Nuggets Rumors

Nuggets, Michael Malone Agree To Extension

The Nuggets have extended the contract of their head coach, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve reached on a new deal with Michael Malone. Details of the extension weren’t disclosed by the team, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that it adds two years to Malone’s current contract, locking him up through the 2020/21 season.

“I never had any doubt that this would get done,” Malone said today, per Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports (Twitter link). “My conversations and relationship with [president of basketball operations] Tim [Connelly] and [owner] Josh [Kroenke] throughout the summer have been nothing but positive.”

Malone, who served as the Kings’ head coach for a season and a half before joining the Nuggets, has helped the franchise improve its record in each of the last three years. After moving on from Brian Shaw and interim coach Melvin Hunt in 2015, Denver increase its win total from 30 to 33 in its first season under Malone, then won 40 games in 2016/17 and 46 in 2017/18.

In total, Malone has a 119-127 record for the Nuggets. Although he has yet to lead the team to the postseason, the organization is trending in the right direction. Denver missed out on a playoff spot by losing to Minnesota on the last day of the regular season in 2017/18, but is viewed as a probable playoff team for the coming season.

Malone’s original contract with the Nuggets was a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year. Denver picked up that fourth-year option for 2018/19 over a year ago, so Malone would have been on an expiring contract this season if not for his new extension.

Nuggets Have One Of NBA's Youngest Rosters

  • Bobby Marks of passes along some interesting data on the NBA’s opening-night rosters, tweeting that the Nuggets, Knicks, and Trail Blazers have the youngest rosters, while the Rockets, Heat, and Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the NBA announces that the opening-night rosters feature a total of 108 international players from 42 different countries and territories.

2018/19 Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season gets underway tonight, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the other five divisions, we’re moving onto the Northwest today…

Utah Jazz

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Oklahoma City Thunder

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Denver Nuggets

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Portland Trail Blazers

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Minnesota Timberwolves

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Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)


  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)


  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)


  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)


  • Washington Wizards (45.5 wins): Over (56.28%)
  • Miami Heat (43.5 wins): Under (57.42%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (35.5 wins): Over (56.73%)
  • Orlando Magic (30.5 wins): Under (68.41%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (23.5 wins): Under (58.38%

Richard Jefferson Announces Retirement

Richard Jefferson has retired after 17 NBA seasons and appears headed for a job in television, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Jefferson published a post on Instagram in which he announced his decision.

Jefferson, 38, played with eight teams during his 17-year NBA career after breaking in with the Nets in 2001. He reached the NBA Finals twice in New Jersey, then won a title in 2016 with the Cavaliers. After winning that championship two years ago, Jefferson announced during Cleveland’s locker room celebration that he was planning to retire, but changed his mind and returned for two more years.

In 1,181 career regular season games, Jefferson recorded averages of 12.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG. His most productive seasons came with the Nets, including an impressive 2007/08 showing in which he put up 22.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG with a .466/.362/.798 shooting line. The former University of Arizona standout also appeared in 140 total postseason contests.

Jefferson wrapped up his his NBA career with the Nuggets last season, but was barely used, appearing in just 20 games and averaging 8.2 minutes per night. The veteran forward wasn’t in training camp with anyone this fall and decided to move on to his next job.

Jefferson’s next job may see him heading back to New York to cover his old team, the Nets. A September report suggested that he was leaning toward joining the YES Network team for Nets broadcasts unless he received an NBA contract offer. According to a separate report, Jefferson – who co-hosts a podcast with Channing Frye – also received TV interest from ESPN and for Clippers game broadcasts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nuggets Waive Donald Sloan, Xavier Silas

11:17pm: The Nuggets have confirmed Sloan’s release and also announced that they’ve waived Xavier Silas too (Twitter link). The moves reduce Denver’s roster to 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, so the club is at the regular season roster limit.

8:51pm: The Nuggets have waived guard Donald Sloan, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets.

The move reduces Denver’s camp roster to 18 players. It waived forward Emanuel Terry earlier this week.

Sloan, 30, has played more than 200 regular season games over the course of his career, but hasn’t appeared in an NBA regular-season contest since 2015/16, when he saw action in 61 games for the Nets.

Last season, he averaged 18.8 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 4.2 RPG in 24 games (34.6 MPG) for the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League affiliate, before heading to China for a third stint with the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

Nuggets Waive Forward Emanuel Terry

The Nuggets have waived forward Emanuel Terry, according to’s transactions log.

Terry signed a training camp deal in early August. With 15 players on guaranteed contracts in Denver, he had little hope of making the team’s opening night roster. The Nuggets could retain Terry’s G League rights if he clears waivers.

The 6’9” Terry made a good impression during summer league action with Denver, posting averages of 7.4 PPG and 5.0 RPG while shooting 61% from the field in 17.6 MPG over five games.

Terry, 22, defied the odds by landing an NBA contract after going undrafted out of a Division II program. He played four seasons at Lincoln Memorial, averaging 16.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 2.2 BPG in his senior year.


2018 Offseason In Review: Denver Nuggets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Denver Nuggets.


  • Standard contracts:
    • Nikola Jokic: Five years, $142.71MM. Includes unlikely incentives. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Will Barton: Four years, $53MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Monte Morris: Three years, $4.6MM. Third year non-guaranteed. Re-signed using Non-Bird rights.
    • Torrey Craig: Two years, $4MM. Re-signed using taxpayer mid-level exception.
    • Isaiah Thomas: One year, minimum salary. Signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:


  • Acquired the draft rights to Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 41 pick) from the Magic in exchange for the draft rights to Justin Jackson (No. 43 pick) and either the Nuggets’ or Wizards’ 2019 second-round pick (whichever is less favorable).
    • Note: The Nuggets’ 2019 second-round pick would be sent to Milwaukee if it falls between 56-60, in which case the Magic would receive the Wizards’ second-rounder.
  • Acquired cash ($110K) from the Sixers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, the Nuggets’ 2021 second-round pick, and the right to swap 2022 second-round picks.
  • Acquired Isaiah Whitehead from the Nets in exchange for Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, the Nuggets’ 2019 first-round pick (top-12 protected), and the Nuggets’ 2020 second-round pick.
    • Note: Whitehead was later waived.

Draft picks:

  • 1-14: Michael Porter Jr. — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-41: Jarred Vanderbilt — Signed to three-year, $3.92MM contract. First two years guaranteed. Signed using taxpayer mid-level exception.
  • 2-58: Thomas Welsh — Signed to two-way contract.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Hired Mark Price to coaching staff.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $116.4MM in guaranteed salaries.
  • $2.5MM of taxpayer mid-level exception still available ($2.84MM used on Torrey Craig and Jarred Vanderbilt).

Check out the Denver Nuggets’ full roster and depth chart at

Story of the summer:

Coming off a season in which they barely missed the playoffs, the Nuggets had one major goal: Lock up center Nikola Jokic at all costs.

Technically, Denver’s front office didn’t have to negotiate with their stats-stuffing center until next summer. They could have exercised their 2018/19 option on him and paid him a bargain-basement $1.6MM this season.

That approach would have prudent in the short term but could have wrecked their future plans. Jokic would have been an unrestricted free agent next summer and surely wouldn’t have appreciated being underpaid heading into the open market.

Instead, they declined the option and made him a restricted free agent, while assuring his reps he’d get a near max five-year deal once free agency began in July.

President of basketball operations Tim Connelly thus delivered on his June promise that “Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time.”

Jokic set new career highs in PPG (18.5), RPG (10.7), APG (6.1), and 3PT% (.396) last season. Still just 23 years old, Jokic still has room to improve in his overall game even if his numbers decline somewhat with an upgraded roster. The Nuggets’ frontcourt could be even more imposing this season if Paul Millsap can stay healthy after he appeared in just 38 games in his first year with the club due to injury.

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Jokic Can Earn Extra $862K For Playoff Success

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic didn’t technically sign a maximum-salary contract when he re-upped with the club this summer, but he can increase his 2018/19 earnings to the maximum if he helps lead Denver to postseason success.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks details (subscription required), Jokic is one of several NBA players with incentives in their contracts for the coming season. In Jokic’s case, he’s currently about $862K shy of his maximum salary, but he can earn $431K if the Nuggets advance to the playoffs, and another $431K if they win in the first round.

Continuity Leads To Productive Week Of Camp

  • The Nuggets have most of their rotation players back from last season and that led to a productive first week of training camp, according to Christopher Dempsey of the team’s website. “I think the advantage that we have is continuity – year four, we know each other,” coach Michael Malone told Dempsey. “That’s already in. … We’re ahead of the curve. So, we have hit the ground running. We are, I think, ahead of a lot of teams because of the continuity that we have.”

Community Shootaround: Rookie Scale Extensions

So far this offseason, two players have signed rookie scale extensions: Devin Booker got a new deal from the Suns, and the Timberwolves locked up Karl-Anthony Towns to a new long-term pact.

In each of those instances, the player received a maximum salary extension. Max deals, which require little negotiation, typically get done well before the mid-October deadline for rookie scale extensions. But with that deadline now just two weeks away, we may start seeing progress on a few other deals around the NBA.

Besides Booker and Towns, 21 players are eligible for rookie scale extensions this offseason, though some of the players on that list assuredly won’t get new deals. The Cavaliers aren’t about to give Sam Dekker a long-term contract, for example. And it’s safe to assume that the Bulls aren’t looking to lock up Cameron Payne early.

Still, there are several names on that list who are intriguing candidates for new deals. Here are 12 of them:

Not all the players on this list will sign rookie scale extensions within the next two weeks. In fact, most of them probably won’t. There are plenty of reasons for teams to wait — maybe the asking prices are too high, maybe their financial situations aren’t conducive to more long-term investments at this point, or maybe they simply want another season to take a closer look at their extension candidates.

[RELATED: Recent NBA Rookie Scale Extension History]

Still, it’s safe to assume that at least a couple players on this list will receive new deals. Typically, at least four players per year sign rookie scale extensions, and the numbers in previous seasons have often been much higher than that — in 2014, 2015, and 2016, a combined 24 players signed rookie scale extensions, for an average of eight per year.

With that October 15 deadline fast approaching, we want to know what you think. Which of this year’s extension candidates will receive new deals? Which deserve them, and at what price point? Which should be put off until they reach restricted free agency next summer?

Head to the comment section below to share your two cents on this year’s rookie scale extension candidates!