Nuggets

Cavaliers name Koby Altman full-time general manager
CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have named Koby Altman their full-time general manager. Altman’s promotion had been expected for days and was made official on Monday. The 34-year-old has been serving as Cleveland’s interim GM this summer after David Griffin parted ways with the club following the NBA Finals. Altman has been with the club since 2012. He will be the fifth GM for owner Dan Gilbert since 2005. Gilbert said he’s been impressed with the job Altman has done over the past five weeks and said he “has the credentials, knowledge, experience and instincts to be an outstanding general manager. … I am confident that Koby is equipped and prepared to lead and succeed in this dynamic environment.” Altman is taking charge during an interesting juncture for the Cavs. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving recently asked to be traded and LeBron James is heading into his final season under contract. [...]
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Derrick Rose agrees to deal with Cavaliers, per AP source
CLEVELAND — For the moment, the Cavaliers have one content, proven point guard. Free agent Derrick Rose agreed Monday to sign with Cleveland, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Rose, a former NBA MVP who has battled knee injuries, will get a one-year contract at the veteran’s minimum of $2.1 million, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the agreement. The deal is expected to be finalized and announced Tuesday. Rose played for the New York Knicks last season and averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists. The 28-year-old’s role with the Cavs is still to be determined. He could be used as a backup or even start depending on what the team does with All-Star Kyrie Irving, who recently asked for a trade. Irving’s demands have complicated things for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who were beaten by Golden State in the Finals. They’ll certainly find interest in Irving, but it may be challenging to find comparable talent in return. That’s where Rose comes in. If healthy, Rose is a dynamic scorer capable of taking over a game, and paired with LeBron James, he could be even more dangerous. Not long after reports surfaced of Rose’s agreement, James posted a message on Twitter with five rose emojis followed by, “Let’s Rock G!!” Rose drew interest from other teams. He met with Cleveland’s front office on Monday, when the team promoted Koby Altman to be its full-time general manger after he served as the interim GM since mid-June. Rose just completed his eighth since being drafted first overall by Chicago in 2008. He was named the league’s MVP in 2011 while with the Bulls. Rose sat out the entire 2012-13 season following knee surgery. Because the Cavaliers are so far over the salary cap, they could only offer Rose a one-year deal. But the possibility of playing alongside James, who can become a free agent next summer, and to contend for a title will offset any financial concerns for Rose. [...]
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Dempsey's Deliveries: Jamal Murray Poised to Make the Jump, Defensive-Minded Point Guards, and Roster Discussions
This week’s Nuggets mailbag is here. A fresh new batch of questions have answers below and we thank you for them. [...]
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Chauncey Billups: Kyrie Irving trade request no surprise after “due diligence” on Cavaliers
Chauncey Billups did the unexpected this month when he pulled out of the running for a chance to oversee the Cavaliers’ basketball operations. That was an indication of turmoil in Cleveland, but it was nothing compared to the bombshell news last week that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded. To Billups, though, word of Irving’s unhappiness came as no shock. In a story published Tuesday by ESPN, the former NBA Finals MVP said he learned of the point guard’s discontent while doing his “due diligence” on the Cavs. “I knew as (the Cavs) were doing their due diligence on me I was doing the same thing on them,” Billups, who has been working as an ESPN basketball analyst, told the network’s Brian Windhorst. He met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert following the team’s decision to part ways with general manager David Griffin, and Billups was thought to be the clear front-runner for an executive position. Even Ice Cube, whose BIG3 league features Billups as a player, said in June that the 17-year NBA veteran “took that job.” At the time he backed out, Billups said in a statement that “the timing just isn’t right to delve into that role in Cleveland,” but in Tuesday’s report, he made it clear that he had taken into account the uncertain future of the team. “I knew so much about the situation that the rest of the world doesn’t know,” Bilups said. He added that Irving’s trade request “didn’t surprise” him, but he said it was “unfortunate.” Calling Irving “a special talent,” Billups noted, “So much of what he’s been able to accomplish on and off the floor has been as the beneficiary of having LeBron James.” Before the Irving news, NBA circles were abuzz with speculation, if not outright expectation, that James would opt out of his Cavs contract next summer and defect to another team, possibly the Lakers. Billups, of course, didn’t need to do any particular due diligence to learn of those rumors, but he said James’s possible departure was not a major factor in him passing up an opportunity to run the Cavs. Related ArticlesJuly 25, 2017 Derrick Rose signs 1-year contract with Cleveland Cavaliers July 24, 2017 Derrick Rose agrees to deal with Cavaliers, per AP source July 24, 2017 Cavaliers name Koby Altman full-time general manager July 24, 2017 Derrick Rose, former NBA MVP, to meet with Cleveland Cavaliers July 22, 2017 In choosing his own path, Kyrie Irving is willing to leave the best job in NBA behind “What bothered me more than if LeBron left or not was that I didn’t think they had great assets if you have to do a rebuild,” he said. It’s possible that Irving came to the same conclusion, and decided to beat James out the door, but Billups said he didn’t “get” the guard’s desire to leave. “Maybe he wants to be Russell Westbrook and go try to win the MVP and get all the shots,” Billups told ESPN. “That’s the only sense I can make of it, and to me that doesn’t make sense.” For his part, James used Twitter on Tuesday to decry a pair of reports about his supposed ire at Irving. He described as “#NotFacts” stories claiming that he was “eager” to see Irving gone and that, as Stephen A. Smith told it, he would like to “beat” his teammate’s “(expletive).” Meanwhile, Irving also was a focus on social media Tuesday, as some noted that he apparently unfollowed James on Instagram. Sure you don’t regret passing on the Cleveland job, Chauncey? [...]
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Derrick Rose signs 1-year contract with Cleveland Cavaliers
CLEVELAND — Derrick Rose has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who now have a possible replacement for Kyrie Irving. Related ArticlesJuly 24, 2017 Derrick Rose agrees to deal with Cavaliers, per AP source July 24, 2017 Cavaliers name Koby Altman full-time general manager July 24, 2017 Derrick Rose, former NBA MVP, to meet with Cleveland Cavaliers July 22, 2017 In choosing his own path, Kyrie Irving is willing to leave the best job in NBA behind July 22, 2017 Maya Moore leads West past East 130-121 in WNBA All-Star Game Rose is getting a one-year, $2.1 million contract from the Cavaliers. The free agent gives Cleveland a proven player to handle point-guard duties if it chooses to trade Irving. Irving recently told the team he wants to be traded despite making it to three straight NBA Finals. The 28-year-old Rose now has a chance to compete for a championship alongside LeBron James, a fellow former league MVP. A three-time All-Star and the 2011 MVP, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists last season while shooting 48 percent from the field with New York. Although he has been injury prone, Rose played in 64 games for the Knicks and in 181 over the past three seasons. Rose has averaged 19.5 points and 6 assists in eight seasons as a pro. [...]
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Derrick Rose, former NBA MVP, to meet with Cleveland Cavaliers
CLEVELAND — Derrick Rose is going one-on-one with the Cavaliers. The free agent guard and former league MVP is meeting Monday with the Cavs to discuss a contract, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Rose, who played for the New York Knicks last season, is in Cleveland to meet with the club’s front office, according to the people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. The defending Eastern Conference champions have had serious discussions with Rose and his representatives over the past week. The 28-year-old Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists in 64 games last season, his eighth since being drafted first overall by Chicago in 2008. He was named the league’s MVP in 2011 while with the Bulls. Rose’s career has been hampered by knee injuries. He sat out the entire 2012-13 season following knee surgery. The Cavaliers are way over the salary cap and can only offer Rose a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $2.1 million. But the possibility of playing alongside LeBron James and contend for a title could offset any financial concerns for Rose. Related Articles In choosing his own path, Kyrie Irving is willing to leave the best job in NBA behind Maya Moore leads West past East 130-121 in WNBA All-Star Game Kyrie Irving asks Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him Nuggets sign second-round pick Monte Morris to two-way contract How the NBA made summer league a real thing and stole July in the process However, he could be joining Cleveland at a turning point for the franchise. Last week, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving asked the team to trade him, a development that rocked the organization and sent shockwaves through the league. Rose was initially viewed as a possible backup to Irving, but he could now be a starter if the Cavaliers make a deal for one of the league’s best guards. It’s been a turbulent month for Cleveland since it lost to Golden State in the NBA Finals. General manager David Griffin left the team, owner Dan Gilbert couldn’t entice former NBA star Chauncey Billups to join his front office and now the Irving mess. [...]
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In choosing his own path, Kyrie Irving is willing to leave the best job in NBA behind
Every player in the NBA would do just about anything for the chance to play alongside LeBron James and experience the annual accompanying trips deep into the playoffs. Every player, that is, except for Kyrie Irving. News broke Friday — first reported by ESPN.com, and later confirmed by The Washington Post and others — that Irving has demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and, in doing so, is willing to step away from that most coveted role of playing next to LeBron. So what gives? First, it should be noted that this isn’t exactly a surprise to anyone within the NBA. There has been tension with the Cavaliers ever since James returned to Cleveland — a move that came less than two weeks after Irving committed to a five-year max contract extension on the opening night of free agency in 2014. When Irving signed that deal, both he and the Cavaliers envisioned his being the face of the franchise for years to come. Then James decided he wanted to go back to northeast Ohio, and the plans involving Irving were understandably thrown out the window. It’s worked out beautifully for all parties involved — Irving has thrived playing next to James in the form of winning a championship, becoming a shoe-selling star and being the face of the upcoming version of NBA 2K. But what’s clear now is that Irving’s desire to be the face of a franchise has never gone away, and, after three years biding his time, he doesn’t want to wait any longer. The problem is that the timing here is all wrong. There has been open speculation for weeks now that James is considering leaving Cleveland next summer, when both Irving and Love will be a year away from free agency. If James does decide to go to Los Angeles or elsewhere, no one would question either of the two remaining stars if they went to ownership and asked to be moved, as well. Such a move would actually make sense for both the players and the team, allowing the Cavaliers to begin a full rebuild by presumably recouping a decent trove of assets in exchange. Irving’s choice to do this now, though, raises all kinds of questions. Most notably, what does it say about someone that they don’t want to play alongside James? Sure, whenever someone plays on the same team as the best player on earth, and one of the greatest players in the history of the game, he will be at least slightly obscured. Yet doing so also represents a guaranteed path to the NBA Finals year after year, which Irving wasn’t exactly doing while winning 21, 24 and 33 games in his first three professional years before James arrived. And it’s not as if Irving has seen his stardom diminished by James’s arrival. If anything, it’s been enhanced. He hit one of the biggest shots in NBA history in 2016, with his three-pointer in the final minute of Game 7 of the Finals delivering the city of Cleveland its first championship in over 50 years, and giving Irving the kind of forever moment most players can only dream of having. Irving could arguably point to Cleveland’s messy summer as a reason for leaving. While owner Dan Gilbert is likely to promote the more than capable Koby Altman into the general manager’s job, Gilbert has left the team’s interim GM hanging for the past month after failing to extend predecessor David Griffin, and letting both Griffin and assistant GM Trent Redden walk after three straight Finals trips. Still, none of this changes the fact that the Cavaliers remain massive favorites to make it back to the Finals next June, barring an injury to James. In many ways, this decision by Irving feels analogous to the one Irving’s idol, Kobe Bryant, once made in asking to be traded away from playing alongside Shaquille O’Neal with the Lakers. This is the kind of situation players are constantly trying to angle their way into, not the other way around. But, regardless of motive, now that the news is out there, the focus will shift to how the Cavaliers will choose to respond. And the most logical outcome for Altman to pursue — again, assuming he is officially put into the top job — will be to do what the Lakers did both times Bryant asked to be traded: nothing. As things stand now, will the Cavaliers win a championship again next season? Probably not. But remember, there was a 20-minute window in Washington earlier this year when the Warriors felt Kevin Durant would be lost for the season. If he had been, who’s to say Cleveland couldn’t have won a second straight title? In fact, the Cavaliers may have been favorites to do so. That’s why Cleveland is firmly in control of this situation. If a deal presents itself that allows the Cavaliers to move Irving for the kind of two-way perimeter players necessary to best take on the Warriors, then they can do it. And, if not, Cleveland can simply run it back with a team virtually guaranteed to make it back to the NBA Finals aga [...]
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Malik Beasley to Hold Basketball Skills Camp in Denver
Few players know the sacrifices and rewards of hard work more than Nuggets shooting guard Malik Beasley. [...]
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Kyrie Irving asks Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him
CLEVELAND  — Kyrie Irving wants the stage for himself. Cleveland’s All-Star point guard has asked the Cavaliers to trade him, two people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Friday. Irving made the request last week to owner Dan Gilbert, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the star’s demands. Irving’s appeal was first reported by ESPN. A four-time All-Star, Irving has spent six seasons with the Cavs, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. The 25-year-old has overcome injury issues and blossomed into one of the league’s elite point guards and biggest stars. And now that he’s finally established himself playing alongside LeBron James, Irving wants out. He’s under contract for two more seasons with Cleveland (he has a player option in 2020), but the Cavs could be inclined to move Irving now and begin another rebuild around James, who can opt out of his contract next summer and leave Ohio for the second time. The bombshell about Irving adds to what has been a tumultuous offseason for the Cavs following their loss in five games to Golden State in the NBA Finals. General manager David Griffin parted ways with the club after failing to work out a new contract with Gilbert and while other teams have been active in signing free agents the Cavs have been limited in their ability to revamp their roster because of salary-cap issues. Also, the Cavs courted former NBA star Chauncey Billups but couldn’t get him to join their front office. Irving’s request to be dealt perhaps sheds some light on the Cavs’ recent pursuit of former league MVP Derrick Rose. The team has talked to Rose about a one-year contract in recent days, a source familiar with the negotiations told the AP on Thursday. Rose was thought to be a potential backup, but now it appears he could be needed to start if the Cavs and Irving are indeed breaking up. There is certain to be major interest in Irving, who averaged a career-high 25.2 points and 5.8 assists in 72 games last season. Irving averaged 25.9 points in his third straight Finals, but he and James couldn’t do enough to match the Warriors, who took back their crown after adding Kevin Durant last summer. A potential trade partner for the Cavs could be the New York Knicks, who have been trying to unload Carmelo Anthony, a close friend of James. Irving is from New Jersey and would welcome a chance to go back to his home area. However, the Knicks may not have enough assets to intrigue the Cavs and there is a sizeable imbalance in contracts, so the Cavs would have to include other players in any potential deal. All of it will fall on Koby Altman, who has been serving as the team’s interim GM and is being promoted to the position full-time. A person familiar with the decision said Altman’s deal is being finalized and he will be announced as the team’s new GM in the next few days. Altman, who has been with the club since 2012, will be the fifth GM to work for Gilbert since 2005. It’s strange that Irving would choose now to ask for a trade. After all, he has finally developed into a bona fide superstar following three tough seasons following James’ departure to Miami in 2010. Irving had no help during those years and the Cavs were in a state of disarray before James came back in 2014. In his second year alongside James, Irving made the biggest shot in franchise history, draining a 3-pointer in the closing moments of Game 7 to give the Cavs their first title — and the first for any Cleveland pro team since 1964. By all accounts, Irving and James got along but there were times when they didn’t quite see eye to eye. James was demanding of his younger teammates but he was always adamant that Irving would grow into a superior player. Following Cleveland’s Game 5 loss in the Finals, Irving credited James for leading the way. “He’s freaking awesome,” Irving said. “As a student of the game, it would be a disservice to myself if I didn’t try to learn as much as possible while I’m playing with this guy. Every single day demanding more out of himself, demanding more out of us, the true testament of a consummate professional. And understanding how things work, not only just in the game but off the court, things that matter, just taking care of your body, understanding the magnitude of what the goal is at hand and what steps it takes in order to achieve that goal.” Moments earlier, James had walked off the court at Oracle Arena where Irving was waiting They made their signature handshake and James told Irving, “We’ll be back.” Now, they may be headed in opposite directions. [...]
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Nuggets Sign Rookie Monte Morris to Two-Way Contract
The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie Monte Morris to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today [...]
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Nuggets sign second-round pick Monte Morris to two-way contract
The Nuggets signed rookie Monte Morris to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced on Friday. Morris, who was drafted 51st overall by the Nuggets in the 2017 NBA draft, averaged a team-leading 4.3 assists to go along with 9.5 points and 1.3 steals in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League. Morris built a reputation for his ability to protect the ball in four years at Iowa State. The former Cyclones guard had a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.65, the best in NCAA history. He was also named First-Team All-Big 12 as a senior, averaging 16.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. He was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection as a sophomore and junior. With the signing of Morris, the Nuggets have used both of their “two-way” player spots. Torrey Craig, another standout on Denver’s summer league team, inked the team’s first two-way deal July 19. Related Articles Doug Overton, former Nuggets guard accused of exposing self, enters plea Kiszla: Who’s the biggest winner in Denver from the Paul Millsap signing? Answer might surprise you. Torrey Craig agrees to two-way deal with Nuggets Kiszla: The Nuggets are young pups in need of an alpha dog. That’s why Paul Millsap is here. Humble road from Montbello to Louisiana has helped shape Paul Millsap. So has the family of the newest Nuggets star. The contract means Morris will spend time with the Nuggets and in the G-League. Two-way deals restrict players from spending more than 45 days with their NBA team. [...]
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Nuggets Sign Rookie Torrey Craig to Two-Way Contract
The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie Torrey Craig to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today [...]
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Manu Ginobili indicates he will return to Spurs for 16th season
SAN ANTONIO — As the clock ticked down on the Spurs’ season and Manu Ginobili was pulled from the game, a thunderous roar from the home crowd guided him to the bench. Ginobili wore an appreciative but quizzical look on his face as he put a warmup shirt back on and prepared to head off into the summer. Clearly, the fans were saying goodbye to one of the most popular players in Spurs history. Ginobili was not ready to do the same: The Argentinian posted a message on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he is re-signing with San Antonio for another season, which will be his 16th with the Spurs. “It felt like they wanted me to retire,” Ginobili said with a smile after the Spurs were swept out of the Western Conference finals by the Golden State Warriors. “Like they were giving me sort of a celebration night. And of course, I’m getting closer and closer.” Save those goodbyes for at least another year. Ginobili averaged 7.5 points and 18.7 minutes per game last season. In 15 seasons with the Spurs, he ranks in the top five in franchise history in points (13,467), games (992), assists (3,835) and steals (1,349). The 6-foot-6 guard will turn 40 on July 28 and has been a part of four of the Spurs’ five NBA championships. A member of the famed three-player core with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Ginobili may be the most beloved member of the group. His heart-on-his-sleeve approach stands out in a quiet Spurs culture and his flair for the dramatic has been an integral part of the Spurs’ success. His block of James Harden in overtime helped the Spurs clinch a win over the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals last season His overall numbers were down, but he remains incredibly important to the Spurs as they try to chase Golden State in the West. In Duncan’s first season of retirement, coach Gregg Popovich leaned more on Parker and Ginobili to be vocal leaders in the locker room. “Timmy’s not a big rah-rah guy,” Popovich said in March. “He didn’t wave a towel. He would talk in timeouts. He’d put his arm around people. Manu and Tony have been more vocal in that regard. They talk to the team more than I do. They talk to individuals. They’ve really taken on that mantle and it’s helped.” Related ArticlesJuly 20, 2017 How the NBA made summer league a real thing and stole July in the process July 19, 2017 Jamal Crawford signs 2-year deal with Timberwolves over Cavs, Warriors July 19, 2017 2017 NBA offseason winners and losers: The Celtics, the Knicks and everyone in between July 17, 2017 Lonzo Ball looks like ideal fit for Los Angeles Lakers July 17, 2017 Paul Pierce signs with Boston to retire as member of Celtics The Spurs won 61 games last season, but were overwhelmed by the Warriors in the conference finals after Kawhi Leonard suffered an ankle injury in Game 1. After missing out on Chris Paul, they re-signed guard Patty Mills, added veteran forward Rudy Gay and summer league standout Brandon Paul, and are expected to bring back Pau Gasol as well to make another run at Golden State. The understated offseason fits the Spurs more closely than two years ago when they signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a max deal. Given that Parker figures to miss a good chunk of the start of the season with a quadriceps injury suffered in the playoffs and Jonathon Simmons left for a three-year deal with Orlando, Ginobili’s return means even more. Ginobili averaged 13.8 points in just over 20 minutes per game of that series against the Warriors, hitting 58.8 percent of his shots. He said after the final game that “I do feel like I can still play,” and he got no argument from the eventual champions. “He kind of worked us pretty good these four games,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said after Game 4. “So, I think he’s got quite a bit left in the tank. Obviously, it’s up to him how much longer he wants to go. But one thing about it, he’s definitely not a liability on the floor.” [...]
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