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.
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
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.