The Denver Nuggets reportedly have shot down rumors of a possible Blake Griffin sign-and-trade deal.
The Detroit Pistons’ moves in free agency led to some speculation that they were setting up for a sign-and-trade deal with the Nuggets involving Griffin. They agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal with Mason Plumlee, who spent the last four seasons with Denver. They also agreed to a 3-year, $60 million deal with Jerami Grant, another former Nuggets player.
A few reporters noted that the amounts the Pistons are signing both Nuggets players for would fit in with a sign-and-trade deal for Griffin, who is making $36.6 million next season.
The rumor of a sign-and-trade began to spread in the NBA Twitter community, but a Nuggets source told The Denver Post’s Mike Singer that such a move is “definitely not happening.”
What will the Pistons end up doing from here? It’s hard to figure at the moment. They have comically loaded up on big men and still owe Griffin a ton.
Perhaps they will find a way to move on from him this offseason.
The Portland Trail Blazers are having a bit of fun on social media at the expense of the Denver Nuggets.
To start some discussion, the Nuggets had asked fans on Twitter to name their favorite Denver players of all time. The tweet was accompanied by a graphic showing some of the franchise’s iconic players.
Notably missing? Carmelo Anthony, who at least statistically ranks as one of the franchise’s greats.
Anthony’s current team, the Portland Trail Blazers, promptly jumped in to have some fun at Denver’s expense.
Why not take the chance to stick up for your player? That’s especially true when the Blazers essentially revived his career.
Anthony averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this past season. Those are nice numbers for a 36-year-old who looked done before signing.
Dwight Howard’s antics after his Los Angeles Lakers won Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday may have helped motivate the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers won the game 105-103 on a 3-pointer by Anthony Davis at the buzzer. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Howard broke away from the Lakers’ on-court celebration to taunt the Nuggets after the game.
From Amick’s story:
“Go home!” he yelled over and over while laughing, jumping, pumping his fist and getting closer to the Nuggets’ side of the floor with every second. “Go home!”
Howard has only been playing 15.4 minutes per game this postseason and only played 13 minutes in Game 2. Seeing a part-time player like Howard taunt them may have rubbed the Nuggets the wrong way.
Denver came out motivated in Game 3 of the series on Tuesday night and won 114-106 to cut the Lakers’ series lead to 2-1.
Maybe next time Howard should look to the example Rajon Rondo set for how to react.
The Denver Nuggets were never favored to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals. They were essentially considered finished after falling behind 3-1. Instead of rolling over, the Nuggets came back from two double-digit deficits and forced a decisive Game 7.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone has heard the doubters, and he thinks the team has as well. That perception, he says, is fueling the players ahead of Game 7.
“I almost feel like we’re The Bad News Bears and I’m Coach Buttermaker,” Malone said Monday, via Sean Keeler of the Denver Post. “We’re a team that nobody really looks at and takes us seriously. And our guys, I think, have taken that personally.
“But we don’t believe (that label). We don’t believe that’s what we are. We feel that we’re just as good as anybody. We feel like we’re an NBA championship-caliber team.”
The Clippers, led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, were constructed to win a title. The Nuggets have stars in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, but never got anywhere close to the same hype. That’s despite the fact that Denver was only 3.5 games worse than the Clippers record-wise during the regular season.
Nuggets players are certainly aware of how they’re perceived. They’re clearly focused on upsetting the odds and the pundits on Tuesday night.
Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap made quite the admission about his Denver Nuggets team after their comeback win Friday night.
The Nuggets battled back from 16 points down to force a Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Afterward, Millsap admitted that he knew the team was perceived as “soft” and wanted to shed that label.
The Clippers have fed into that perception a bit, but Denver’s inability to cope with the physicality and defense in the series haven’t helped. Few expected them to come back in Game 5, and even now, the Clippers are expected to close them out.
It’s good to see a bit of fire from Denver. Their coach has contributed as well during the series.
The NBA is gearing up for a return next month, and the expectation is that we will have playoff basketball. As the Western Conference’s elite teams prepare for the return of the season, we take a look at the most critical question that will define each team’s chances at contending for a championship.
(You can find the biggest questions facing the Eastern Conference’s top teams here)
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly around the globe, the NBA officially has yet another confirmed case.
On Thursday, the Denver Nuggets announced that a member of their organization has tested positive for COVID-19. The person experienced symptoms on March 16 and is now in self-isolation and being cared for by team doctors.
The Nuggets are now the fourth NBA team to have had someone test positive for the coronavirus. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first in the league, and he recently said he has been feeling better by the day. Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, and Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood later became the first known case for a team other than Utah. Then on Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets announced that four players had tested positive, and Kevin Durant revealed publicly that he was among them.
The lack of available tests has been an issue with the coronavirus outbreak, but several NBA teams have been testing players using private resources. That could be why we are seeing so many positive tests in the NBA, as there are likely thousands of other cases across the world that simply have not been diagnosed.
Troy Daniels already appears to have a new home after securing his release from the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Daniels is finalizing a deal with the Denver Nuggets now that he has been released by the Lakers.
Daniels is a 39.7 percent shooter from three-point range, so he’ll help the Nuggets there. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t look like he’ll have a particularly big role. Denver has plenty of guards, and Daniels probably slots in toward the end of the bench as an emergency or blowout option, much like Jordan McRae did in his brief stint with the Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone was not impressed with his team’s performance Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Malone ripped into his team after the Nuggets’ 132-103 loss to the Clippers, saying his team was “awful” and even calling them “soft.”
“We were soft tonight from beginning to end,” Malone said, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN. “They didn’t feel us on either end. They got whatever they wanted. We couldn’t run offense because they took us out of our stuff, and we just allowed them to do it for 48 minutes. They’re a good team, but I’m just very disappointed in our competitive spirit and our effort.
“They sent a message. They came out and hit us in the mouth and we never responded, and that’s the most disappointing thing about it. We came into this game thinking it was just going to be a standard NBA game. They approached this game like something was on the line, and you could tell a difference from the jump ball all the way until the final buzzer.”
The Nuggets and Clippers have the same 40-19 record as they vie for the second spot in the Western Conference standings, but Malone clearly feels the two teams aren’t at the same level mentally. He might be able to take some heart from the fact that the Clippers have reportedly had some chemistry issues this season and it clearly didn’t impact them in this one. Perhaps Malone can use this as a wake-up call for his team.
The Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets have completed a massive trade that saw 12 players switch teams.
The highlight of the deal is Clint Capela going to Atlanta and Robert Covington going to Houston, but there are plenty of other players involved.
Here is the rundown on what each team is getting and giving up:
Get: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell
Give Up: Clint Capela, first-round pick, Nene, Gerald Green
Get: Clint Capela, Nene
Give Up: Evan Turner, First-round pick
Get: Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner, Hawks first-round pick via Nets
Give Up: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh
Get: Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, Keita Bates-Diop, Gerald Green, first-round pick from Houston
Give Up: Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Juancho Hernangomez
The Rockets got Covington and moved Capela. Covington allows them to play small, and Capela was a weak spot in the playoffs. The move drops Houston below the luxury tax, which is something they wanted to accomplish. Houston has two open roster spots now.
Atlanta is now getting a big man to help strengthen their roster and give Trae Young another weapon. They also dumped Turner’s salary.
Minnesota’s big loss is Covington, but they did add a draft pick. The pick comes with the following conditions:
For Denver, both Beasley and Hernangomez sought trades, so they have moved on from them and added a pick, Napier and a few others.
In terms of total players involved, this is the largest NBA deal since the Patrick Ewing to Seattle trade in 2000, per Bobby Marks.