Tag:Denver Nuggets
Posted on: August 16, 2011 4:46 pm

Al Harrington will walk across fire for fun

By Matt Moore

So there's thing called the Spartan Race, which holds intense races through obstacle courses across the country. It's crazy stuff. Barbed wire and fire feature prominently. So clearly an NBA player who once the lockout ends could be on the hook for violation of his contract by doing something that involves open freaking flame would never go near one of these... oh, right. 

Hi, Al Harrington.

From Darren Rovell of CNBC:
NBA player Al Harrington will jump through flames & crawl under barbed wire in Spartan Race on Staten Island on 9/24
via Twitter / @darrenrovell: NBA player Al Harrington w ....

It's apparently an 8-mile "Super-Spartan" and if Harrington places in the top three for males, he qualifies for the "Death Race." Can you hear that sound? It's George Karl and Masai Ujiri singing with joy out of the possibility for their sixth-man offensive weapon participating in something called a "Death Race." 

That's not all for Harrington, though. He also just signed a new endorsement deal for Gamma Labs LLC's new "Pre-Training Formula.

So, just to review.

Al Harrington's running in a flame-and-barbed-wire ridden obstacle course race after signing an endorsement deal with a new supplement. 

Denver's got to think this is awesome

Let's be clear here, it's pretty awesome that Harrington is doing the race. I would pay to watch NBA players go through an obstacle course. There's no boring streetball park highlights for Al Harrington. He's a man!

Let's just hope he's still a man after the race is over.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:57 pm

Wilson Chandler has offers from China and Italy?

Posted by Royce Young

Wilson Chandler -- while a fine player -- getting an offer from a Chinese team isn't exactly the biggest news ever. (Then again, in this lockout where pretty much any news feels earth-shattering, maybe it is.)

What caught my eye is how much Chandler was offered, reportedly, by a Chinese team. Via HoopsHype, Chandler's agent Chris Luchey said his client has a $1.7 million offer on the table from a Chinese club. Comparitively, Kobe Bryant was reportedly offered $1.5 million... a month from a Chinese team. Obviously Kobe's services would be at a premium, but that's quite difference. Still, $1.7 million for Chandler is more than a lot of the rumored offers circling around players in Europe.

Chandler also has a potential offer from an Italian team according to his agent, which may end up being the more realistic offer. Why? Because the Chinese Basketall Association is looking to install a rule that won't allow players to sign in China with an opt-out that allows them to return to the NBA.

So there's probably not a ton of chance Chandler signs in China if that rule is passed, but as of now, that hasn't been pushed through. It's clear that China has some money to throw around at players.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 3:48 pm

Ty Lawson signs with Lithuanian team Zalgiris

Posted by Royce Young

Lithuanian team Zalgiris is putting together quite the little backcourt. After signing Sonny Weems most recently of the Raptors earlier in the summer, Zalgiris added a pretty substantial name (potentially, pending lockout) Monday: Denver guard Ty Lawson.

The team tweeted on its account: "NBA starting PG joins us! BC Zalgiris signed Ty Lawson from Denver Nuggets till the end of NBA lockout!!!"

Zalgiris is one of Europe's top Euroleague teams having won the Lithuanian title last season. (If you're not impressed, consider that Lithuania produces a lot of NBA-level talent.) The team is owned by newly inducted Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.

According to Draft Express, Lawson is getting a "seven-figure deal with an NBA out."

Obviously it's just another lockout provisional contract in which (hopefully) Lawson might not even play a second for them. And by "seven-figure deal" that just means it could be for a total of $1 million. Could be for $5 million. It's probably not going to be for a whole lot but Lawson is looking to get paid and he's going to at least get a little.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:33 pm

Ex-NBA player Jimmy King arrested at church

Posted by Ben Golliverjimmy-king-2

The long arm of the law isn't afraid to extend itself in a place of worship.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Jimmy King, former NBA player and member of the University of Michigan's famed Fab Five team, was arrested while at church for failure to thousands of dollars of child support.
King, who turned 38 on Tuesday, was arraigned in Oakland County Circuit Court and charged with one count of failure to pay support, a felony carrying a maximum four-year prison term, according to John Sellek, state Attorney General spokesman. He said King owed $17,209 for one child, from 2008 to 2011.

Sellek said King was arrested without incident at 5 p.m. Tuesday at New St. Mark Baptist Church in Detroit, after agents saw a flyer about a basketball camp that advertised King’s involvement. Sellek added that agents had tried to reach King about outstanding child support by phone and by leaving notes at his home for six weeks.

"When it comes to child support,” said Attorney General Bill Schuette, “no matter who you are, you have to play by the rules.”
King, a 6-foot-5 guard originally hailing from Texas, played two seasons in the NBA, appearing in 62 games for the Toronto Raptors in 1995-1996 and in two games for the Denver Nuggets in 1996-1997. He averaged 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in his NBA career. He is perhaps better known as one of the less-heralded members of the Fab Five freshman recruiting class that also included NBA stars Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard. The quintet appeared in back-to-back NCAA Championship games in 1992 and 1993. 

Incidentally, Rose, now a television commentator, was also arrested this year on a drunk driving charge and sentenced to 20 days in jail. Both King and Rose appeared in a recent television documentary about the Fab 5 that sparked a controversy when they made controversial remarks about Duke University and Grant Hill earlier this year.

Basketball-Reference.com reports King's NBA career earnings at more than $600,000. He later played abroad and in the Continental Basketball Association.

Hat tip: Marcel Mutoni

Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:05 pm

Former lottery pick arrested for growing weed

Posted by Royce Young

You may not remember Rodney White, but in 2001 the Pistons made him the No. 9 overall pick after an impressive career at UNC-Charlotte. He never really amounted to much in the NBA, but here he is 10 years later making headlines. Not the kind you hope for though.

According to the Charlotte Observer, White, 31, was arrested and charged with managing what investigators called "an elaborate" marijuana-growing operation in Alexander and Iredell counties in North Carolina.

"During the search, an elaborate underground bunker was located, where detectives found a hidden marijuana grow room," Redmond said.

Investigators said the bunker was under a garage that had a trap door, and they say some of the approximately 60 plants were up to 4 feet tall.

Based on that discovery, agents got a search warrant for a residence on Montibello Drive in Mooresville. Redmond said detectives found more than four pounds of marijuana; an assortment of firearms; grow lights; planting materials; and other items used to grow marijuana. Investigators said they also found items that linked the residence to the Alexander County operation.

Detectives received a tip about the operation and the two men involved -- White being one -- admitted guilt. White is jailed under $25,000 bond, and his partner is being held under $5,000 bond.
White played parts of five seasons in the NBA but sort of fizzled out. He played some professionally in Europe and Asia but never lived up to his lottery status. During his five years he played for the Nuggets, Warriors and 76ers before being cut by Philadelphis in 2005 and ending his NBA career. He had recently signed a contract with Anyang in South Korea.

In five seasons, White appeared in just 218 games and averaging 7.1 points per game. His best season was in 2002-03 with the Nuggets where he started 19 games for the 17-win Nuggets that year and averaged nine points a game.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:03 pm

Report: Mozgov to sign with Russian team

Posted by Royce Young

It's been a few days, so it's time for another marginal NBA player to sign in Europe. The latest is Nuggets big man Timofey Mozgov, who is planning to return to play in his native Russia, according to Sports.ru.

Mozgov would play for BC Khimki, who is who he was with from 2006-10 before coming to the NBA after being drafted by the Knicks last year.

The report indicates that the deal is just for the lockout, meaning that Mozgov will have an opt-out clause to return to the NBA if the lockout doesn't wipe out games.

Depending on Nene's situation in Denver, Mozgov could be a very important piece. He's already got a good amount of value to the organization as a quality backup to the Brazilian big man and a piece of the Carmelo Anthony trade, but if the Nuggets can't keep Nene, he immediately becomes starting material. Probably not ideal for the Nuggets, but it could be reality.

Mozgov, who is 7-1 and can run a little, had a decent rookie season in New York and Denver averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. All of that came in limited, spot minutes, but his role could increase next year.

Obviously he's comfortable playing in Europe, specifically Russia, since, you know, he's from there. There won't be any surprises for Mozgov and he's going to handle everything fine. He's currently under contract in the NBA with the Nuggets, so there will be some FIBA issues to sort out, but none of that comes into play unless the NBA misses games.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:11 am

Report: Melo to return to Denver Nov.16

By Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony was traded after the Knicks had already visited the Pepsi Center last season, which meant there was no return for him as a Knick to the city he was drafted to. If we do get a season, a report out of New York says when he'll be making the trek back to the Rockies. 

From the New York Post:
According to a person debriefed on the Knicks' 2011-12 schedule, the club embarks on a West Coast trip in November and will play a snazzy, nationally televised back-to-back, facing the Nuggets Nov. 16 on ESPN and the Lakers at Staples Center Nov. 17 on TNT's Thursday night showcase.
via Knicks' western trip in jeopardy - NYPOST.com

Now, of course with the lockout, that means we could easily miss that Nov.17th date which will be less than 21 days from the start of the season. That would mean Melo wouldn't return to the city he cajoled his way out of until 2012, possibly 2013. Traded in February 2011, may not return until as late as April 2013. That's pretty crazy. 

But if we say the season does go on, what kind of atmosphere should Melo expect? The Post expects a Cleveland-LeBron-like response, which is probably a bit much. Melo wasn't as much of a star in the NBA or in Denver as LeBron was in Cleveland. His circumstances of departure weren't quite as dastardly (even if you think about it, he may have made them worse as he basically held the team hostage for six months, but no one wants to talk about the possibility of anyone being worse than LeBron). And Denver doesn't have the baggage Cleveland does. So while Melo will definitely get his fair share of boo birds, its hard to see it being the same kind of "we need security" situation that James' return to Cleveland was. 

Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 10:23 pm

What teams risk in a lockout: Northwest Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Northwest Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.


Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division, the Atlantic Division, the Central Division and the Southwest Division. Let's continue with the Northwest Division.  

MINNESOTA Timberwolves

The NBA's worst team won just 17 games last year, had the league's seventh-worst home attendance and is generally mentioned at the top of the list of examples that "prove" the NBA's economic system is broken. That's because their local television, ticket and memorabilia revenue simply cannot compete with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics of the world. Despite all of that, the Timberwolves might very well have more to lose than any other team in the Northwest Division if the league were to miss an entire season.

Let's start with 2009 lottery pick Ricky Rubio, who against all odds took the plunge and decided to finally join up with Minnesota. For multiple seasons, Rubio has represented hope, carrying Timberwolves fans through ugly winters and late-season collapses. The wait was excruciating. The uncertainty about whether he would or wouldn't stay in Europe further into the future made it worse. Now that he's on board, he's been greeted at an airport, introduced to his teammates, sold some jerseys and rallied the collective fan spirit a bit. To lose an entire season would make that interminable wait that much longer. It would also rob Rubio of a valuable development and acclimation year, which would be an absolute disaster. This is a point guard who needs to start on Day 1, entrusted with the full support of his coaching staff and allowed to make mistakes and build chemistry with his teammates while learning on the job. No season means no opportunity to do any of that.

Aside from Rubio, there are financial risks as well. That might be surprising, because the Timberwolves currently are the only team in the NBA that does not have anyone on their books for more than $6.3 million next season, a fairly astonishing accomplishment. Of course, there's a catch: All-Star power forward Kevin Love is on his rookie deal. Indeed, Love is heading into the last pure season of his rookie deal before Minnesota either must issue him a qualifying offer or sign him to an extension. Worse yet, it's possible that Love, one of the league's premier rebounders, will command a mini-max extension or close to it. The point here? He's set to make just $4.6 million next season, a bargain for his production. If the season is lost, the Timberwolves miss out completely on that outstanding value and are one year closer to biting the bullet on extending him without having reaped full benefits. That's tough.

Last but not least, a lost season is the perfect excuse for any franchise to delay tough decisions or to talk themselves into trying to make things work. With an imbalanced roster full of mixed and matched pieces, the Timberwolves, despite their accumulated talent, are going to struggle mightly again next season. The pains of those struggles, theoretically, could be enough to finally convince owner Glen Taylor to pull the plug on president David Kahn, a man who hasn't shown the ability to construct a team and outright wasted two second round draft picks on technical mistakes during the 2011 NBA Draft, by trading a hurt player (Jonny Flynn) and drafting someone who lied about his age (Tanguy Ngombo). A year without games, then, is a year without losses, which means another year for Kahn to preach patience and wiggle out of responsibility for this mess. The sooner Kahn is gone, the sooner this ship turns around. A lost season will make "sooner" feel like never.


While the Timberwolves need to get headed in the right direction, the Oklahoma City Thunder are already there. With the best designed roster in the league, two young All-Stars, an undisputed Northwest Division title and a Western Conference Finals appearance under their belt already, and a passionate fanbase that is guaranteed to provide 40+ home sellouts next season, the Thunder would happily start the season today. A lost season, then, would be a nightmare.

Name something, anything, and it's at risk for the Thunder. They lose the value of Russell Westbrook playing on a rookie deal. They lose the value of James Harden on a rookie deal. They lose the value of Serge Ibaka on a rookie deal. They lose one year of Kevin Durant's Hall of Fame playing career. They lose another season of playoff experience. They lose a very good chance at making a run at an NBA Finals. They lose a season of having their top eight players (Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefalosha, Nick Collison, Eric Maynor) all locked into affordable contracts. They lose the chemistry and momentum that goes with having an entire nucleus together for multiple years.

What's worse: they have nothing to gain from a work stoppage, other than perhaps the money that would come with increased revenue sharing. Without a single bad or untradeable contract on their books, there is no financial reason OKC would root for a year away from the game. In fact, any change to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that firms up the cap would make it more difficult for the Thunder to keep all this talent in house. That means they wouldn't get the chance to win now and their ability to win later could be compromised.

Usually, young teams that make a deep run through the playoffs can't wait to get back on the court for a second go-around. Multiply that feeling by about 10 and that's the situation facing OKC. 

PORTLAND Trail Blazers

lockoutYou might think the injury-plagued Trail Blazers would welcome some time off to lick their wounds and assess the damage, but missing an entire NBA season wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for this franchise. Really, it's a muddled picture.

The main benefit is clear: the Blazers have a very difficult cap situation next season, thanks to a mini-max contract for guard Brandon Roy, who is apparently no longer capable of reaching his previous All-Star level of play. Saving the $15 million owed to Roy, as well as the $10.5 million owed to aging center Marcus Camby, would be a tempting proposition for most small-market owners. Money aside, saving the miles on Roy's knees wouldn't hurt either.

Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, however, has dealt with serious health problems in recent years and is clearly in spend-big, win-now mode. He would cut a check tomorrow for five times his team's total salary cap if it meant a shot at the NBA Finals, no questions asked. It's difficult to imagine a financial enticement that would make it worth Allen's while to take a year off. 

Aside from Roy, the other big question is center Greg Oden. Missing an entire NBA season doesn't play in Oden's favor, as he hasn't taken the court for an NBA game since December 2009. A lost season means his layoff would extend nearly three full years to October 2012. That's a long, long time to be away from basketball. Complicating that further for the Blazers is the fact that Oden is a restricted free agent this summer. The Blazers would retain matching rights on Oden if a season was lost but they would be forced to offer him an extension without being able to see whether he recovers fully to be able to take the court and, more importantly, withstand injury once he's out there. Oden could command a mid-level type of offer on the open market, which would be a major investment for Portland, because the Blazers have already committed to nearly $80 million in salary for next season, with contracts to Roy, forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace and guard Wesley Matthews already on the books into the future. Without another center on their roster who is in their long-term plans, though, the Blazers wouldn't have a choice. They'd have to pay up. Given that situation, you want as much information as possible; a lost season would mean no information.

Finally, the Blazers have a big question at the starting point guard position. His name is Raymond Felton, and he was acquired in a draft day trade for previous point guard Andre Miller. Felton is in a contract year and hasn't played meaningful minutes with any of his current teammates, except for a stint in Charlotte with Wallace. Felton will require a good-sized contract extension next summer as well and the Blazers would surely like to see how he gels with their core, particularly Aldridge, before they commit to him long-term. Without any starting quality options on the roster, they would again find themselves stuck in a corner, forced to do what it takes to retain Felton without a readily available back-up plan.

To boil it down: the Blazers have enough questions without a lost season. Missing a full season would simply create an array of complications and made some tough roster decisions that much more difficult and, potentially, costly. 

DENVER Nuggets

Sure, the Denver Nuggets lost franchise forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, but they did an excellent job of stripping their roster down to allow for a quick bounceback rebuilding effort. The Nuggets, somewhat like the Thunder, are in a financial position where their salary cap situation makes it more advantageous for next season to take place unhindered. The Nuggets currently don't have a truly horrible contract on their books, although the mid-level deal for Al Harrington and the $15 million or so left to be paid to Chris Andersen over the next three years are regrettable. Indeed, the Nuggets have committed to less than $40 million in salary for next season, pending a potentially major financial commitment to big man Nene, who has decided to test the free agency waters, and a decision on guard J.R. Smith.

The biggest risks for Denver would be missing out on the value of point guard Ty Lawson on his rookie deal and managing whatever concerns might arise about Denver's ability to use its salary cap flexibility to continue work on its rebuilding situation. Most analysts believe teams with salary cap room will be in a position of strength, regardless of how the new CBA shakes out, so perhaps that uncertainty is more of an annoyance than a true concern. 

The Nuggets have a lot of questions. How will they spend their money? Who will they bring back? Who will they let go? Are the players under contract currently good enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference next year or is it better to continue slashing and burning for another season? These are good questions to have because they all point to one fundamental truth: The Nuggets have flexibility thanks to their young, cheap assets. The worst case scenario is that Nuggets fans have to wait a year to watch a promising, athletic upstart group entertain. That's not too bad. 

If I'm the Jazz, I'm totally cool with taking a year off. A lost season means that Utah would save $14 million owed to Al Jefferson, $10.9 million owed to Mehmet Okur, $9.3 million owed to Devin Harris and $8.1 million owed to Paul Millsap. While Millsap is probably worth his number, the other three certainly aren't worth theirs, especially on a team that lost its foundational identity when it shipped franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline.

Right now, Utah's finances are pretty tight, with $61.5 million already committed for 2011-2012. Look ahead just one year, though, and that number drops to $48.7 million. To make things even nicer, Jefferson, Harris and Millsap will all be expiring that season. The Jazz will be poised to take advantage of their new-found flexibility, keeping the parts that fit (probably only Millsap) and dispensing with the rest.

The biggest risk in a cancelled season for Utah would be the lost development for younger guys like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and 2011 first-round picks Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. In Favors, they have a potential franchise forward who needs to start enjoying a loose leash so he can blossom into the player the Jazz expect him to be. Forcing him to take a year off does him no good and, depending on how he responds, could do him some harm. Kanter, meanwhile, looks like an even bigger risk on paper because he was forced to sit out last year at Kentucky, his only year at the college level, due to eligibility issues and because he hasn't yet tasted the NBA game. A lost season would mean two full years away from competitive basketball, not an ideal situation for someone the Jazz selected with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft. As for Hayward and Burks, they are lesser concerns. Both have shown promise and clearly have room for improvement. Losing a year wouldn't be critical, but it would be better for them individually if it could be prevented.

On balance, the financial rewards seem to outweigh the development risks for the Jazz.

Salary numbers courtesy of StoryTeller's Contracts.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com