Like many teams around the NBA, the Denver Nuggets are taking their chance now to check out free agents before the potential lockout begins.
Highlighting the workouts are former NBA players Mickael Gelabale, Joe Alexander, DeMarre Carroll, J.R. Giddens and Rodney Carney. Alexander, Carroll, Giddens and Carney were all drafted in the first round.
Also attending the workout are point guards Orien Greene, Matt Bouldin, Tyrese Rice and Cedric Jackson, as well as Alan Anderson, Tony Gaffney, Ivan Johnson and Kim Tillie.
The post presences at the workouts are Gustavo Ayon, Eric Boeteng and Alade Aminu.
These free agent camps will replace the summer league, which will more than likely be canceled to the pending lockout. These camps give the Nuggets a chance to find role players that will help the Nuggets in certain aspects of the game. And give high energy players, similar to Dahntay Jones, as well as Gary Forbes to have a chance to impress the Nuggets.
Some of the players are familiar faces to the Nuggets, Boeteng was on the team’s training camp last season, while Anderson also played for the Nuggets summer league team at one time or another.
Alexander may be the most recognizable player in the workout, he was a lottery pick with the Milwaukee Bucks but due to injuries and a lost confidence he failed during his attempt at the NBA. At 25, Alexander’s NBA career isn’t out of the question. He brought a winning personality and great work ethic his first time around. Though, he may never be a star in the NBA but he has the potential to find a niche. Ideally, he could settle into a similar role as former Nugget Linas Kleiza.
Alexander has a solid arsenal on offense – scoring from inside and out. He also has an impressive athletic ability that will help him play some power forward in the pros.
Gelabale should be a another familiar face. He spent some of his early years in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was well-known for his defense and that is how he’ll make a living in the pros. He is a versatile defender, who lacks strength to defend forwards but his length helps him defend point guards. On offense, he is limited without much range but like Ronnie Brewer with the Chicago Bulls, Gelabale makes defenses pay by cutting through the lane.
Carroll may be one of the lesser known players at the workout, but he is the type of player the Nuggets would want to find in the workout. Like Jones, Carroll is a high energy player, who makes life difficult for offensive players. He is similar to former Nuggets’ player Renaldo Balkman with his length and effort. However, Carroll is much more coachable. He is perfect for scoring small forwards like Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce, who tend to get frustrated with physical players. The best part is Carroll doesn’t get intimidated by those players and spent time defending Anthony while playing with the Memphis Grizzlies. Outside of that Carroll doesn’t really bring a lot to the table. His offense is limited and he is a typical tweener forward, who lacks size to play power forward and the talent to at small forward.
Carney is another former first round draft pick and went in the first round due to his athletic ability. However, he has a tough time harnessing that ability. And it was well documented when he tried to get in a dunking contest with Dwayne Wade, which ended with a facial and a stare down from Wade. In only four years he has already had a journeyman career, playing for four teams (including two seasons with Philadelphia).
Gaffney is another high-energy player, who nearly caught on with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009. He is a great rebounder and shot blocker and gets by due to his defense. He is kind of player that many teams like to have at the end of the bench to use for fouls and frustrating opposing stars.
Giddens was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the last pick in the 2008 draft and is another athletic freak, but he can also shoot the ball. Despite being in the NBA for two seasons, he still hasn’t had much of a chance.
Ayon is one player that Ridiculous Upside believes is one of the more intriguing player. He is a 6-9 power forward, with both the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs showing interest in the 26 year old. Here is a quick clip of star from Mexico.
Aminu is the older brother of Clippers’ star Al-Farouq Aminu and while he is the lesser talented older brother, he still has great size and wingspan (7-foot-3). But he also struggles on defense and struggles with his focus.
Bouldin is a Colorado native and is another one of those players isn’t great at one thing but is good at everything. He has great size for point guard and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Nuggets invite him to training camp.
Greene is another player that has a chance to impress at workouts. He has great size, athleticism, wingspan and defensive talent. He is a constant in the D-League and has been called up to the NBA four times, most recently by the New Jersey Nets in January. He has great court vision and is a pass-first point guard. However, he struggles with his outside shot.
Anderson played at Michigan State and was on the Nuggets summer league team last season. He is a defensive first type player.
Tillie is a skinny forward from Utah, he is long and has great athletic ability.
Jackson is a point guard from Cleveland State. He had three 10-day call ups from the D-League last season. He has great size, a good motor and is very creative.
Tags: Alade Aminu Alan Anderson Carmelo Anthony Cedric Jackson Chicago Bulls Dahntay Jones DeMarre Carroll Denver Nuggets Dwayne Wade Eric Boeteng Gary Forbes Gustavo Ayon Ivan Johnson J.R. Giddens Joe Alexander Kim Tillie Linas Kleiza Los Angeles Lakers Matt Bouldin Memphis Grizzlies Mickael Gelabale Milwaukee Bucks Oklahoma City Thunder Orien Greene Paul Pierce Philadelphia 76ers Rodney Carney Ronnie Brewer San Antonio Spurs Tony Gaffney Tyrese Rice