George Karl may be the Denver Nuggets last shot at keeping Nene in Denver.
He told Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman in Q&A that Nene is an important part of the team and he is anxious to contact the Brazilian big man and recruit him to Denver.
I’m anxious for my opportunity to recruit him. I think Nene knows how much I care about him. In a strange way, Nene’s become maybe the most important guy on our team. He’s not a man of big numbers, but he’s a man of big responsibility. I think our young guys need him. We’ve talked a lot (in the past) about how he’d rather play power forward than center, well, I think this is the year he can get that opportunity (with Timofey Mozgov at center). He’s become our veteran leader. I really do think this is the best place for him.
Karl also pointed out that if Nene left the Nuggets would consider Kosta Koufos, Al Harrington and Chris Andersen as the most likely replacements. He didn’t mention rookie Kenneth Faried, but as we all know Karl isn’t a fan of rookies. Koufos has gained a lot of support at the Pepsi Center winning over the coaching staff with his work ethic and scoring touch. Size can win games, and no doubt putting Koufos, who is 7-foot-0 and Timofey Mozgov, 7-1, next to each other would cause havoc for opposing teams.
The Nuggets coach also raved about the return of Andre Miller, who was always a favorite of Karl. He compared Miller to Steve Nash intelligent-wise and pointed out that Ty Lawson and Miller may see a lot of time together on the floor. While Raymond Felton may have been a quicker player, Miller is much bulkier and can matchup better with shooting guards.
NUGGETS INTERESTED IN GREG SMITH
The Nuggets were one of six teams who can serious discussions with undrafted free agent Greg Smith. The other five teams were the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Smith is a 20-year-old, who just finished his sophomore season at Fresno State. The best thing about Smith is his size. He is listed as 6-foot-9, 253 pounds with a 7-3 wingspan. Outside of that Smith isn’t anything special, has solid back-to-basket moves, an average rebounder and good at setting picks. Not a great prospect, but isn’t a bad cheap option. The following is a video of college highlights.
Tags: Al Harrington Andre Miller Chris Andersen George Karl Greg Smith Houston Rockets Indiana Pacers Kosta Koufos Miami Heat Nene New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Steve Nash Timofey Mozgov Ty Lawson