of going into the tax by filling that open roster spot with a minimum-salary player.

Singer doesn’t identify any specific players the Nuggets might be targeting, but they’ll be able to choose from anyone who is currently a free agent and didn’t play in an international league this season.

Denver would also have the option of converting PJ Dozier‘s two-way contract into a standard deal, having him become the team’s 15th man. In that scenario, the Nuggets would be able to sign a new player to a two-way contract, starting Saturday. That player would need to have between zero and three years of NBA service — that same restriction wouldn’t apply to a player signing a standard contract.

Northwest Notes: Beasley, Collins, Jazz, Nuggets

The Nuggets made a “very aggressive” attempt to lock up Malik Beasley to a rookie scale extension before last week’s deadline, a league source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. However, the two sides couldn’t strike a deal, and Beasley remains on track for restricted free agency in 2020, an outcome that doesn’t bother him.

“I feel like I have no pressure at all,” the Nuggets guard said of his contract year. “I’ve had pressure my whole life, so this is nothing. This is basketball, so it’s going to be fun. I put in a lot of work, so it’s going to be easy.”

In some instances, extension discussions between a team and a player can get contentious, particularly if no agreement is reached during the preseason. As Singer writes though, Beasley doesn’t sound like someone who will hold a grudge against the Nuggets when contract negotiations resume next summer: “It was great talks from both parties and just couldn’t figure something out. It doesn’t hurt my relationship with them, it doesn’t hurt anything on the court.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Although Zach Collins underwent an MRI on his injured shoulder earlier this week, the Trail Blazers have yet to reveal the results or announce a timeline for his return to action, writes Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com. The recovery process from a dislocated shoulder is generally measured in weeks rather than days, so it’s probably safe to assume Collins will be out for a little while.
  • Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic are starting to show why the Jazz brought them in this summer to boost the team’s offense. Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.com examines Conley’s breakout game vs. the Clippers on Wednesday, while Tony Jones of The Athletic looks at how Bogdanovic is taking some pressure off Donovan Mitchell.
  • Because the Nuggets don’t have a G League affiliate of their own, their two-way players – PJ Dozier and Bol Bol – will play for the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s NBAGL affiliate, as Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. It’s not clear whether more than one G League team expressed interest in taking on Dozier and Bol, but in that scenario, Denver would have had the opportunity to choose where to send them.

Nuggets Waive Zeller, Convert Dozier To Two-Way Deal

The Nuggets have made roster moves with a pair of players on non-guaranteed contracts, announcing today (via Twitter) that center Tyler Zeller has been waived, while guard PJ Dozier‘s contract has been converted into a two-way deal.

Zeller – a former first-round pick who has spent time with the Cavaliers, Celtics, Nets, Bucks, Hawks, and Grizzlies – provided Denver with an extra body in training camp, but was always a long shot to make the regular season roster. The Nuggets are expected to enter the season with an open spot on the 15-man squad, since their team salary is dangerously close to the luxury-tax line.

As for Dozier, his path to a two-way contract opened up when the Nuggets waived Tyler Cook earlier this week. Nick Kosmider of The Athletic noted at the time that Dozier would likely slide into that newly-opened two-way slot after an impressive training camp.

Denver now has 14 players on guaranteed contracts and two on two-way deals, so the team’s roster is ready for the regular season. As one of two NBA clubs without their own G League affiliate, the Nuggets don’t need to make any additional roster moves to secure players’ NBAGL rights.

Nuggets Release Tyler Cook

The Nuggets have waived one of their two-way players, announcing today (via Twitter) that forward Tyler Cook has been released.

Cook, who entered the draft this spring after his junior year at Iowa, averaged 14.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 33 games (30.8 MPG) in 2018/19, while shooting 51.9% from the field. After recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered during a pre-draft workout, the 22-year-old joined Denver for Summer League action and then for training camp, playing limited minutes in two preseason games.

With Bol Bol occupying one of the Nuggets’ two-way contract slots, the second one is now available. Nick Kosmider of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that PJ Dozier has had an impressive training camp and appears poised to claim that spot.

Even though the Nuggets don’t have a G League affiliate of their own, Dozier received an Exhibit 10 contract when he signed with the team, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That will allow Denver to convert Dozier to a two-way deal without putting him through waivers.

Nuggets Sign PJ Dozier

AUGUST 13: The Nuggets have officially signed Dozier to a training camp contract, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 12: The Nuggets have reached a one-year deal with guard PJ Dozier, Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN tweets.

Dozier had a two-way contract with the Celtics last season and excelled at the G League level. He made the All-G League Third Team as a member of the Maine Red Claws.

The Nuggets have some open roster spots. They have 14 guaranteed contracts as well as the reported signing of Tyler Cook and unsigned second-round pick Bol Bol. Both of their two-way slots are available.

Dozier can’t get an Exhibit 10 bonus since the Nuggets don’t own a G League franchise, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Dozier became a free agent when the Celtics declined to extend him a qualifying offer. The 6’6” combo guard appeared in six games with Boston last season, averaging 3.2 PPG and 2.8 RPG. The South Carolina product averaged 21.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 6.7 APG in 35.3 MPG over 46 games in the G League.

He appeared in two games with Oklahoma City the previous season.

Theis Gets QO From Celtics; Rozier’s Expected To Be Withdrawn

5:32pm: Now that the Celtics are on track to sign Walker, the team is expected to withdraw Rozier’s QO and renounce his cap hold, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

2:56pm: The Celtics have extended a qualifying offer to Terry Rozier, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) adds that Boston has also extended a qualifying offer to Daniel Theis.

Rozier’s qualifying offer comes in at roughly $4.29MM and his cap hold will be approximately $9.15MM. Theis’ qualifying offer and cap hold are each approximately $1.82MM. Both players are restricted free agents at the moment.

The team will not need to renounce Theis in order to have max cap room for a player with Kemba Walker‘s experience. Boston will need to renounce Rozier’s rights or make another move if it is going to add Walker or another player in his max tier.

The Celtics will not tender qualifying offers to PJ Dozier, Jonathan Gibson, or R.J. Hunter, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Boston also won’t tender a qualifying offer to Brad Wanamaker, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Wojnarowski.