The changing of the guard continues in Denver.
With Josh Kroenke — team president and incoming owner — taking a more active role in the front office since this summer there have been a number of changes. Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman walked out the door this summer.
Now Bret Bearup – a powerful advisor who helped to bring in Allen Iverson then helped ship him out for Chauncey Billups — is out, according to the Denver Post.
Bearup is close to Stan Kroenke, the official owner of the Nuggets (and he will remain a consultant for Stan in non-basketball operations). But Stan is in the process of purchasing the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and has to sell off his part of the Nuggets. Which is going to his son Josh.
Josh is changing things up — he is involved in player and personnel moves, along with Masai Ujiri as executive vice president of basketball operations.
That’s all nice, you say, but how does this affect any potential trade of Carmelo Anthony? Good question. There is no clean, simple answer.
It’s a little hard to say because PBT knows some teams dealing with the Nuggets on the issue had been talking a lot to Bearup (even though he was a consultant only), who seemed to support moving Anthony. Ken Berger at CBS added that some of the teams seemed surprised by the move.
Sources say rival executives had been told in recent days that Bearup was no longer authorized to discuss the team’s personnel decisions, a stunning development to teams that had become accustomed to Bearup wielding significant power due to his close relationship with Stan Kroenke.
All this puts more power in the Josh Kroenke/Ujiri camp, which likely means the Nuggets will be more patient. They have been the ones preaching the Nuggets taking their time. But they will find — as Toronto did when it tried to move Vince Carter — that teams will start to lowball and the offers will get smaller as the trade deadline nears. Denver will get less, or risk letting him walk this summer for nothing. But the offers are not going to improve.