Friday, July 28, 2006

Nuggets Still Shopping with Wooden Nickels

(FortCollins-CO) I have been reluctant to post anything about this because I do not feel that the person in question is really going to make much of an impact for our beloved Nuggies, but I think that its time to give up the story. As I see it of course!

The Nuggets are most likely going to sign forward/center Jamal Sampson by the end of the week. I know what your thinking… Jamal who? But let me give you the scoop on this guy and why I don’t think that Sampson will do much but hold down the end of the bench in 2006.
First and foremost, the only reason I see that this guy is on the Nugget radar is because George Karl was responsible for bringing Sampson into the league when he was coaching Milwaukee. Now let us move on to the stats on Sampson. For one, he is very young. Sampson is only 23, and has only played in 50 NBA games in his career. In those 50 games, Jamal has averaged ten minutes of playing time, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 points.

If all the rumors and reports in the local papers are true, then the Nuggets will be signing Sampson to a one-year, $798,112 deal as early as the end of the day. My question at this point is this… What are we going to do with Reggie Evans? Evans is a solid contributor on defense, looking the other way on the prison-rules-sack-grab on Kris Kaman, and is relatively a bargain for what he brings. But does the inevitable signing of Sampson mean that the Nuggets are potentially looking to lump Evans in a trade with Kenyon Martin before camp starts?

The future holds the answer, but one thing is for certain. Stan Kroenke and company aren’t going to be throwing fans any bones to chew on until the very last second. And finally, when are the Nuggets going to announce a General Manager? Camp is rapidly approaching, (I can’t believe its not butter or that its almost August), and before we know it the Nuggets will be tipping off the 2006-2007 season.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Latest Buzz: Martin For Francis Plus One

(FortCollins-CO) The latest buzz on the streets is that the New York Knicks have left an open-ended deal that would trade Steve Francis and another player to the Denver Nuggets for disgruntle forward Kenyon Martin. With Iverson off the block, unofficially, and the free agency pool getting shallow. This is a trade that I think makes some sense for the Nuggets. Francis, who was open about being unhappy with the Magic before getting traded to the Knicks, could be a major asset to the Nuggets in the position of shooting guard.

Presumably, the Nuggets will be able to re-sign Reggie Evans for cheap. With Reggie Evans, Nene, Najera, Camby, Kleiza, and Diawara on the roster. Some bolstering of the shooting guard position wouldn’t be a bad idea while the front line looks strong. The Nuggets have the young J.R. Smith, and Rueben Patterson at the position currently, but the addition of Francis would really lock the two down.

Francis has averages of 19 points, 5.8 boards, and 6.3 assists over his seven year career. He would be a nice mentor to J.R. Smith during his maturation process and would bring some veteran toughness to the team. In addition to all these positives, the starting five of Andre Miller and Steve Francis in the backcourt. In combination with Camby, Nene, and Carmelo Anthony in the frontcourt is formidable to say the least. With that starting five, the Nugget bench also looks sturdy with Earl Boykins relieving Miller. Smith substituting for Francis and the rest of the aforementioned crew working in on the front court when needed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Majerus Denies Denver His Services

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets have reportedly offered former University of Utah coach Rick Majerus an assistant coaching position. Majerus coached Nuggets point guard Andre Miller back in the 90’s and at the same time coached Keith Van Horn, whom it has been rumored that the Nuggets are trying to coax to the Mile High City. Majerus has reportedly turned the job down saying, “ Karl offered me the job a month ago, but I can’t move to Denver right now” in a quote from the Rocky Mountain News. Majerus lives in Milwaukee and works as a college basketball analyst. He has a wife and stepped down from his position with the University of Utah due to health concerns. He also has an affinity for sweaters and fatty foods.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Nuggets Shopping at a Discount and KVH

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets continue to be extremely frugal in their attempt to rebuild and restructure. What am I talking about you may ask? Since the Nuggets have signed both Carmelo Anthony and Nene to big contracts. Well I’ll tell you what I’m talking about! They have been extremely frugal in obtaining Josh Smith and allowing Francisco Elson to be dealt to the Spurs and look to continue that trend by signing summer league player Yakhouba Diawara to a two-year, 1.1 million dollar deal rumors This signing also has a twist to it however, because Diawara has his signature down in the Italian League with Climamio Bologna. Due to that signature the Nuggets are reportedly going to have to buy out his contract with Bologna for a cool $500,000.
Yakhouba, my fingers cringe every time I have to type that name, looks pretty good on paper. He averaged 16 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22 games in a French summer league and was a solid player at Pepperdine University. At PU in 2004, Yakhouba averaged 14 points and 5.7 boards on his way to being honored on the All West Coast Conference team. Hopefully the Nuggets have stumbled upon a gold mine, but until I see Yakhouba against NBA caliber play. Lets just say verdict is still out…
Even more complex and mysterious is the rumor circulating that the Nuggets might be interested in Keith Van Horn. Van Horn, always a solid pro, couldn’t be more of what the Nuggets need less of in my opinion. We have too many big men already on the plate still to deal with, (talking about Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin), and need to trim the position down. There will just not be enough minutes to give everyone playing time with the four and five being potentially divided up to Martin, Camby, Nene, Evans, and Najera.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Nuggets To Acquire J.R. Smith…Cheap!

(FortCollins-CO) According to, and other various sources around the league, J.R. Smith will be traded to the Denver Nuggets for Howard Eisley and two second round picks in next year’s draft. The deal is structured so that J.R. Smith, who was just acquired by the Bulls in the trading of Tyson Chandler to the Hornets, will be sent to Denver and the Bulls will waive Eisley in order to sign Adrian Griffin to a three year deal. The last pieces of the puzzle in this trade are Smith clearing a physical exam and packing his bags for the Mile High City.
This deal is nothing short of pure genius for the Nuggets. J.R. Smith is a young shooting guard that has extremely explosive athletic ability. He can shoot the three, take his man off the dribble, and finish on the fast break. Smith, 6’6” and 220 lbs, could be the missing component that was absent from the Nuggets last year and acquiring him for Howard Eisley keeps all the Nuggets nucleus intact. So if, and when, this deal goes down the Nuggets will have a starting five of Miller and Smith in the backcourt, Carmelo on the wing, and Camby and Nene in the blocks. I still hope that Kenyon Martin can be pawned off for another contributor, but I can already foresee his numbers dwindling even if he remains in the powder blue through next season.
On another positive note, Smith doesn’t carry an astronomical contract. The Nuggets have already signed Nene and Carmelo to long-term deals and its no secret that the NBA luxury tax cut off is 65 million dollars. Smith would only cost the Nuggets 1.39 million for the 2006-07 season and doesn’t put the Nuggets in the red.
Oh, and one more thing, the Nuggets are essentially giving up nobody to land J.R.! As I already stated the core of the team remains unchanged. So in my assessment, the Nuggets can only improve by making this deal a reality. Having only played two seasons in the NBA and only averaging 21 minutes per game, Smith is posting averages of 9.2 points, 1.5 assists, two rebounds. He shoots 31% from behind the three-point arch and 75% free-throw shooter. If all that wasn’t enough… Smith is a high-flyer, so Nuggets fans can expect the team to continue to be ranked first in the league when it comes to alley-oop finishes next year.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Francisco and Kenyon On Block, Who’s a Goner?

(FortCollins-CO) As of now, Nuggets fans are aware of the Spurs offering Francisco Elson a two year, six million dollar deal. The Nuggets acting GM, Mark Warkentien, has until next week to make a decision on what to do with the big man from the Netherlands. In addition, according to the rumors circulating on ,and in the local Denver newspapers, Kenyon Martin may be shipped to Minnesota for Marko Jaric and Trenton Hassell. Hoopshype also hints that all other trades with New York, Philadelphia, and Dallas have all lost steam in the last couple of days. Please say it isn’t so.
As much as it hurts me to say this, and trust me I’m writhing in agony, I hope that the Nuggets do release Elson, and keep shopping around with K-Mart. I know that I have been pleading for anything and anyone to be swapped for K-Mart, but I do not see Marko Jaric and Trenton Hassell helping this team. There just has to be a trade out there that can make more sense. Hassell is a defensive minded two guard and Jaric just doesn’t seem to fit what the Nuggets really need. Throw Ricky Davis in the deal, instead of Hassell, and now we are talking about feasibility.
Francisco Elson is not that big of a loss for the Nuggets. The big man from the Netherlands was hardly a big man at all. He rarely blocked any shots, and his low post game is… for lack of better words, atrocious. The Nuggets already have Marcus Camby shooting the ball from the top of the key about five times a game and they do not need another seven-foot jump shooter. Releasing Elson seems like the logical play in this situation.
Kenyon Martin needs to be traded for a scorer plain and simple. When are the Nuggets going to honestly assess what they need and make a trade accordingly? Hopefully soon, but in this case, haste makes waste. Keep shopping K-Mart around for someone who can run the floor, shoot the three, and if at all possible has the nickname AI. Pay the luxury tax and make up for it in Allen Iverson jersey sales. Its real easy in the NBA to play by the rules in finish somewhere around .500. The Nuggets need to make some serious evaluations and make something happen and I do not think Jaric and Hassell address what they are in dire need of. Sayonara Francisco, it has been nice while it lasted.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Who Is Playing The Two Now?

(FortCollins-CO) Greg Bucker has now been acquired by the Dallas Mavericks as an unrestricted free agent and is leaving a humongous hole at the two spot. Buckner and the Mavericks have agreed to a deal that will guarantee that he is in a Mav’s uniform for the next three years. As I search the roster for who can even remotely be considered as the starting shooting guard my attention is easily distracted because there is nobody. This means that the Nuggets MUST make a move that lands a scorer at the two spot.

Historical Glimpses: Peter Press Maravich

(FortCollins-CO) Quite possibly the greatest showman the NBA has ever seen. Collegiate scoring numbers that will most likely never get touched. Handles that would make you believe that the ball was actually tied to his hands like a yo-yo. A deadly jump shot that started from the hip. All from the boy with the sad eyes. If you haven’t yet figured it out, this installment of Historical Glimpses is dedicated to “Pistol” Pete Maravich.

Peter Press Maravich was born in Aliquippa, PA on June 22, 1947. To say that basketball was in his genes would be an understatement because his father Press Maravich was a long time basketball coach at almost every level, including coaching the Pistol at Louisiana State University. A couple of legendary stories from Pete’s childhood will always live on in my mind as illustrations of what true legends are made of. First, there is the famous story about Pete spinning a basketball on his finger for almost an entire hour before the nail on his index finger got worn so low that his finger burst into a bloody mess. That story happened in an ice cream parlor and was highlighted in the movie, “The Pistol”. A lesser known legend was that Pete’s father Press would drive the family car around the neighborhood after dinner while Pete would dribble a ball ,through the window, outside the moving car! This guy had handles, trust me!

All of this hard work and raw skill landed Pete at the Louisiana State University with father Press. During his four years at LSU, keeping in mind that freshman were not permitted to play varsity basketball in those days, Pete would set scoring records that tower above where current college players are posting. In his freshman year of 1967 the Pistol would average 43.6 points per game on the freshman team. Just a varsity guy playing on the JV right? Wrong! The Pistol would continue to leave opposing defenses in shambles for the next three years while setting NCAA records in nearly every offensive category. His sophomore, junior, and senior years, Pete led the NCAA in scoring by posting 43.8, 44.2, and 44.5 points per game. He was named first team All-America in 1968,‘69, and ‘70 before being drafted third overall by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1970 NBA Draft.

Leaving father Press at LSU, Pete left a mark that reads like this, and will continue to read like this until the second coming of the lord himself decides to lace up some high-tops. He holds the NCAA records for points scored in a career at 3,667 with a 44.2 PPG average in 83 games, most field goals made and attempted with 1,387 for 3,166, most free throws attempted and made with 893 for 1,152, most games scoring 50 or more points at 28 times, single season scoring average and points total at 44.5 and 1,381 in 1970, single season field goals made and attempted in 1970 with 522 makes and 1,168 attempts, single season 50 points games with ten in 1970, most free throws made in a single game with a 30-31 performance against Oregon State in 1969, and had the damn arena at LSU named after him in 1988 by the Governor of Louisiana Buddy Roemer. It is now called the Maravich Assembly Center. Talk about leaving your mark!

While in the NBA, Pete continued to awe crowds with his trademark style, long hair and floppy socks, and fast-paced flashy play. As a rookie in 1971, Maravich averaged 23.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. These numbers qualified him for the NBA All-Rookie team. Similar numbers would be posted for the next five years before Pistol Pete would once again leave his mark on the game forever. In the 1976-77 season with the New Orleans Jazz Pete would average 31.1 points per game and lead the NBA in scoring and average better than five rebounds and assists. This monumental season would solidify Maravich as more than just a flash point guard, but a true lights-out scoring machine regardless of level of play. He has the third highest single game scoring total in NBA history for a guard with 68 points coming against the New York Knicks.

More than all the numbers and accolades along the way, and obviously there is a cornucopia of them, Pistol Pete may be best remembered not for his ability to score but more for his skills dishing the rock with the no-look dime to an often times invisible teammate. He was a master at the behind-the-back, between-the-legs, and even the behind-the-head pass. Pistol Pete had so many passes in his repertoire he rarely did the same one twice, and no one since has done it better. If his passes weren’t your cup of tea, Maravich could dazzle any crowd with his dribbling skills. Nearly impossible to touch when he wanted to elude defenders, Pete made a show out dribbling out the clock while an opposing team was trying to foul. He was such fluid ball handler, and maybe the best since the Harlem Globetrotter’s Marques Haynes (Another legend in his own right and a pioneer that led the way for guys like Maravich).

The final read on Peter “Pistol” Press Maravich concludes like this; Maravich was a two time All-NBA First Team in 1976 and ‘77, All-NBA Second Team in 1973 and ‘78, NBA Scoring Champion in the 1976-77 season, five time NBA All-Star, one of the 50 greatest players of all-time, and his jersey number 7 is retired to the rafters of the Utah Jazz organization. These accolades here, plus all the other history in this article, are why Pistol Pete is this installment of Historical Glimpses, but there is something else all true hoop fans should know about Pistol that makes his legend that much more magical…

After Pete died back in 1988 of a heart attack while playing in a pick-up game, it was revealed that he only had one coronary artery complex. People without this condition have two coronary artery complexes. That means that Pistol Pete Maravich played his entire ten year NBA career with only half a fully functional heart. Most people that are born with this condition rarely live past their adolescence. This just proves that Pistol Pete was born to do one thing and one thing only and that was to play basketball. He was truly an inspirational figure for the future of the game. He was a showman that put people in the stands while this great league was developing. He was a commodity to be seen when his teams came to town and he rarely disappointed. As one of the 50 greatest players of All-Time Pistol Pete can be remembered as truly a gift to the game of basketball forever.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Martin Still Salty

(FortCollins-CO) Denver Nugget forward Kenyon Martin obviously isn’t ready to let water run under the bridge in regards to his squabble with George Karl and the rest of the Nuggets. It would appear that the only friend Martin has in Nuggets clubhouse is DerMarr Johnson. Johnson has commented on the whole situation as saying, “He just said they spoke," referring to Kenyon Martin and Coach George Karl. Johnson also added this statement about Kenyon‘s state of mind earlier this off-season, “I know at one point he really wanted to (be traded). Right now, things look like they're kind of patched up a little bit. ... I, obviously, don't want him to go. I hope everything can work out right. You've kind of got to let go of things. You can't just stay mad forever.” That’s sound advice and Kenyon Martin should take heed to what his friend has to say. However, and how history has shown us, Kenyon Martin rarely makes sound decisions. Mainly in my opinion because he has a tendency to act out in an attempt draw attention to himself while detracting from the team.

When Kenyon was asked about the relationship, and if there has been any forgiveness between him and Karl in conversations that took place on Sunday before a Las Vegas summer league game. Martin stated, “Man, they ain't going well,” and then added, “Just leave me alone.”

Here is my final plea… Trade this guy and get it over with!

And I would really appreciate it if you would combo him with Andre Miller in a deal that would acquire Allen Iverson. Look at it this way, the Nuggets have Nene coming back and filing the hole Kenyon Martin would be leaving. Quite possibly filling it and then overflowing out of the divot that Kenyon has left. Then the Nuggets would have AI replacing Miller and would be starting a five of the aforementioned, plus Anthony, Camby, Nene, and Greg Buckner. Sounds nice, sounds real nice

A New Site For The NY Jets

(FortCollins-CO) The Nugg Doctor has crossed over to the NFL and is now following the New York Jets on the website, which will soon be . Fret not Nuggets fans, I will still be covering the Nuggets concurrently with the Jets. You may easily access the new site by clicking on the link on the right side of this site. Please stop by, and as always, any suggestions or comments are always appreciated.

Iverson Rumors are Back and More Serious

(FortCollins-CO) The trade rumors concerning Allen Iverson and the Denver Nuggets are recirculation and this time there seems to be a little bit more legitimacy to their pending reality. When Carmelo Anthony was asked about the potential link up with the leagues quickest player he stated, “I played with A.I. in the Olympics. I know what kind of player and person he is.”
So the details of a pending trade are foggy, but one would have to believe that either Nene, Martin, Camby, or Miller would have to be included, or maybe even a two man combination would have to be in the works.
When ‘Melo was asked about Camby being included in the deal he said, “You rarely find big men like that who can block shots, regardless to his injury status, you can't find big men like that.” Obviously he would not like to see Camby be part of the negotiations, and who can blame him? The line up of Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Marcus Camby is down right formidable. You could practically have two orphaned sisters suit up and be able to win games.
I think that if this trade is at all possible the Nuggets should do everything that they can to see it through. If they have to be penalized for exceeding the salary cap than so be it. The Denver Nuggets have never won a championship at any level and this would be a serious move to make that a part of ancient history. It doesn’t take a NBA genius to see that the main problem with this team is that they have no outside shooting, especially in the 3-point department. And Allen Iverson is an instant, and proven, remedy for all that ails the Nuggets.
Plus, Allen Iverson is at a point in his career where I believe that he is ready to put individual accomplishments behind him and seriously strive for championship hardware. He has already won scoring titles, been a perennial All-Star, and had a taste of the NBA Finals only to come up short. If there was ever a time to sign and mature superstar to a team that desperately needs leadership and ability this is it for the Nuggets.

Monday, July 10, 2006

'Melo's Boys Caught Smokin' The Reefer

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets 80 million dollar man has once again been linked to marijuana. Three people claiming to be close to Carmelo Anthony, and driving a car registered to Melo Enterprises, were pulled over and were found in possesion of marijuana. This is the third time in two years that the Nugget superstar has been in connection with drugs.
Last year he was found with marijuana in his Nuggets travel bag. A friend of 'Melo's took the wrap and cleared Anthony. Before that incident, 'Melo appeared on a bootleg video tape with drug dealers talking wild and chillin' in Carmelo's home town. Sometimes you just can't catch a break.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

And The Winner Is… The Nugg Doctor!

(FortCollins-CO) It has been a long off season so far and we are only half way through it, but I am proud to announce that I have won the GM Fix-It team portion concerning our beloved Nuggets! The overall winner, and recipient of The Golden Wrench award, will be announced shortly. To read what the expert judging panel had to say about my submission, go to . Much thanks to all that voted for me in this journalism contest and to all my readership here on The Nugg Doctor. Go Nuggets!!

Monday, July 3, 2006

Nuggets Shell Out the Dough

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets have finally accomplished something positive in this off season by signing Carmelo Anthony to a five year contract extension worth nearly 80 million. They have also agreed with Nene to a six year, 60 million dollar contract in addition to locking up Anthony. I am overjoyed to know that Anthony will be in a Nugget uniform for quite some time to come, but when I look at the Nene deal a sense of anxiety cloaks my feelings.
Carmelo Anthony was offered, and accepted, the maximum deal that he could have been offered. When Anthony’s agent was asked about what Denver had accomplished last season and what is going on with the personnel currently on the roster. Bill Duffy replied with this on his client‘s behalf, “I don't think he's given up on what Denver can do and he wants to be a part of that.“ Bill Duffy is the president of BDA Sports Management which represents ‘Melo and other elite stars.
‘Melo locked up for five more years means that the Nuggets now have the superstar that they have been lacking since the days of Alex English. The next step is going to be surrounding him with guys that understand their roles within the system, and who can accept those night in and night out. Nene could very well be one of the guys that can become a long term contributor.
The only thing that makes me a little bit concerned about Nene is that he is, and has been, a work in progress for three years now. Throw out last season as if it never happened and what you have is a raw talent with potentially unlimited amount of improving ahead of him. If Nene can become a Karl Malone type player, because he already has the body, Stan Kroenke has the opportunity to look like a genius with this signing. If he does not perform like everyone keeps forecasting, he will be a major thorn in the Nuggets side.
The good news is that the knee that Nene injured in the opening game of last year’s season has been examined by numerous doctors with quotes of, “Beautiful,” being expressed when evaluating his ligament recovery.
Something else that I can say is, “Beautiful,” is that with the Nene contract a done deal. That almost certainly means that Kenyon Martin is on his way out of town. There is no way the Nuggets need to keep him around anymore and anyone that they can get for the disgruntle forward that can contribute to this team is going to be a welcomed addition.
The ball is starting to roll in the right direction, FINALLY! The Nuggets need to keep making moves before preseason because even though work has been accomplished thus far. The roster is still the same as the one that crumbled to the Clippers in the first round last season. I will be on the lookout for Martin to be dealt as the next article of business the Nuggets take care of.