Marcus Williams (Arizona)

Nuggets Waive Miller, Benimon, Williams

12:53pm: The Nuggets have officially waived Miller, the team announced.

MONDAY, 12:40pm: Miller’s release no longer appears on the RealGM transactions log, and the team has been looking to find a taker for him via trade, tweets Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. However, the Nuggets haven’t found any trade partners and are set to release Miller in advance of today’s 4:00pm Central deadline for teams to submit their opening-night rosters.

WEDNESDAY, 1:52pm: The Nuggets have waived Miller, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to make an official announcement about him.

1:10pm: Denver has officially released Benimon and Williams, the team announced, though Miller remains with the team for now, according to Dempsey, who indicates that the Nuggets are thinking of keeping him right up until they have to let him go to make Monday’s opening-night roster deadline (Twitter links).

8:28am: The Nuggets are waiving Quincy Miller, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link), and the team will also release Marcus Williams and Jerrelle Benimon, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. The moves will drop the Nuggets to the 15-player regular season maximum and allow the team to keep Alonzo Gee and his non-guaranteed contract for opening night, Dempsey points out. They also signal that Erick Green will remain with the team into the regular season in spite of only $50K in guaranteed salary. Dempsey indicates that the Nuggets have already placed Miller on waivers, though the team has made no official announcement.

The Nuggets part ways with Miller in spite of his $150K partial guarantee, one that would have escalated to cover his entire minimum salary had he made it to opening night. The team drafted him 38th overall in 2012, but he struggled to recover from tearing his left ACL as a high school senior, when he was the fifth-best prospect in the country, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game last season, the first in which he felt fully healthy since the injury, Dempsey notes, but that wasn’t enough to save his spot on the roster for this year.

The Nuggets also owe a $35K partial guarantee to Benimon, who joined the team after going undrafted in June and appearing in summer league with Denver as well as the Heat. Williams, a forward from the University of Arizona not to be confused with the point guard by the same name, signed a non-guaranteed contract with Denver in an effort to make it back to the NBA for his first regular season action since the 2008/09 season.

Gee’s defense helped fuel the Nuggets decision-making, and he had four steals in Tuesday’s preseason game, as Dempsey points out. He earned a measure of stability after a summer that saw him go from the Cavs to the Pelicans to the Rockets to the Kings in a series of trades before Sacramento waived him, freeing the Nuggets to ink the 27-year-old small forward. Green, the 46th overall pick in 2013, signed with the Nuggets this year after playing last season with Montepaschi Siena of Italy.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Jackson, McGary

The NFL is likely to give Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the St. Louis Rams, a 12-month extension on the December 31st deadline by which he must transfer ownership of the Nuggets to his son, Josh, reports Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily (hat tip to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). Josh Kroenke serves as team president for the Nuggets and is already the team’s representative on the league’s Board of Governors.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Alonzo Gee and Marcus Williams are playing well and making it tough for the Nuggets to decide whom to carry on opening night, coach Brian Shaw admits, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. Gee and Williams have non-guaranteed contracts while 15 others have at least partial guarantees on their deals. Dempsey suggests that Gee and Williams are battling Quincy Miller, one of three Nuggets with a partial guarantee, for the final regular season roster spot.
  • Thunder rookie Mitch McGary is expected to miss at least five to seven weeks with a fracture in his left foot, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports (Twitter link).
  • With Reggie Jackson set to become a restricted free agent next summer, the situation reminds many of when the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets rather than commit to a max contract. Jeff Caplan of believes Eric Bledsoe‘s situation is a better comparison, seeing as neither player had Harden’s track record of performance prior to hitting restricted free agency.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Nuggets Sign Marcus Williams

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The signing is official, the Nuggets announce as they release their training camp roster.

SEPTEMBER 23RD: The deal has been signed according to the RealGM transaction log, although no announcement from the team has been made yet.

SEPTEMBER 22ND, 10:52am: The contract will cover one season, Charania notes via Twitter.

10:30am: The Nuggets and former University of Arizona forward Marcus Williams have agreed to a deal, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Williams is not to be confused with the former University of Connecticut point guard by the same name. It’s likely a minimum-salary deal for camp, though the Nuggets have most of their $5.305MM mid-level exception to give him more. It’s not clear whether the deal includes any guaranteed salary.

Williams played 11 NBA regular season games in two seasons with the Clippers and Spurs after San Antonio made him the 33rd overall pick in 2007, but he’s been out of the league since the Spurs waived him in the 2009 preseason. He’s spent time with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate since then, and he’s also been a mainstay for China’s Shanxi Zhongyu. He’s averaged 30.7 points over the last three seasons with the Chinese club, a mark that’s put him near the top of the scoring leaders in the Chinese Basketball Association, a circuit dotted with NBA veterans.

Denver appears to offer Williams, who’ll turn 28 in November, a decent chance to make it to opening night, since the Nuggets had been carrying only 13 fully guaranteed deals. Jerrelle Benimon, Erick Green and Quincy Miller all have partially guaranteed minimum salaries.

And-Ones: Pistons, LeBron, Contract Details

The Pistons have a new direction as a franchise now that Stan Van Gundy has taken over as team president and head coach. In their season preview the crew at Basketball Insiders don’t see the team becoming contenders just yet, and their predictions have Detroit finishing either third or fourth in the Central Division.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Nuggets signees Joe Alexander and Marcus Williams, new Lakers Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Tyler, Heat additions Andre Dawkins and Shawn Jones, Wizards wing men Xavier Silas and Damion James, and Hasheem Thabeet of the Pistons are all on non-guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links here).
  • LeBron James might be gone from Miami, but he takes with him a number of lessons the Heat organization taught him about professionalism, Brian Windhorst of writes. James is a much different person than when he was with the Cavs the first time, notes Windhorst, and the additions of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, and James Jones are indications that Cleveland wants to bump up the work ethic and preparation habits of their younger players.
  • When asked about departed free agent Trevor Ariza, who left the Wizards to sign with the Rockets this summer, Marcin Gortat believed Ariza’s decision wasn’t about finances, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Gortat said, “In my opinion I think he was trying to get back to the West. I don’t think it was about the money.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.