The one word to describe the Denver Nuggets franchise nowadays is young. Which makes it kind of a coincidence that the top two free agents the Nuggets contacted on Monday was Washington Wizards’ Nick Young and Philadelphia 76ers’ Thaddeus Young. And of course both of the players are among the top young players in the NBA. They also are both restricted free agents.
According to Ken Berger, Thaddeus Young and the Nuggets had a good conversation on Monday. Berger also believes it is another example of the Nuggets preparing for Nene’s departure.
Young may not be a star in the NBA, but he was a valuable role player for the Sixers last season. He is a typical tweener, which in his case is a good thing. He doesn’t have great range on his shot, but has the athleticism, length and strength to play in the post. He has a nose for the ball and his quickness causes a mismatch with many power forwards as he consistently beats slower and bigger big man down the court.
The scouting report on him is he is mature beyond his years and very competitive. He is more valuable coming off the bench, where he can outwork most players in the second unit. During last season’s playoff series against the Miami Heat, Young averaged 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. He averaged a career-best in the 2008-09 season when he averaged 15.1 points, but he also was averaging more than 34 minutes a game. Last season he was more productive in fewer minutes, averaging only 26 minutes a contest.
The Sixers did mention they would match any offer for Young, but an offer around $30 million for 4 years would be justifiable and put Philadelphia in a tough situation where they lose the last of their cap space or lose one of their youngest players, as well as an important role players.
Denver is also one of the many teams that contacted Nick Young and while they could use the offensive spark off the bench to replace JR Smith, it isn’t likely the Nuggets are going to offer Young a big enough deal to steal him from the Wizards.
THORNTON INTERESTED IN THE NUGGETS
Al Thornton joined the likes of Andre Miller, Chris Andersen, Jordan Hamilton, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov and free agents Anthony Carter and Gary Forbes at the Pepsi Center where he told Hochman he’d be interested in playing for the Nuggets.
Thornton, who is going into his fifth season out of Florida State, is a younger version of Al Harrington but is more athletic and also a better defender. Thornton has a career average of 12.9 points a game. He isn’t much of an outside shooter, but has some good moves around the basket.
NUGGETS TO MEET WITH NENE’S AGENT
Nene met with the Houston Rockets on Monday and the New Jersey Nets are also supposed to be his most aggressive suitors. Nets’ point guard Deron Williams weighed in on the Nets looking at Nene, highlighting how he’s good piece to the puzzle and his versatility to help on pick and rolls. But he said he wouldn’t go to Brazil to recruit him.
Hochman tweeted Monday night that the Nuggets representatives were meeting with Nene’s agent Tuesday. And Larry Bird is also supposed to be in town on Tuesday to contact Nene for the Indiana Pacers.
Adding to the Nene drama, George Karl told Aaron Lopez that Nene quietly became the Nuggets best player and would be difficult to replace.
MELO NOT COMING TO TOWN
Sources told Hochman that Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks aren’t going to come to town this season. The only game between the Knicks and the Nuggets will be in New York.
Topics: Al Harrington, Al Thornton, Andre Miller, Anthony Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen, Denver Nuggets, Deron Williams, Gary Forbes, George Karl, Houston Rockets, J.R. Smith, Jordan Hamilton, JR Smith, Kosta Koufos, Nene, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers, Thaddeus Young, Timofey Mozgo, Washington Wizards