Tag: Denver Nuggets

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

Contrary to prior reports, Nuggets not waiving Kostas Papanikolaou. Yet.


When Denver acquired Kostas Papanikolaou from Houston, reports came almost immediately that Denver would waive the small forward out of Greece. Denver already has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, most teams only carry that many players, and if the Nuggets keep a 15th it could be Erick Green (who is set to make nearly $4 million less).

Maybe the Nuggets ultimately will waive Papanikolaou, but not yet.

From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.

For more detail, there is this from eurohoops.net, transcribed by Hoopshype.

On Saturday night, there were rumors about Denver releasing him. However at this point there are just rumors. Until now, the player’s side has no knowledge for this matter and the Nuggets hasn’t informed them about those kinds of intentions. According to Eurohoops sources, the Nuggets’ plan when they acquired Papanikolaou was to keep him in their roster and take their decision about him during Eurobasket, probably at the end of the tournament. That was their intention and that’s why they didn’t try to use his contract as a trade asset.

The Nuggets have until Oct. 4 to make a decision on Papanikolaou, that is when his $4.8 million contract for the next season becomes fully guaranteed.

What Denver wants to see is what kind of growth he has made. Papanikolaou was the best Houston player off the bench the first month of the season — he could play the three or the four and was a fantastic passer. As the season wore on the league seemed to catch up with him, and once the team traded for Corey Brewer and Josh Smith Papanikolaou dropped far down the rotation. Then he suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain and barely saw the court after the All-Star break. For the season he got in 43 games, shot 35 percent overall and 29.2 percent from three. To use a good snapshot, he had a PER of 7.8, which usually means a guy should be in the D-League or overseas.

The Nuggets can afford to watch Papanikolaou through the upcoming Eurobasket then even at workouts at their facilities at the start of training camp. They can see if the guy from the first part of the season is still there.

But the smart money — because Denver would save so much of it — is that he still eventually is cut. He’s going to have to prove

Jahlil Okafor: “Rookie of the Year is one of the goals I set for myself”

Utah Jazz Summer League

Jahlil Okafor looked in Las Vegas like a guy who could be in the mix for Rookie of the Year — he has an NBA body that he knows how to use to create a little space to operate, and when he does he has an array of moves to score. In Las Vegas he averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, he shot 43.8 percent, and while he’s still a rookie who is going to have a steep learning curve, you can see the potential.

He wants to win Rookie of the Year, he told Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com during the Sixers annual Beach Bash event (video above).

“For myself, before the season I just need to make sure I’m prepared. I don’t know what to expect, I’ve never played in the NBA, but Rookie of the Year is one of my goals I’ve set for myself, my personal achievements. As for the team, I want to get better. We’re a rebuilding team right now, but (we should) go out there every day and compete.”

After seeing guys in Summer League and thinking about touches and opportunities they will get in the season, I would say Okafor and Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay should be the preseason favorites for the award, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Stanley Johnson lurking in the background. That said, they’re  rookies, which makes them inconsistent and this award very difficult to predict preseason.

What we do know: Okafor is having fun with the fans and making friends in Philly already.

Report: Nuggets to waive Kostas Papanikolaou, acquired in Ty Lawson trade

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

Probably the most noteworthy piece the Nuggets got back from the Rockets for embattled point guard Ty Lawson in last month’s trade was second-year Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou. He didn’t play much in his rookie season in Houston, but the former second-round pick showed flashes of versatility and seemed like a candidate to stay on the Nuggets’ roster despite his $4.7 million salary being unguaranteed.

Apparently not. Eurobasket.com’s David Pick says the Nuggets are cutting him loose:

As former Nets executive and salary-cap guru Bobby Marks points out, letting Papanikolaou go puts Denver about $7 million below the salary cap, leaving them well-positioned to take back salary in a trade, either trading for an impact player or taking back a contract to get a pick from another team. If they didn’t view Papanikolaou as a long-term piece in their rebuild, the cap space is probably more valuable to them going forward.

There’s a good chance Papanikolaou gets picked up by another team between now and training camp, as he’s still a highly regarded prospect around the league.

Who is still out there: Top 10 free agents still on the market

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four

At this point in what has been a fast-moving summer, most teams are just rounding out the final couple spots on their rosters. The guys at the end of the bench who may not see much playing time once the season tips off. Yet, there are still a few interesting free agent targets still on the market — a couple at the top of the list who could play significant roles for the Cavaliers next season. But even farther down are solid, veteran reserves still trying to find a chair for next season before the music stops.

Here’s our updated list of the top 10 guys still on the market.

1) Tristan Thompson — The Cavaliers and Thompson are still haggling, but a deal will get done — because LeBron James wants a deal to get done. Thompson is a restricted free agent but neither of the teams with a lot of cap space — Philadelphia and Utah — will use it to make him a big offer. He doesn’t have a ton of leverage. Plus the Cavs are deep into the luxury tax now, so every dollar spent on Thompson comes with an additional price. Kevin Love got maxed out and Thompson saw what Draymond Green got, but he’s going to have to take less than those guys to get a deal done.

2) J.R. Smith — He likely regrets opting out of the $6.4 million in the final year of his deal because he is going to take a pay cut (and very likely be on a one-year deal). He is still expected to re-sign with the Cavaliers, with whom he met last week, in part because there is not a strong market for the classic volume scorer (those Lakers rumors that popped up online Tuesday were pure fantasy, LA is not interested).

3) Jason Terry — In the wake of the Ty Lawson trade it has been expected around the league Terry would reach a deal as a reserve in Houston, but that has yet to be finalized. In fact, the Rockets renounced their rights to him (he can still sign with Houston, the Rockets cannot offer more than any other team now, however). He may not defend much anymore, but he did shoot 39 percent from three last season.

4) Carlos Boozer — He’s much maligned by fans for his shortcomings (particularly on defense), but he still averaged 11.8 points a game shooting nearly 50 percent last season for the Lakers. As a scoring big off the bench who can run the pick-and-pop Boozer has value. The Mavericks, Knicks, and Rockets are reportedly interested.

5) Kevin Seraphin — A solid, traditional, backup big who thought there was a healthy market for him outside Washington where he played behind Marcin Gortat. Turns out not really. The Knicks, Lakers, and Wizards are reportedly still interested on some level.

6) Darrell Arthur — Denver is expected to re-sign him this week. He averaged 6.6 points a game last season for the Nuggets, plus he is a solid defender who plays a smart game. As a reserve at the four he makes a lot of sense.

7) Dorell Wright — The small forward shot 38 percent from three last season for Portland, but he played a limited role for that team. Coming off hand surgery, there hasn’t been much of a market for him.

8) Andre Miller — He had some early talks with the Sacramento Kings, but it seems unlikely he goes back to his friend George Karl after the Kings picked up Seth Curry. Miller is a high IQ, veteran reserve point guard that some team will eventually pick up, but the league is deep at that position, and there aren’t many openings.

9) Norris Cole — He’s a restricted free agent who may end up playing in New Orleans next season on the qualifying offer, and then will test the market again next summer. He played pretty well for the Pelicans at the end of last season (9.9 points a game, shot 38 percent from three) and would back up Jrue Holiday. There have been talks with the Sixers, but are they going to make an offer large enough that the Pelicans will not match it? Not likely.

10) JaVale McGee — Dallas reportedly has shown interest, and other teams may as well, but only if he can pass a physical and prove he’s healthy. His contract was bought out by the Sixers, so he’s getting paid anyway, will he be motivated?

Report: Warriors to sign Ian Clark

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
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Ian Clark led the Warriors to the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League title.

That earned Clark a two-year contract with the Jazz.

Now a free agent again, Clark is headed back to the champion Warriors.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Free agent guard Ian Clark has agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors, league sources told RealGM

Clark will give the Warriors 16 players – one more than the regular-season limit – though James Michael McAdoo’s contract is just $100,00 guaranteed and Chris Babb’s is unguaranteed.

Clark’s guarantee will say a lot about how much the Warriors value him. Given their impending luxury-tax bill, they’ll be especially reluctant to waive players with guaranteed salaries. Any guarantee would give Clark a leg up on Babb in a potential training-camp battle, and if the guarantee is big enough, it could put put Clark ahead of McAdoo, too.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are obviously excellent 3-pointer shooters, but Golden State could use another outside threat off the bench. Clark, who made 43% of his 3-pointers in four years at Belmont and 38% professionally between the NBA and D-League, would fit the bill.