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Tag:Masai Ujiri
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Heat Stroke: Chris Bosh's advice to Masai Ujiri

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh offers his advice to Denver Nuggets GM and former Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri regarding Carmelo Anthony.heat-stroke Posted by Ben Golliver.

Well, this is just a depressing topic. The Denver Post asked Miami Heat All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who left the Toronto Raptors last summer during free agency, what his advice would be for former Raptors executive Masai Ujiri, who is now the GM of the Denver Nuggets and in the midst of shipping out All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony via trade.
“That’s a good question,” Bosh said. “That’s why I’m glad I’m not a GM.”
“Just communicate,” Bosh said. “It’s a business. Whether a move is made or not, just communicate. I think that’s important. And just keep the respect and at the end of the day nobody can say the other wasn’t professional if they part. Period.”

“As soon as [Masai] was coming [To Denver], I said ‘Ooh. He’s got his hands full with all the rumors,’” Bosh said. “The rumors had started already before all that. It was just like ‘Aw man he’s going to have to deal with that and do a good job. But you know, Masai, he works hard and he’s a great guy. I think he’ll be fine.”
This is akin to asking a man that chose to leave his wife to offer advice to his ex-wife on her pending divorce with her second husband. Brutal. Clearly, there wasn't a lot of room for Bosh to work with here, but he did a solid job of being cordial, empathetic, complimentary and professional all at once.

Judging from Masai's fierce BlackBerry skills that were shown on national television on Thursday, it looks like he's following the "just communicate" advice with no problem.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:01 pm
 

The state of the Nuggets fanbase re: Melo

Roundball Mining Company is an excellent Nuggets blog. This morning they posted an examination of whether to be angry or upset with Carmelo Anthony about all that's gone down in the past six months. It's well worth a read:

The Denver Nuggets are not what you would call a traditional powerhouse.  For most of nearly a decade and a half Denver was a doormat.  It is true there were some inspiring players and some exciting, even historic, moments.  The Nuggets also tortured fans with the Paul Westhead experiment Dick Motta and the dreadful backcourt of Junior Harrington and Vincent Yarbrough.  For the most part Denver suffered from poor management, lacked talent, some of their best players suffered debilitating injuries, see LaPhonso Ellis and Antonio McDyess, and the franchise was largely irrelevant.


That all changed when Carmelo Anthony arrived.  Since Melo was drafted by the Nuggets in June of 2003 Denver has yet to have a losing season or miss the playoffs.  After being one of the best teams in the ABA, once the Nuggets joined the NBA in 1976 they had never even had more than three consecutive winning seasons.  Alex English never lead the Nuggets to seven straight winning seasons.  No Nugget player has.  Carmelo was the catalyst of the longest stretch of prosperity this franchise has ever experienced.
via Roundball Mining Company » Should I be Mad at Carmelo Anthony?.


So that's an element here to be considered. Carmelo Anthony really did give the Nuggets the most success they've had in the history of their franchise. Which of course says a lot about the history of their franchise that habitual first-round exits with one great playoff run in a weak conference year is the best you've ever had, but still. Carmelo Anthony brought the most success to the Nuggets they've ever had. And now he's vapor trails. 
That's a complicated situation for fans. On the one hand, he's given that franchise more than they've ever had before. He's given them seven good years of consistent playoff-caliber seasons. He's put them on the NBA map, made them into a contender, if you take that word to its loosest interpretation. It's easy to argue he's given the fans more than they've ever had before, and so he doesn't owe them anything. 

On the other hand, how this shapes out is more similar to "The Decision" than some people would like to admit. By dragging this out, by having it hang over the team, even though those are decisions above him, he's hurting the fanbase and making them suffer through his departure. People have argued that the reason James is hated is because of how he left, not that he did leave. But in the end, results matter. The fans want Melo to stay, and he's not going to. And had he slipped off in the night under cover of free agency, the backlash would likely be palpable as well. At least Melo's been smart enough not to exacerbate it with public comments (which would get him fined). 

At the heart of this, again, though, is the question of whether players have a right to determine their own futures in terms of where they want to work. That same right is afforded you and I. However, the difference here is that Melo signed a contract and then an extension with the Nuggets to play in Denver. He wants an adjustment of that contract before its completion. Perhaps that's the issue. 

In a related note, check out Chris Webber's passionate but extremely insightful and lucid discussion of the Melo situation (starting at 1:18):





(HT: TheDailySegWay on Twitter)
Posted on: January 12, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 6:09 pm
 

The complicated cost of New York's Melo agenda

Donnie Walsh has many reasons for his icy stance towards chasing Carmelo Anthony.
Posted by Matt Moore





Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Knicks are hanging back, withdrawn from the Carmelo Anthony trade talks with the Nuggets.  There are multiple reasons Berger cites for Donnie Walsh not clamoring at Denver's doorstep like an overeager teenager asking for a prom date as the Nets have. Thing is, these are the reasons that leave you feeling like maybe Melo is just not worth all the hassle, even for all his high-scoring talents. 

First, the Knicks haven't found it easy sledding since the beginning. To put it simply, Masai Ujiri just doesn't think the Knicks have anything worth trading for. New York is short on even the most basic asset, draft picks. Danilo Gallinari has never lit their fire as a building block the way, say, Nicolas Batum seems to. The Knicks have entertained talks to try and snag a draft pick, but at some point, you're just fighting a losing battle and trying to convince people who don't want to deal to deal.  Attempting to gain leverage in such a situation is a losing endeavor, which is why we advised the Nets to walk away months ago. GM's consider their time valuable as all good business men do, and dealing with Ujiri and his constantly moving target and whimsical switching attitudes has probably grown long on Walsh's patience. 

There's also the issue of what you'd have to surrender to get a deal done. As a source told Berger: “People think you can only win with another star,” said the person plugged into the Knicks’ internal strategy. “That’s wrong. You win with a team. … They’re not going to blow up their team for Carmelo.” 

The Knicks are 18-12 since December 1st, and with a big road win over Portland Tuesday night improved to a game over .500 in January. This alongside several tough losses to contending teams including the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat. The Knicks are no doubt legit, and with every game, the question becomes more and more not if they'll make the playoffs, but if homecourt in the first round is a reachable goal, especially considering the Bulls' injuries this season.  Disrupting chemistry to bring in Anthony means taking a fairly thin bench and hurting it, even if they were to take one of the Nuggets' longer contracts along with Melo somehow (nearly impossible given the contracts on New York's roster outside of Stoudemire and Felton, unmovable building blocks).  There's the question of how Anthony would fit into D'Antoni's system which so often shies away from ISO sets beyond Stoudemire at the elbow. Ball movement and sharing the ball are not exactly Anthony's strengths. 

Finally, there's the simple issue of knowing that if Anthony should want to play for New York, as any self-respecting organization should feel its players should, he has that option. Melo can simply refuse extension offers to other trade partners, opt out, and join New York in free agency when they will be more than willing to spend on him. Versus the Nets, who seem hellbent on convincing Anthony that they are worthy, the Knicks know they are a team on the rise in the basketball mecca who play in the world's most famous arena in the grandest city on Earth.  Having to sell guys on their team is not exactly a problem anymore now that they're winning. As it stands, Walsh has no reason to surrender unnecessary leverage in a losing fight when the option exists to get him within fairly even terms. 

Besides, if reports from Yahoo! Sports are correct, Amar'e is doing a fine job of selling Melo on the organization by himself. The question of course is if that constitutes tampering, and if David Stern actually step in, something he hasn't done in previous instances. Another element which may make pursuing Melo all the less appealing. Then again, if they were to trade a draft pick, how is New York going to be punished? By losing more draft picks they don't care about? Still, Amar'e would seem to be the furthest point of the Knicks' pursuit at this point. 

This is all before you start flirting with the idea of William Wesley being deep inside your organization, along with the rest of the CAA viper's nest.  Those situations can get out of hand quickly, and for a team that seems to be bonding, introducing that element can also be considered dangerous. And so the Knicks hang back, knowing they have leverage, and that it is explicitly their lack of palpable assets with Denver's interest that makes them able to stand off. "You don't want us? We don't want you. Have a nice day." 

Sometimes the best moves you can make are the ones you don't. 
Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:59 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 11:01 pm
 

Report: Batum-Favors is the Nuggets' endgame

Report: Nuggets angling for Nicolas Batum in the event Melo is traded as part of rebuilding effort.
Posted by Matt Moore

According to a report we mentioned earlier, the Denver Nuggets' angle in all this Carmelo-Anthony-trade in-and-out talk is to create a combination of Nicolas Batum and Derrick Favors. Following up on something Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last week, ESPN reports that Batum is a top target for Masai Ujiri and the Nuggets. Several teams have inquired of Batum's availability, but the Nuggets would have a good chance at him, provided they can get this never-ending deal with New Jersey done. 

Basically, it goes down like this. Denver trades Melo in the whole complicated three-way to New Jersey for Favors, Devin Harris, and picks. Since Denver already has Ty Lawson, whom they love with all their little hearts, they then trade Harris to the Blazers who have been trying to find a young guard upgrade over Andre Miller for the past century. They send Harris and a pick in order to get Batum. Then the Nuggets have their pick, a Nets future pick, Nicolas Batum, and Derrick Favors along with Ty Lawson and a bunch of older, often-injured bigs, but that too is solvable (starting with Kenyon Martin's huge expiring contract). 

With Batum the Nuggets would get a young, talented versatility player who can shoot from the outside, has a lot of athleticism, and most importantly, is a natural defender. Those are exceptionally rare in this league. Alongside Lawson with Favors low, the Nuggets would have a young core to build around. 

The question is whether Denver will actually ever pull the trigger on the first deal with New Jersey to facilitate a trade with Portland. So far, Denver's shown nothing but a penchant for watching the pitches pass them by.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 4:00 am
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Posted on: January 11, 2011 3:45 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 3:59 am
 

Melo Update No. 7,459

The Nuggets are threatening the Nets with trading Melo to the Knicks and the Rockets want in on the Melo talks. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Guess who's back, back again. Carmelo Anthony rumors are back, tell a friend. Who probably already has stopped caring. Oh, I busted the rhyme. Oh, well. Life goes on. Here's the latest word on the Carmelo Anthony rumors as we enter day 7,000 of MeloDrama Watch. 
  • Sports Illustrated and the Houston Chronicle report that the Rockets have very quietly slipped in the back door while the Nets remain flabbergasted with Denver's seemingly moving target of required assets. Both reports state that the Rockets are "not close" to a deal, but hoping that thing stagnate with the Nets, opening the door for the Rockets to make a move before the deadline. 
  • Yahoo! Sports on the other hand is reporting that the Nuggets have "threatened" the Nets with trading Melo to the Knicks, deliberately to spite the Nets if talks of the deal being worked on don't go quiet to the public.

Let's begin with the threat, since it may be the most ridiculous development mentioned in this entire ordeal, and bear in mind that means it's more ridiculous than Johan Petro being the linchpin in a three-team deal involving as many as 15 players at once. 

In this scenario, the Nuggets are threatening a team with taking less assets in order to trade their star player to an already-playoff team in the hopes of angering their current trade partner who they have already jerked around for several months.  It's either an empty threat or an immature, pointless move. If it's the former, it's a transparent one as well. If it's the latter, it's yet another indication that Masai Ujiri may be in over his head. Ujiri has garnered acclaim for constantly working to squeeze the most out of this situation. But if he's really threatening other teams with trading with their rival, that's a pretty drama-queen move. 

Worse still, it moves the Nuggets no closer to resolution, and that's something they need to go ahead and do. The rumors have gotten so loud they've hit distraction level. They were just your usual stressor for the team for a while, but now they're a legitimate distraction and it's time to get it done. 

As for the Rockets, their name always pops up whenever trade rumors are discussed. Yet for all the assets the Rockets have, they've been unable to make a major move, outside of acquiring Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams.  They have two first round picks in 2012, but can't get in on any of the relevant discussions at an advanced stage. Furthermore, had Melo been interested in playing in Houston, that information would have been made available well before now. So while it's probably true that the Rockets have voiced their interest, their odds have to be considered abysmal at completing a deal. 
(For a blow-by-blow of the latest talks between the Nets and Nuggets, read Ken Berger's latest here.)
Posted on: December 13, 2010 8:06 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Shootaround 12.13.10: Nuggets GM talks Carmelo

The Denver Nuggets spin with the Carmelo Anthony situation, Avery Johnson says Kobe Bryant could be better than Michael Jordan, the Miami Heat could let an asset go to waste, the Sacramento Kings owners whoop it up while the Los Angeles Clippers owner trash talks his own players and two Western Conference big men are on the mend. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri tells the New York media that he feels the situation with Carmelo Anthony is "promising." Writes the New York Post: "Ujiri told a throng of reporters that Anthony's sentiment is different than when he came aboard. 'I think it's encouraging that he says that (he's open to re-signing)," Ujiri said. "From when I got on board until now, that's encouraging. We have had a lot communication. "I'm sure everybody thought he'd be gone at training camp," Ujiri added. "It's promising that he's still here."
  • Yahoo! reports that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been taunting his players from his courtside seats during games, including point guard Baron Davis. What a mess. Here's Davis' quote on the matter: “There’s nothing I can say. I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles."
  • Roundball Mining Company takes a minute to reflect on Denver Nuggets coach George Karl's 1000th victory. The site highlights a turning point. "As time passed, Karl seemed to find a healthy balance between caring enough on the court and not caring too much.  His passion appeared to return, largely thanks to the trade of Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups."
  • New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson on Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as quoted by the New York Post. "[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he'll be 2," the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. "He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they'll be flipped. Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they're looking like the same player."
  • The Sun-Sentinel reports that there is a good chance the Miami Heat will allow their Disabled Player Exception, acquired from power forward Udonis Haslem's long-term injury, to go unused.
  • Here is a hilarious behind-the-scenes visit from FoxSports.com with the Kings owners during the Miami Heat's recent trip to Sacramento. The Maloofs run the gamut of emotions throughout the course of the game, eventually concluding that LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.
  • Speaking of Western Conference big men returning from injury, the Deseret News reports that Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur could be "within a week or two."
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:38 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Report: Bearup pushed out of basketball ops

Posted by Royce Young

The shake-up in Denver continues. First it was Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman. Then the ownership changed hands from father to son. Then Masai Ujiri was hired as the new general manager. And now, the guy seen as the Nuggets' GM behind the GM, Bret Bearup has been removed from his role in basketball operations, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirmed this report via a league source.

Spears also tweeted that Bearup will remain with the team as a non-basketball consultant to Stan Kroenke.

In general, it's kind of odd. But the Nuggets are sort of cleaning house from the inside out by flipping over their entire front office. Bearup was somewhat of a power broker in the front office and my best guess is that with the new leadership, there was a bit of a power struggle as to who really was in charge of making decisions.

The Nuggets recently added cap expert and deal-maker Pete D'Alessandro to the revamped front office staff as well. Ken Berger wrote a few weeks ago that the Nugget front office was the party guilty of hanging up any potential Carmelo Anthony trades. So if you'll allow me to speculate here, possibly Ujiri and company saw it necessary to push Bearup out to get a deal done.

Berger said it was Stan Kroenke - who had given the reins to son Josh - who was primarly stopping a potential Carmelo deal from getting done in September. Bearup is directly connected with Stan so potentially there was some tugging and pulling from within and Bearup was the former king's mouthpiece, if you will. Again, that's just me trying to put it all together here.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com