Nuggets

Gary Harris Excited to Be Staying in Denver with a New Contract Extension
Thursday was Signing Day for Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris. But this was no college commitment. [...]
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Gary Harris signs 4-year, $84M contract extension with Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris has established himself as a key piece of the Nuggets’ young core. And now he’s got the contract to match his value. The Nuggets on Thursday officially announced that Harris has agreed to an extension with the organization — one that, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, will make him one of the NBA’s 10 highest-paid shooting guards in 2018-19. The reported four-year, $84 million deal that begins next season is a massive raise for Harris, who will make $2.55 million this season as part of his rookie contract signed after being drafted 19th overall out of Michigan State in 2014. Last season, Harris averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game and was Denver’s best perimeter defender. He was also part of the group of Nuggets representatives that recruited all-star Paul Millsap during free agency this past summer, and has been tasked this season with developing into one of the team’s biggest vocal leaders. When the extension kicks in next season, Harris will join the company of Houston’s James Harden, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Portland’s CJ McCollum, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, Golden State’s Klay Thompson and Dallas’ Wesley Matthews as the league’s highest-paid shooting guards. Related ArticlesOctober 11, 2017 Denver Nuggets get extended break before season opener October 11, 2017 6 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ preseason loss to Oklahoma City Thunder October 11, 2017 Lunch Special: Denver Nuggets live chat with Gina Mizell October 10, 2017 Will Barton brings more relaxed mind-set to Denver Nuggets October 10, 2017 Jamal Murray started at point guard for Denver Nuggets in preseason finale against Thunder The extension, which ESPN reported was agreed to Saturday night, comes less than three days after Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas told The Denver Post that a deal was “in the works” and that he hoped it could be finalized before the start of the season. Had Harris not signed an extension by Monday, he would have become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2018. “He’s been such a huge part of what we’re trying to do here, a representation of what we’re building here,” Karnisovas said of Harris before he signed the extension. “Him going through trade rumors and still staying with us and being consistent and being a good leader for our guys and (knowing) how to do it, he was the ultimate professional. “We’re trying to find ways to keep him here as long as we can.” The Nuggets got it done ahead of their 2017-18 opener Wednesday at Utah. And it will make Harris one of the richest shooting guards in the NBA. [...]
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Thunder Pull Away in Fourth for 96-86 Win Over Nuggets
By the fourth quarter, stark reality of the situation fully hit Nuggets coach Michael Malone. [...]
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Join the Nuggets for the Season Kickoff Block Party
In anticipation of the upcoming NBA season, the Denver Nuggets will host a season kickoff Block Party at Highland Gateway Park, Saturday [...]
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Lunch Special: Denver Nuggets live chat with Gina Mizell
The Denver Post’s Gina Mizell is answering your questions about the Denver Nuggets in a live Lunch Special chat, beginning at noon. Mobile users, if you don’t see the live chat, tap here. The chat window is open now, so feel free to submit your questions early. (function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, "script", "scrbbl-js"));I'm thrilled to be here! And that's a great question -- one that several people have asked me as I've started this new adventure. So far the biggest difference is the access. There is no overarching media policy in college sports, so the head coaches can basically dictate how much (or, in a lot of cases, little) access reporters have. I used to talk to (now former) Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen three times per week during the season -- at a formal press conference on Mondays, on Thusdays after practice and on Saturdays after the game. Mike Malone talked to reporters three times YESTERDAY (after shootaround, two hours before the game and after the game). There is rarely locker room access to players in college sports -- usually only during bowl games and the NCAA Tournament. And in college football, the rosters are obviously much, much larger -- so I think there will be more opportunities to build relationships with the Nuggets because it's simply a smaller group of people and we're all about to see each other almost every day for six months. The travel will also be a big personal adjustment for me, but I'm also really excited for all the road trips because I really enjoy traveling. The 82-game schedule is also a change from a 12-game CFB schedule, but I actually don't anticipate that being a massive adjustment because I was monitoring all the little the moving parts every day at practice.Hello Gina, glad you're covring the Nuggets. What's the biggest difference so far from covering college football?Defense has certainly been a focal point of training camp. The two broad philosophies that Malone wanted to implement were to simplify and to be more aggressive. Communication has also been a big buzzword during the preseason. I noted earlier how the big men are being asked to hedge more on the pick and roll, which gives the guards some help. You also see some more guys being active and getting more steals. But during the preseason, the Nuggets have still allowed too many points in the paint. Or when that was better against San Antonio, the Spurs absolutely lit it up from 3-point range. Paul Millsap's presence should certainly help, but teammates and coaches have insisted that the responsibility to improve the defense can't all fall on him. I think it will still be a work-in-progress in the early season -- and the players will need to consistently buy in for an 82-game schedule, which isn't always easy.Seems to me the biggest question for the Nuggets (and always has been), can the Nugs defense improve. That seems to be their biggest liability every year. Will we be better this year and why?Great question, especially since we saw some different lineups last night. When the Nuggets go small, that typically means Juancho Hernangomez will play the 4 or Will Barton will play the 3. Mason Plumlee can shift to the 4 when they want to go big. I noted this in my 6 takeaways from last night (which you can read right now!), but the two interesting combos we saw against the Thunder were Nelson-Barton-Chandler-Hernangomez-Plumlee in the first half and Nelson-Murray-Barton-Hernangomez-Plumlee in the second half. The latter lineup was the one that spearheaded the Nuggets' brief comeback and was particularly sparked by Barton's hot shooting (he scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half).Hi Gina, I haven't really been watching preseason. Can you tell me what the Nuggets best lineup combos are when they "go big" and when they "go small"?Haha, it's not the Brooklyn Nets because the Brooklyn Nets are...not good? But in all seriousness, I'm going to be incredibly boring and say the biggest challengers in the East are the Celtics and the biggest challengers in the West are the Rockets, Spurs and Thunder. But I'd obviously say the Celtics have a better chance of beating the Cavs than the field beating the Warriors.What team has the best chance to prevent another Cavs-Warriors finals, and explain why it's not the Brooklyn Nets.It will be interesting to see how he handles the outside expectations -- and the opponents' game plans that are centered around stopping him. But he's obviously a budding All-Star with an incredibly unique skillset. He must improve defensively, particularly with his footwork with how the Nuggets now plan to aggressively play the pick and roll. I think Paul Millsap's presence will be a big asset for him this season, both on the court and off the court. Malone has also talke [...]
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6 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ preseason loss to Oklahoma City Thunder
Plagued by an uncharacteristically cold offensive performance, the Denver Nuggets dropped their preseason finale 96-86 to Oklahoma City Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center. Here are six takeaways from the game: 1. Shooting woes. The Nuggets shot 34 percent from the floor and 11 of 33 from 3-point range, with four of those long-distance shots coming from Will Barton. The Nuggets had their lowest scoring output of the preseason, by far. The previous low was 100 points in Sunday’s loss in San Antonio. Coach Michael Malone stressed that the Nuggets got good looks, counting 15 missed layups. Malone also attributed the short jumpers to fatigue, prompting him to give the team Wednesday off. 2. PF questions: There still isn’t much clarity on the backup power forward spot after Malone toyed with some smaller lineups against a Thunder group that starts Carmelo Anthony at the 4. In the first half, Jameer Nelson, Barton, Wilson Chandler, Juancho Hernangomez and Mason Plumlee got minutes together. In the second half, a lineup of Nelson, Jamal Murray, Barton, Hernangomez and Plumlee spearheaded the Nuggets’ comeback. Trey Lyles did not play, while Kenneth Faried got six late minutes that Malone characterized as “pretty good.” “I’ve been around a lot of vets that if you ask him to go in with six minutes to go, really wouldn’t want to,” Malone said. “Kenneth, he was all over it, took advantage of the opportunity.” 3. Defensive lapses. Malone called the Thunder’s combination of Anthony, reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and newly acquired all-star Paul George a “three-headed monster.” But the only Thunder star on the floor during the decisive fourth quarter was George, who drilled four 3-pointers to stretch a 1-point game into a double-digit Oklahoma City advantage. Malone, naturally, was not pleased with his team’s lack of defensive awareness. “He’s the one guy on the court that you have to know where he is,” Malone said, “and we lost him way too many times.” 4. Getting physical. This game got chippy early when Westbrook was called for a flagrant 1 foul after putting a forearm into the chest of Nikola Jokic, who tumbled to the floor. Malone said he believes emotions may have carried over from last April’s dramatic Nuggets-Thunder matchup, in which Westbrook hit a deep game-winning 3-pointer to set a record for triple doubles in a season and knock the Nuggets out of the playoffs. “That was sending a message,” Malone said. “What I’m proud of with Nikola is he took it, and it didn’t affect him.” Jokic had a slightly different view of the play. Related ArticlesOctober 11, 2017 Lunch Special: Denver Nuggets live chat with Gina Mizell October 10, 2017 Will Barton brings more relaxed mind-set to Denver Nuggets October 10, 2017 Jamal Murray started at point guard for Denver Nuggets in preseason finale against Thunder October 10, 2017 Lafayette “Fat” Lever “in shock” to have Denver Nuggets jersey retired October 9, 2017 Jameer Nelson re-inserts himself into Denver Nuggets point guard competition “I flopped in the end,” he said. 5. Bad numbers. Two numbers that stuck out to Malone: Denver was outrebounded 56-46 and turned the ball over 17 times. 6. Bench time. Malone said prior to the game that he might close the fourth quarter with the Nuggets’ starters on the floor, given the way Denver faded late against the Spurs and Lakers in its previous two preseason games. Instead, he opted to stay with reserves, even giving Malik Beasley, Tyler Lydon and Emmanuel Mudiay (who was on his “rest” day in the point-guard battle) late minutes. Malone said he did not want to risk injury  to his prominent players. “I just had visions of putting Paul (Millsap), Nikola, Gary (Harris), whoever else back in the game and something happening in a meaningless fourth quarter in the preseason,” Malone said. [...]
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Fat Lever Surprised by Jersey Retirement Announcement at Nuggets Shootaround
For all Fat Lever knew, he was summoned to Denver to check out the new Nuggets before the start of a special season, the 50th Anniversary [...]
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Lafayette “Fat” Lever “in shock” to have Denver Nuggets jersey retired
Lafayette “Fat” Lever thought he had been invited back to Denver to attend the Nuggets’ preseason finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder and interact with the team. Then when team president Josh Kroenke brought Lever onto the floor after shootaround, he thought he was being “punked.” Kroenke unveiled a Lever No. 12 jersey and asked how Lever would feel about that hanging from the Pepsi Center rafters. The Nuggets will officially retire Lever’s jersey this season, an honor that left the former All-Star and triple-double specialist stunned and appreciative. “It came out of the blue,” Lever said shortly after the announcement. “The ones who need to keep a secret, they got involved, because I had no idea. As I stand here, I’m still in shock.” The ceremony will take place during the Nuggets’ Dec. 2 contest against the Lakers and is part of the organization’s season-long 50th anniversary celebration. Lever will become the sixth Nugget to have his jersey retired, joining Byron Beck’s No. 40, Alex English’s No. 2, Dan Issel’s No. 44, Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 and David Thompson’s No. 33. Legendary coach Doug Moe and his 432 career victories are also hanging from the rafters. “With what Fat Lever has meant to this team, this city and our community for the past 30-plus years, it makes perfect sense to honor him by retiring his jersey during this special season,” Kroenke said in a release. “He is not only one of the best Nuggets in franchise history, but a great ambassador of Denver basketball as well. It is going to be an honor to have his jersey hanging in our arena.” Lever averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game during his Nuggets career from 1984-90. A two-time All-Star, Lever ranks first all-time in franchise history in steals (1,167), second in assists (3,566), seventh in points (8,081) and eighth in rebounds (3,621). He totaled 46 triple-doubles with the Nuggets, leading the NBA in that category with 16 in 1986-87. While spearheading Moe’s fast-paced system, Lever advanced to the playoffs all six of his seasons in Denver and reached the Western Conference Finals in 1985. Related ArticlesOctober 9, 2017 Jameer Nelson re-inserts himself into Denver Nuggets point guard competition October 9, 2017 Denver Nuggets notes: Michael Malone expands on fourth-quarter woes against Spurs October 8, 2017 Gary Harris, Nuggets agree to $84 million, 4-year extension, per AP sources October 8, 2017 7 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ 122-100 preseason loss at San Antonio Spurs October 6, 2017 Trey Lyles or Kenneth Faried? Denver Nuggets still sorting out backup power forward spot “Fat Lever, for his size, had a huge heart and impacted the game in so many ways — scoring, rebounding, steals, defense,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “And he was here when they were good. He wasn’t putting those numbers up on bad teams.” As Lever spotted the Nuggets’ iconic “Lunch-Bucket Brigade” poster in general manager Arturas Kanisovas’ office, memories flooded back from his time in Denver. He most cherishes the camaraderie from those years, adding he still keeps in touch with several of his former teammates. After his playing career, Lever was the Director of Player Development and a broadcaster with the Sacramento Kings from 2007-14, including one season working under Malone during his head-coaching stint with that organization. Lever resides in Phoenix, where he is a consultant in the energy field and works with the Jr. NBA program. But Lever assures “Dec. 2 is an open date for me.” That night, he’ll watch his jersey rise into the Pepsi Center rafters. [...]
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Tilman Fertitta introduced as new owner of Houston Rockets
HOUSTON — Tilman Fertitta has been a fan of the Rockets since before they moved to Houston, and after a failed attempt to buy the team long ago he was prepared to do whatever it took not to miss another chance. To make his dream come true, the businessman had to shell out an NBA-record $2.2 billion. And on Tuesday when he was introduced as the team’s new owner, he admitted that it was worth every dime. The owner of the Landry’s restaurant chain and Golden Nugget casino and hotels, he also has built several landmarks in the area including the Downtown Aquarium, the Kemah Boardwalk and the Pleasure Pier in Galveston. The Rockets are tops to Fertitta. “I don’t want to take away anything from the great things that I’ve been able to build for the Houston area … but honestly nothing compares,” he said. “Nothing compares whatsoever. This is the ultimate … you’re in a club of 30. Anybody can go build a boardwalk, anybody can go build an aquarium, anybody can build tall buildings, but not everybody gets to own an NBA franchise.” Fertitta and a partner were in the running to buy the team when Leslie Alexander bought it in 1993. He’s remained friends with Alexander since then, even hosting him for Thanksgiving on one occasion. Their close relationship didn’t mean much when it was time to negotiate. “When it came time to sell the team I didn’t get any favors,” Fertitta said. “It went back to business again.” Alexander, who announced the team was for sale in July, took over as owner on July 30, 1993, and the Rockets went on to win back-to-back titles in 1994-95 behind the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. In 24 seasons under Alexander, the Rockets have won 56.9 percent of their games, fifth-best in the league. Rockets chief executive officer Tad Brown said that they had about a dozen legitimate contenders to buy the team and that half of those could have closed the deal, but in the end it really wasn’t a contest. “This is his team and this is his town and he wanted it more,” Brown said. Fertitta was born in Galveston, Texas, and has lived in Houston his entire adult life. The 60-year-old is the chairman of the board of regents of the University of Houston System and star of the reality show “Billion Dollar Buyer” on CNBC. He is already looking ahead to doing more. He said he would be open to talks about the potential of bringing an NHL team to Houston share the Toyota Center with the Rockets. “We’ll do whatever we can do, but whatever we do has to make sense,” he said. “Will we be aggressive. That’s my nature.” He was asked what kind of owner he would be — extremely hands on and front-and-center like Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban or more of a behind-the-scenes presence like Alexander was. “I didn’t think the player’s cafeteria was very nice and we’re going to fix it,” he said. “So that’s the style of owner I’m going to be.” Then he added: “I’m into details, I’m not into micromanaging.” Fertitta spoke in front of a backdrop featuring the Rockets logo and that of his Landry’s restaurant chain, suggesting the Toyota Center’s concessions might get a change, too. “I don’t think they’ll let me put a casino in here,” he said before cracking up. “(But) will you start seeing some of our brands and some of our food here? Yes … we want to cross promotion anything we can to offset that 2 billion.” Fertitta said he is thrilled to own a team with superstars James Harden and Chris Paul, and can’t wait until the Rockets open the season at Golden State on Tuesday in California. But he knows the real joy will be when they play their first home game on Oct. 21 against the Mavericks. “On opening night when I get to walk on that floor and look at it totally different, even though I’ve walked on that floor hundreds of times,” he said. “This is my building and my team and it’s kind of fun.” [...]
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Nuggets Fade in the Fourth, Drop First Preseason Game at San Antonio
The Nuggets lost to San Antonio, 122-100 on Sunday afternoon, their first exhibition loss this season. [...]
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Gary Harris, Nuggets agree to $84 million, 4-year extension, per AP sources
DENVER — Gary Harris has raised his game since his rookie season. The next step is raising his voice. The Denver Nuggets want the shooting guard to be more of a vocal leader on the court and in the locker room, especially now that he’s going to be around for a while. Two people with knowledge of the deal tell The Associated Press that Harris has agreed to an $84 million, four-year contract extension with Denver that will begin for the 2018-19 season. The people spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed the deal. ESPN first reported the agreement. The deal guarantees $74 million with an additional $10 million available through bonuses. “His biggest area of growth is not being afraid to be a leader,” coach Michael Malone recently said at media day. “He has a tremendous amount of respect within our locker room among his peers. He has to be more vocal and demanding of himself and his teammates.” The 23-year-old Harris is coming off a season in which he averaged 14.9 points and 2.9 assists for a Nuggets team that narrowly missed the playoffs. He’s an integral part of the Nuggets’ plans moving forward, along with center Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray. Harris found himself in another role over the summer: salesman. He certainly made quite a pitch, too, as he helped land the services of All-Star free agent Paul Millsap, who signed a three-year, $90 million deal. “Gary is emblematic of everything we want to be — a guy that came here, has gotten better each year and has bought in to what (Malone) and his staff are preaching,” Tim Connelly, the president of basketball operations, recently said. “He’s looking forward to being here a long time. If we can have more guys like Gary Harris, we’re going to have a heck of a time and win a lot of games in the coming years.” Harris was taken with the 19th overall pick in 2014 out of Michigan State. He had a lackluster rookie season, but has steadily improved ever since. He hit 42 percent of his 3-pointers last season. On defense, he’s frequently asked to cover the opposing team’s top perimeter threat. Stepping up in that area remains a focus. Same with finding his voice. “It’s good for me to step up the leadership role — me and Nikola, the young leaders of this squad,” Harris said. “It’s time for us to voice our leadership. “But it’s easy with the team we have. We’re a competitive group of guys. Our goal is to win. So if someone is doing something that’s affecting that goal, it’s up to us to say something. … I would expect them to say something to me, if I’m slacking or my head isn’t into it. It’s about holding each other accountable.” Malone recently set up a committee that he could turn to when issues surface on or away from the court. It includes Millsap, Jameer Nelson, Jokic and Harris. Harris has become a model player for the Nuggets — a uniform model, that is. He recently showed off the new jersey featuring a darker shade of blue. Related ArticlesOctober 8, 2017 7 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ 122-100 preseason loss at San Antonio Spurs October 6, 2017 Trey Lyles or Kenneth Faried? Denver Nuggets still sorting out backup power forward spot October 6, 2017 Denver Nuggets notes: Point guard competition ongoing October 5, 2017 Nuggets GM on Gary Harris contract extension, Kenneth Faried’s comments about starting and more October 5, 2017 Watch: Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas answers questions about the upcoming season New look, higher expectations in the competitive Western Conference. “The type of competition we have every day, we can’t help but get better,” Harris said. “It’s going to be a tough Western Conference, but we’re going to be ready for it.” ___ AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report. [...]
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Nuggets 2017-18 Player Preview: Wilson Chandler
Last Season: Wilson Chandler had arguably the best individual season of his career, averaging career highs in points (15 [...]
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Nuggets to Face San Antonio in Latest Preseason Test
Jamal Murray is encouraged by what he sees. [...]
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