Tag: Erick Green

Zaza Pachulia, Jameer Nelson, Darrell Arthur

Report: Nuggets sign Darrell Arthur to two-year contract

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The Nuggets expected to re-sign Darrell Arthur.

Now, they’ve done it.

Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:

The Nuggets had the $2,814,000 room exception available, and I’d guess Arthur got that. If he settled for a minimum salary, that’s a coup for Denver.

Even at the full room exception, this is a nice signing.

Arthur is a versatile defender, strong enough to handle bigs inside and quick-footed enough to stay with wings on the perimeter. The Nuggets allowed 98.7 points per 100 possessions when he played and 107.8 when he sat last season. The prior year presented a similar story – 99.1/108.0.

If Arthur continues to develop his jumper, this signing could be a major steal. I wouldn’t count on that, but there’s a little upside with the 27-year-old.

Given the player option for year two, we can safely assume Arthur’s 2015-16 salary is guaranteed. That would give Denver 15 players with guaranteed salaries plus two without (Kostas Papanikolaou and Erick Green). Papanikolaou has not yet been waived, but it’s likely only a matter of time. Arthur’s return probably squeezes out Green.

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

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

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

Report: Lakers, Rockets, Pacers interested in Quincy Miller

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

The Nuggets, to trim their roster before the season, could have waived Erick Green and paid $50,000 or Alonzo Gee and paid nothing.

Instead, they dropped Quincy Miller. Cost: $150,000.

Maybe the Nuggets correctly assessed Miller’s ability, determining the added cost of waiving him didn’t matter because he wasn’t as good as the other two. Or maybe Denver doesn’t know what it’s doing.

A few teams are poking around that second idea.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Free agent Quincy Miller has received several inquiries from NBA teams since joining the available market on Monday, with the Los Angeles Lakers as leading suitors for the forward, league sources told RealGM.

The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers also have registered levels of intrigue in Miller, sources said.

All three of those teams have full rosters, but each could waive someone without a fully guaranteed contract – Lakers (Wayne Ellington or Ronnie Price), Rockets (Tarik Black) and Pacers (Shayne Whittington) – to make room for Miller.

Most likely, the teams are assessing Miller in case a roster spot opens for another reason, most likely a trade.

Miller projects as a 3-and-D player, but he has yet to impress with either skill – 3-point shooting or defense – in the NBA. After two seasons with the Nuggets, who drafted him No. 38 out of Baylor in 2012, Miller will probably need to prove himself in a lesser league before returning to the NBA.

ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 season preview: Denver Nuggets

Ty Lawson

Last season: Be warned, you could get injured just reading this paragraph. Coming off a 57-win season hopes were high but Danilo Gallinari never played a game, instead needing a second knee surgery to clean up the first one. JaVale McGee played in just five games after a stress fracture to his tibia. Wilson Chandler, Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson each missed at least 20 games due to injury. Those injuries meant fluctuating rotations, which on top of a new coach and new system under Brian Shaw created issues, particularly defensively. The result is a 36 win team that misses the playoffs.

Signature highlight from last season: In some ways this sums up the Nuggets halfcourt offense last season: Down two to the Clippers with time for one last shot the Nuggets don’t really have a go-to guy so they run a play — which more teams should do, but this play lacks urgency and execution, and so it falls to Randy Foye to take a deep three over Blake Griffin. Of course, in this case he drains it.

Key player changes: Frankly, the biggest change will just be getting Gallinari and McGee back in the lineup. Denver made one really nice free agent addition this summer, trading for Arron Afflalo who had an All-Star level year in Orlando (and giving up on the potential of Evan Fournier in the deal). Also added to the roster is a rookie showing a lot of potential in Gary Harris, plus Alonzo Gee, Erick Green, and another rookie in Jusuf Nurkic.

Gone from the roster besides Fournier are Aaron Brooks, Anthony Randolph, and Jan Vesely.

Keys to the Nuggets’ season:

The defense must get better. Last season, despite all the injuries, the Nuggets had a solid offense (middle of the NBA pack) but their bottom-10 defense was the big issue. With the return of Gallinari and the addition of Afflalo the Nuggets offense should be better than average, more than that it should be good. Maybe very good. But all of that doesn’t matter if they can’t get stops. The return of JaVale McGee to protect the paint is potentially a big step forward. However it’s going to take more than that — the Nuggets pick-and-roll defense last season was a weakness and it’s got to improve. It’s going to take Shaw putting in a consistent system, getting full buy in from the players, someone stepping up to be a good perimeter stopper, and guys like Kenneth Faried improving on the defensive end in a way he hasn’t before. The Nuggets fancy themselves a playoff team in the West, but if it’s going to happen it has to happen on this end of the floor.

Improvement in the halfcourt offense. What the Nuggets are built to do is run — Lawson is a fantastic scorer and creator in transition, Afflalo and Gallinari can space the floor and knock down shots, while bigs like Faried, McGee and J.J. Hickson are amazing rim runners. When the tempo is up the Nuggets are hard to beat. When the tempo slows… not so much. If the Nuggets want to make the playoffs they are going to need to score in the halfcourt more consistently. Again, Afflalo and Gallinari should help here, but Shaw has to put in a system and guys need to execute it, because good teams are going to try to slow the ball down vs. Denver. And the West is loaded with good teams.

A breakout season for Kenneth Faried. We saw the best of what Faried can do during the World Cup — energy is a skill (to quote David Thorpe, among others) and Faried brings that more than any other player in the league. That energy and effort can be a glue. Faried brings a ferociousness on the boards, and when the team gets out and runs he can bring points in transition. Faried was a glue for a Team USA roster that was already loaded with scorers and didn’t need his points (so defenses almost ignored him at first, allowing him to get points). The Nuggets have plenty of guys who can score but Faried is not going to be ignored in the same way, yet he needs to bring a new bounce to his step from that Spanish experience this summer and push this team to another level. Faried is not your first (or second) offensive option in a halfcourt set, he’s not a lockdown defender, but what he brings can lift the rest of the Nuggets up to a new level. He has to bring that every night for them to make the playoffs.

Why you should watch the Nuggets: They played at the third fastest pace in the NBA last season and Brian Shaw wants his team to run more — and when they run there are few teams more fun to watch. Ty Lawson is underrated both as a point guard and on the entertainment scale. Plus, they will have one of the best bench units in the league.

Prediction: 44-38, which will be about the 10 seed in the West and just outside the playoffs. This is going to be a bounce back year for the Nuggets in a lot of ways, they are going to be much better than last season just by being healthy again. Whether or not they make the playoffs really comes down to how well they defend, they will be better than the bad defensive team they were a year ago but I’m not sold it will change enough to make the playoffs in the loaded West. That said, if some of those good teams in the West suffer injuries or slip up more than expected, the Nuggets will be there ready to pounce and grab one of those playoff spots. It’s possible (especially with their depth and second unit) and should be their goal, I just can’t see them getting all the way there this year.

Nuggets sign former No. 8 pick Joe Alexander

Milwaukee Bucks v Denver Nuggets

Joe Alexander, drafted No. 8 by the Bucks in 2008, holds the distinction of being the highest pick ever to have his third-year option declined.

That option must be decided prior to a player’s second season, and Milwaukee was so certain Alexander would be a bust, it chose following his rookie year to cut him loose. Before Alexander’s rookie contract expired, the Bucks traded him to the Bulls.

Sure enough, after the two guaranteed years on his deal, Alexander fell out of the league.

Now, he has a chance to return.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Nuggets have 13 players with guaranteed contracts plus Quincy Miller ($150,000 guaranteed), Erick Green ($50,000 guaranteed) Jerrelle Benimon ($35,000 guaranteed) and Marcus Williams.

There’s a crowd fighting for those final roster spots, and it’s tough to see Alexander emerging ahead. He was dismal in the NBA, and although he was a D-League All-Star in 2011, he was ho-hum there last year.

This is Alexander’s second straight training-camp invite. He was cut by the Warriors last year.

Alexander is talented enough to hang around the league – probably not good enough to land on a regular-season roster, though.