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Nuggets free agency update

Posted By Daniel Lewis On Jul 11 2012 @ 10:58 am In Denver Nuggets,NBA | No Comments

Free agents have been free to sign with their respective teams since 12:00 am this morning, and a few notable players have reached agreements while the United States slept.

The top free agent, Deron Williams, tweeted a picture which showed him signing his contract on an iPad.

Blake Griffin signed a 5-year extension that could be worth up to $95 million.

The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the acquisition of Steve Nash for draft picks in 2013 and 2015.

J.R. Smith signed a contract with the New York Knicks, guaranteeing that he won’t be playing in Denver for at least two years.

While the only deals that will have any sort of impact are the Western Conference teams strengthening their roster, the Nuggets have been relatively quiet this offseason. As reported on prosportsblogging earlier in the offseason, Rudy Fernandez has signed a three-year offer with Real Madrid. That’s the only official move so far.

The Nuggets have reached a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with a reported annual salary of $3 million. The move likely means that Miller will be a Nugget for the remainder of his professional career, making Denver the team he will spend the majority of his career playing for.

As for the largest priority for Denver GM Masai Ujiri, resigning the young center JaVale McGee seems to be more certain each day.

In a sense, there are other dominoes that need to fall before McGee reaches an agreement. The free agent market for centers begins with Roy Hibbert; if Indiana matches the offer he received from Portland, then the Trailblazers will look elsewhere to fill their hole at the 5. If the Bulls match the offer Omer Asik received from the Houston Rockets, then the Rockets will look for another option at the 5 after trading Marcus Camby to the New York Knicks.

Both teams are rumored to be interested in Chris Kaman, while Portland has additionally expressed interest in McGee. Hibbert, Asik, and Kaman will likely help set the value of McGee’s contract. The best bet going forward is that McGee will be offered a contract similar to the offer extended to Anderson Varejao in 2009. Varejao signed a 6-year, $48 million contract to stay with the Cavaliers, a deal averaging $8,050,000 per year. While withholding judgment on the Varejao contract, the Nuggets would be justified offering a similar contract, albeit with less years, to McGee. Eight million for McGee would be a better deal than many teams are paying for their backup centers – cough, cough DeSagana Diop – and McGee should continue to improve under head coach George Karl.

The sound of silence emanating from the Denver front office has been matched by Oklahoma City, who have extended an offer to former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet. The offer is reported to be a two-year, minimum level offer. Thabeet likely will not see the floor outside of the fourth quarter, and doesn’t mean anything to Denver.

Portland, Minnesota and Utah have been busy as they attempt to dethrone Oklahoma City and Denver from the top.

  • The Jazz are set to receive Marvin Williams and Mo Williams via trade, while moving Devin Harris to Atlanta.
  • The Timberwolves are attempting to pry restricted free agent Nicolas Batum from the Trailblazers, while signing Brandon Roy to a three-year contract
  • The Trailblazers look to have lost out on their pursuit of Roy Hibbert, but with three draft picks looking to crack the lineup, may look to rebuild this year instead of reload. They have to decide whether to overpay for Batum to keep him away from their division rival.
In the meantime, enjoy Summer League games. The competition level isn’t up to NBA standards, but it is nice to see the young players put the effort in to improve.


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[1] July 11, 2012: https://twitter.com/sam_amick/status/222906938919366656

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