Julian Strawther

Nuggets Notes: Offseason, KCP, Braun, Cancar, MPJ

Addressing reporters at his end-of-season press conference on Thursday, Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth didn’t say anything that would suggest major roster changes are in the cards for the franchise this offseason, writes Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. While Booth suggested some tweaks will be necessary, he stressed that continuing to develop the team’s young players will be crucial to improving the roster as a whole.

“I think (the 2023 draft picks) need more seasoning,” Booth said. “They need to get in the gym. They need to play Summer League. They need to get stronger. Obviously, maybe in our top seven, we can use a little bit more talent. Maybe there’s a way to upgrade one or two positions. … Get a guy that’s a more accomplished NBA player for whatever (roster) slot they’re taking. But I don’t see anything that’s, like, crazy out of sorts for our roster.”

After losing key rotation pieces like Bruce Brown and Jeff Green last offseason, the Nuggets relied primarily on recent draftees to replace them, adding three rookies (Julian Strawther, Jalen Pickett, and Hunter Tyson) to the roster and assigning 2022 first-rounders Christian Braun and Peyton Watson larger roles.

Of those players, Braun was the only one head coach Michael Malone trusted in the postseason, resulting in some questions about whether Booth and Malone are in the same page when it comes to filling out the roster and distributing minutes. That’s a subject that has been discussed within the organization, as Durando relays.

“We’ve talked about this a lot upstairs,” Booth said. “The general manager, front office job oftentimes is to make sure the long-term view is something that we’re satisfied with. And Coach Malone’s down there in the trenches trying to win every night. And a lot of times, those things are aligned, but sometimes they ebb and flow away from each other.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets, via Durando:

  • Asked about the possibility of surpassing the punitive second tax apron in order to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both team president Josh Kroenke and Booth expressed a level of comfort with operating above the aprons if it means maximizing the potential of a championship-caliber roster. “We spend a lot of time looking at the second apron and all this other stuff,” Booth said. “I think for me personally, it’s win a championship, one. Two, we have to look at the overall financial picture. And three, second apron. And I know the second apron is daunting, and there’s all kinds of restrictions, but I don’t think that’s first on our priority list. KCP’s been a great addition the last couple years. We obviously would love to have him back. We’re gonna take a hard look at what that looks like.”
  • If the Nuggets do lose Caldwell-Pope, it would likely thrust Braun into a starting job. Booth and Malone said they’re confident the young wing could succeed in that role if he continues to improve as a shooter. “I think Christian Braun, it’s all gonna come down to one thing. To be a shooting guard in the NBA, you’ve gotta be able to make shots,” Malone said. “That’s the bottom line. So if you want to simplify CB’s future as a starting two guard in the NBA, it’ll be determined upon his ability to be a 38% or above 3-point shooter.” Braun made 38.4% of his three-pointers in 2023/24, but didn’t shoot them at a high volume, converting just 63 in 82 games.
  • Booth said he expects Vlatko Cancar, who missed the entire season due to a torn ACL, to be able to suit up for Slovenia in the Olympic qualifiers, noting that the tournament will be a “great chance” to evaluate the big man. The qualifying tournament won’t begin until July 2, however, and the Nuggets will have to decide by June 29 whether or not to exercise Cancar’s $2.35MM team option.
  • The Nuggets signaled multiple times during Thursday’s presser that they likely won’t explore trading Michael Porter Jr. this summer, writes Durando. Kroenke expressed faith in the team’s current starting lineup (which includes Porter) and Malone refuted the idea (expressed by Porter himself) that MPJ was to blame for the second-round loss to Minnesota.

Northwest Notes: Hayward, Morris, Jazz, Strawther

Gordon Hayward has battled injuries for the past several seasons and is no longer playing at the same level as he was back in 2017 when he made his first and only All-Star game. But Hayward is the sort of big wing who has real value on a playoff roster, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who notes that the price the Thunder paid to acquire the veteran forward – three matching salaries and a pair of second-round picks – was relatively modest.

Hayward may end up being no more than an insurance policy for the Thunder, Mussatto acknowledges, but in a best-case scenario, he’ll become a regular rotation piece and perhaps even a player who could be part of closing lineups. And, as Mussatto points out, the three players Oklahoma City gave up for Hayward (Davis Bertans, Tre Mann, and Vasilije Micic) almost certainly wouldn’t have been playoff contributors.

Hayward, who has been sidelined since December 26 due to a calf injury, appeared to be nearing a return for the Hornets, but he won’t play until after the All-Star break for Oklahoma City, tweets Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman.

As Rylan Stiles of Locked on Thunder notes (via Twitter), head coach Mark Daigneault suggested Hayward is probably healthy enough to play today, but the Thunder want to put him through their return-to-play protocol and let him adjust to his new surroundings before he takes the court.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is enthusiastic about having the opportunity to add newly acquired guard Monte Morris to his rotation, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes. “He’s a winner. He just kind of makes the right play. Super solid, low-turnover guy,” Finch said. “He’s used to playing off of a lot of star players really well. I think it’s a fairly seamless partnership with Mike (Conley). It’s not like this other type of guard that you have to adjust to. Just his high basketball IQ, you can’t have enough of those guys.”
  • Morris also expressed excitement about joining the Timberwolves and said on Friday that he’s still getting up to game speed after spending most of the season recovering from a quad injury, per Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. “I was out for a long period of time,” Morris said. “Realistically, I’d say just ramp up my strength and conditioning running. I’ve played in games. I’m not dead tired, but I know there’s another notice I can get to, and I’ll get to it really, really soon.”
  • The Jazz‘s moves at the trade deadline signal that they continue to prioritize the long term over the short term, despite the fact that they currently hold a play-in spot, writes Andy Larsen of The Star Tribune. As Larsen observes, the departures of Kelly Olynyk, Ochai Agbaji, and Simone Fontecchio should open up playing time for rookies Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh.
  • Nuggets forward Julian Strawther, who was sidelined for over a month due to a knee injury, played on Friday for the first time since January 4, scoring seven points on 3-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes. According to Bennett Durando of The Denver Post (subscription required), head coach Michael Malone said prior to Friday’s game that Strawther wouldn’t necessarily be assured of a consistent rotation role going forward.

Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Officiating, Second Unit, KCP

While Bozidar Maljkovic — the president of Serbia’s Olympic committee — previously stated that Nuggets star Nikola Jokic would represent his home country at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the reigning Finals MVP recently said he hasn’t decided yet if he’ll participate, as BasketNews.com relays.

It’s far. Some people put words in my mouth that I said something that I didn’t. The head coach is the first to know [my commitment]. I always talk to the family and the team after the season,” Jokic told Aleksandar Zigic of RTS.

After Denver’s lengthy playoff run ended in its first championship, Jokic decided to sit out the World Cup over the summer. Despite missing the best player on the team, the Serbians took home the silver medal behind strong performances from Bogdan Bogdanovic and other teammates.

Here are a few more notes on the defending champions:

  • Jokic has been ejected from two games over the past month for arguing with officials about foul non-calls. The second incident occurred on Tuesday in Chicago, with Jokic immediately kicked out despite not having any technical fouls leading up to that point. When asked about how Jokic is officiated, head coach Michael Malone said he’s discussed it with the NBA, according to Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports (Twitter link). I’ve been contacting the league and having conversations about certain plays, certain games where we don’t think he’s getting the whistle he deserves,” Malone said as a part of a larger quote.
  • The team’s bench is trending in a positive direction after some up-and-down play to open 2023/24, writes Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. Second-year players Christian Braun and Peyton Watson, plus rookie Julian Strawther, “have become the backbone” of Denver’s second unit, according to Wind, who takes a closer look at the play of Braun and Watson in particular.
  • Starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sat out Thursday’s victory over Brooklyn after being placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol and will be sidelined for Saturday’s contest against Oklahoma City as well, per Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter links). Caldwell-Pope is shooting 40.4% from three-point range and is frequently tasked with defending the opponent’s top perimeter scorer. He’s making $14.7MM this season and holds a $15.4MM player option for ’24/25.

Nuggets’ Michael Malone To Make Changes To Bench Rotation

The Nuggets concluded a 1-4 road trip by losing to the Rockets by 19 points on Friday, prompting coach Michael Malone to promise that changes to the rotation were on the way, as relayed by The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando.

I just told them,” Malone said. “Minutes, I’m gonna start playing different people. You just can’t go out there because you think you’re gonna play, and go out there and do nothing. You’ve gotta bring something to the party.

Denver’s bench was outscored 16-0 in the first half on Friday with Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji and Julian Strawther the headliners of the second unit. Braun had a good road trip, according to Durando, but Watson was a minus-24 and Strawther was a minus-36 during that stretch, while Nnaji was a minus-10 before Friday, a game in which he got pulled after one minute.

The Nuggets have put an emphasis on a two-timeline plan this offseason, as evidenced by using three draft picks this year and entrusting young players like Braun, Nnaji and Watson with heavy minutes. That plan is being put to the test with star guard Jamal Murray having been out since Nov. 4. Malone said he hopes Murray comes back “really, really soon,” according to Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter link).

One such change is seemingly going to be a minutes increase for Justin Holiday, according to Durando. Holiday only averages 8.2 minutes and has seen time in just six games, but he drew praise from Malone after Friday’s contest.

I thought Justin played pretty well,” Malone said. “So we’ll see. We’re going home. Very disappointing road trip. … That’s the challenge when you have so many young, unproven players off the bench. But we also have games to win, and that delicate balance is a tightrope. But we need to win, and I’m gonna play the guys that are gonna help us get a win.”

Even though Reggie Jackson hasn’t been able to replicate what Murray brought to the starting lineup, Malone continues to praise the guard, whose production helped offset the bench’s issues when Murray was healthy.

We’re playing lineups out there with no point guard,” Malone said. “We probably had quite a few minutes of that tonight. … Reggie, I think, has done a really good job in place of Jamal. But just like if Nikola goes down, we don’t have another Nikola Jokic. We don’t have another Jamal Murray.

Outside of turning to Holiday, Denver’s options off the bench are limited. Vlatko Cancar was expected to play a bigger role this year but is missing the season with an ACL injury he suffered in August. Denver also has rookies Jalen Pickett and Hunter Tyson under standard contracts but that might not solve the issue of giving too much responsibility to younger players.

Outside of that, the only other veteran who isn’t currently a part of the rotation is 35-year-old DeAndre Jordan. Two-way players Collin Gillespie, Jay Huff and Braxton Key could also be in line for minutes.

Nuggets Notes: Jackson, Jokic, LaVine, Development, More

Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson, who joined the team in February of last season, has gotten accustomed to playing with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic by now, but it’s not an experience he’s taking for granted, he said earlier this week, per Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports (Twitter link).

“Just watching him control the game, watching how special he is, watching his mind just work over and over again,” Jackson said. “The way he works, just takes over the game physically but really mentally. It’s special.

“… Like I said, I refuse to take it for granted. Being his teammate, playing against him for many years… when you have something special, you have to enjoy it, because you never know how long you’re going to have it, and when it’s gone you will truly miss it. So, I’m just enjoying being his teammate, enjoying how easy he makes the game, enjoying playing as his teammate but also being able to watch him as we’re playing.”

Jackson re-signed with the Nuggets as a free agent over the summer, inking a new two-year, $10.25MM contract with the club.

Here are a few more items out of Denver:

  • In a mailbag for The Denver Post, Bennett Durando dismisses the idea of the Nuggets’ pursuing a trade for a third star, arguing that a splashy move like acquiring Zach LaVine would be “antithetical” to everything the franchise has done in recent years. Elsewhere in the mailbag, Durando answers questions about Michael Malone‘s potential Coach of the Year case and Denver’s defense so far this season.
  • The Nuggets are balancing title contention and player development out of necessity this season, according to Matt Brooks of Nuggets.com, who takes a closer look at how the team has to lean on young players like Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, and Julian Strawther for regular minutes, sticking with them through their ups and downs. “If Julian has a bad game, I just can’t say, ‘Okay, I’m not playing him for the rest of the season,'” Malone said. “If Peyton doesn’t have a good game, I can’t (bench him). Those guys need to play this year.”
  • Winning the in-season tournament is “a goal” for the defending NBA champions, according to Michael Porter Jr. (Twitter links via Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports). The Nuggets are 2-0 in group play so far, with their third tournament game on tap Friday night in New Orleans. “The incentive is always nice,” Porter said. “No matter how much money you have. $500,000 is nice, especially for young guys who are on their rookie contract. We all have a collective goal to win, not really for the money, it’s just competing.”

Nuggets Notes: Jackson, Porter, Caldwell-Pope, Strawther

When Reggie Jackson was waived by Charlotte in February and hit the buyout market, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo attempted to recruit the veteran guard to Milwaukee, sources tell Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. However, Jackson opted for Denver instead, and both he and the Nuggets are happy about how that decision worked out, as Wind writes.

Jackson didn’t play a major role for the Nuggets during the championship run in the spring, but he has been an important piece of the rotation so far this fall, particularly since Jamal Murray went down with a hamstring injury. Jackson scored 20 points, handed out six assists, and was a plus-12 in a season-high 32 minutes during Wednesday’s three-point victory over the Warriors, earning praise from head coach Michael Malone, who said the 33-year-old has been “fantastic for us.”

The Nuggets raised some eyebrows when they devoted their taxpayer mid-level exception this offseason to a player who wasn’t part of their playoff rotation, but Jackson has benefited from spending the summer in Denver and becoming more familiar with the club’s system. Malone believes Jackson “feels so much more comfortable” this season than he did down the stretch of 2022/23 — and one of the guard’s teammates agrees.

“He spent all offseason in Denver when he could have been moving all around,” Michael Porter Jr. said. “He stayed here, learned our offense, and it’s showing. It’s paying off for him.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • A day after exploring how the Nuggets will weather Murray’s absence, Tony Jones of The Athletic says the team showed off its “depth, hunger, and versatility” in Wednesday’s win over Golden State. Denver has matched its best start in franchise history at 8-1 and Porter’s improved defense has been an important factor in the team’s success, Jones notes. “We want Michael to get to the point where that’s the norm for him,” Malone said. “We want to get to the point where what he’s doing is no longer a surprise.”
  • Having already expressed a desire to make an All-Defensive team, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope clarified after Wednesday’s game that he actually has a loftier target in his sights. I got one goal, man, either Defensive Player of the Year or (All-Defensive) First Team,” Caldwell-Pope said, per Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette (Twitter link). “I’m going to continue to push that envelope.”
  • It’s rare for a team to draft a player at No. 29 who is ready to immediately play rotation minutes, but the Nuggets may have achieved that feat with Julian Strawther, Wind writes for DNVR Sports. While Strawther’s 21-point night vs. New Orleans on Monday in just 19 minutes of action has been an outlier so far (he has 20 points in 52 minutes in his other six appearances), the rookie has impressed coaches and teammates for his confidence and poise.

Nuggets Notes: Booth, Braun, Hyland, Strawther, More

The 2023 NBA champion Nuggets took a hit when they lost Bruce Brown in free agency this offseason, but Denver has the infrastructure in place to continue developing rotation threats to help win rings, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth has a plan in place for a dynasty, according to Amick, and sees the widespread public doubt following Brown’s departure as “disproportionate.”

Amick writes that Booth is high on Christian Braun, whom he compares to early-career Jimmy Butler and sees as a headlining piece of Denver’s core. Booth knows supplementing stars with rotational talent is key to maintaining a winning culture, and Braun has already impressed the organization enough to earn that level of trust. Amick notes Booth said the team explored signing Torrey Craig, who wound up with Chicago, but ultimately felt good about the development of Braun and Peyton Watson.

The Nuggets also drafted several young pieces — Jalen Pickett, Julian Strawther and Hunter Tyson as well as keeping 22-year-old Zeke Nnaji on board.

We’re going to have to learn to block the outside noise,” Booth said. “Like, ‘Why didn’t you put a veteran team together and try to repeat?’ You have to be willing to take all that criticism, because I don’t think it’s the right thing — especially for this team and the developmental stage we’re at — to go quote-unquote all-in on a repeat. So we don’t get the repeat. Then what? What if we won one out of the next two? What if we won two out of the next four?

Booth is of course high on superstar Nikola Jokic, but also believes Reggie Jackson can be a contender for Sixth Man of the Year and Jamal Murray will be motivated by the potential of earning a super-max extension next summer, Amick writes.

We have more Nuggets notes:

  • A similar piece from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor emphasizes Booth’s confidence in his team and desire to build a dynasty. O’Connor notes the challenges the Nuggets, like other teams, face as a result of the tax measures in the new CBA, and explains their philosophy in bringing in young players. Of note, O’Connor mentions one of Booth’s first moves was to ship out promising youngster Bones Hyland at the trade deadline this year. “I knew you couldn’t have two guys that couldn’t guard, and we couldn’t have two guys that were young and kind of more ‘me guys,’” Booth said. “[Michael Porter Jr.] makes $30 million. He’s one of the best shooters in the NBA. So, Bones, there’s no place for you.
  • Murray has taken Strawther under his wing, according to Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports. The rookie has been standing out in the preseason and is attempting to earn a regular season role. Murray sees potential in the Gonzaga product. “I’m just trying to keep him thinking and let him play free,” Murray said. “I just love his aggressive mindset. Miss, make, turnover, whatever it is. He’s staying constantly aggressive and looking for his shot and playing at his own pace.
  • Strawther is making it difficult for the Nuggets to not call plays for him with his play of late, Bennett Durando of The Denver Post writes. The No. 29 pick in the 2023 draft is averaging 19.7 points and shooting 50% on eight three-point attempts per game in the preseason. The Nuggets made him the first player off the bench in their Sunday preseason game and he shared the floor with members the championship starting lineup. “You’re crazy if you think I’m on the floor with Nikola and Jamal and they’re going to be worried about what I’m doing,” Strawther said. “My job is just ultimately to space the floor and make shots when I’m on the floor with those guys.
  • Porter and Braun are progressing from ankle and calf injuries, respectively, Wind tweets. According to Wind, the hope is that they play Thursday in Los Angeles for the Nuggets’ final preseason game against the Clippers.

Western Notes: Jazz, Holiday, Morant, Vezenkov, Strawther

The Jazz were involved in the Jrue Holiday sweepstakes before the All-Defensive guard was traded from Portland to Boston, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Larsen hears that Utah considered an offer that included multiple first-round picks for the standout guard. However, he notes that ESPN’s Bobby Marks said during a radio appearance that the Jazz were wary of pursuing Holiday too aggressively without any assurances that he’d commit to the team long-term. The 33-year-old holds a player option for the 2024/25 season, so he could have been just a one-year rental.

Having missed out on Holiday, the Jazz don’t have a clear-cut option to start at point guard and it’s clear that head coach Will Hardy is “struggling with this decision,” Larsen writes. As Tony Jones of The Athletic notes, each of the candidates for the role has exhibited his flaws as well as his strengths so far during camp and the preseason.

Collin Sexton isn’t a natural point guard and Talen Horton-Tucker and Keyonte George are still relatively raw as point guards, according to Jones, who adds that starting Kris Dunn would make it tricky for the team to find minutes off the bench for Sexton. Jordan Clarkson was also considered a candidate for the point guard job, but the Jazz appear more comfortable having him in a sixth-man role, so the competition could be down to four players.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • When Ja Morant‘s 25-game suspension was announced in June, the NBA indicated that the Grizzlies guard would have to meet certain conditions to be reinstated. The league provided an update this week, indicating that Morant’s suspension won’t be shortened but also isn’t expected to extend beyond 25 games, report Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
  • Ziaire Williams played well as the Grizzlies‘ fifth starter in Tuesday’s preseason win over Milwaukee, but head coach Taylor Jenkins isn’t ready to commit to that spot for the regular season, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Luke Kennard appears to be Williams’ top competition for that starting spot, with Jake LaRavia, David Roddy, and John Konchar looming as wild card, per Cole.
  • Kings head coach Mike Brown is unsure whether NBA newcomer Sasha Vezenkov will be part of the team’s rotation when the regular season begins, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. In a separate story, Anderson points out that Vezenkov started in place of injured forward Keegan Murray (thumb) on Wednesday, but Chris Duarte took Vezenkov’s spot in the lineup to open the third quarter. According to Brown, Vezenkov’s ability to hold his own on defense will be a significant factor in determining his role.
  • Nuggets rookie Julian Strawther, vying for a rotation spot, had an impressive preseason debut on Tuesday vs. Phoenix, piling up 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists with no turnovers in 21 minutes off the bench. Bennett Durando of The Denver Post has the details, observing that Strawther’s ability to space the floor may help earn him a regular role.

Nuggets Notes: Booth, Jokic, Strawther, Jackson, Holiday

In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth discussed a number of topics, including his roster-building philosophy within the financial constraints of the new CBA, maximizing the team’s championship window, attempting to repeat in 2023/24, and more.

While Booth says the Nuggets will certainly miss departed veterans Bruce Brown, Jeff Green and Ish Smith, he expressed confidence that Denver has players who can contribute off the bench, such as Christian Braun, Justin Holiday and Peyton Watson.

Justin has been polished and has been around for a while,” Booth said. “I know he didn’t shoot the ball the best last season, but I feel like he has taken on the challenge to make sure he has a good year. He played fantastic in the intrasquad scrimmages. He made shots. He’s in the right spots. He guards.

For Christian, the game has slowed down. He’s a two-way player. He brings athleticism, strength to the game, and the ability to make a shot. Christian will automatically start in Bruce’s role. He started in the scrimmages [on Friday]. Naturally, with more minutes and responsibilities, that opportunity for growth will be there.

Justin Holiday is a pro. But guys like Peyton Watson, he’s seeing the game slow down and learning how to be a professional off the court, having a routine that he sticks to and getting work in. Let the chips fall where it may after you put the work in because a 21-year-old kid is going to make mistakes. The game is going to look fast for him. At other times, it’s going to look like he’s a master with everything. We have to roll with the punches with him because he’s a really talented kid.”

Here are a few more notes on the defending champions:

  • Finals MVP Nikola Jokic appears to be at ease entering ’23/24, which should bode well for the Nuggets, per Tony Jones of The Athletic. “I think our biggest concern with Nikola was just him being homesick,” head coach Michael Malone said. “We all like to be home with our friends and our family, and for him, his horses. Since he’s been back, we haven’t seen any signs of him being down in the dumps. He’s becoming an even better leader, not always just vocal, but with body language. He’s in a good place, and because of that, the team is in a good place. And it’s hard not to be. We’ve had a great run. We won a championship. And we’ve worked hard this week.”
  • Rookie wing Julian Strawther and veteran point guard Reggie Jackson recently sat down for interviews with Adam Mares and Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (YouTube link). Strawther, Denver’s 2023 first-round pick (29th overall), says the Nuggets’ unselfishness and team play has stood out in his first NBA training camp. “I feel like that’s what really sets us apart from the rest of the league is just, everyone is so bought in,” he said. “And it’s kind of like a lost art today in basketball. Everybody’s kind of playing for themselves around the league.”
  • Jackson and Holiday may have earned rotation roles with strong performances in training camp, Wind writes for DNVR Sports. Forward Braxton Key, who is on a two-way contract, also had some good moments in the portion of Friday’s scrimmage that was open to the media, according to Wind.

Julian Strawther Signs Rookie Contract With Nuggets

The Nuggets have signed No. 29 overall pick Julian Strawther to his rookie scale contract, according to the official transaction log at NBA.com.

Strawther, 21, played three college seasons at Gonzaga before putting his name in the 2023 draft as an early entrant. In 37 games (31.2 MPG) with the Bulldogs in 2022/23, the small forward averaged 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds on .469/.408/.776 shooting.

The Celtics originally held the No. 29 pick, but traded it to the Pacers last year in the Malcolm Brogdon deal. The Pacers sent the rights to the Nos. 29 and 32 picks to Denver as part of a four-team trade last month.

Speaking of the No. 32 pick, Jalen Pickett‘s four-year contract with the Nuggets is now official, per NBA.com, as is Hunter Tyson‘s (No. 37). Denver also acquired the rights to Tyson in the four-team deal.

Assuming he receives the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale amount, which virtually every first-rounder does, Strawther will earn approximately $2.4MM as a rookie and nearly $12.5MM if he plays out his full four-year rookie contract. The first two years are guaranteed, while the third and fourth are team options.