Key Storylines for Denver Nuggets' Summer League Team
The spotlight will be on the guards for the Denver Nuggets' summer league team.
Erick Green, who was Utah's top pick in the 2013 NBA draft (46th overall) and then dealt to Denver, highlights a deep Nuggets' roster at the guard position. Joining him are second-year player Evan Fournier and rookies Travis Releford, C.J. Harris and Ramon Galloway.
Joffrey Lauvergne, the 55th overall pick, will not participate and will be with the French National team.
The Nuggets begin summer ball on July 13 in Las Vegas at Cox Pavilion against the Milwaukee Bucks. Here is the full Nuggets' summer league roster and schedule.
|31||Preston Adams||G||6'0"||171||Webber International||R|
|11||Erick Green||G||6'4"||185||Virginia Tech||R|
|12||Luke Harangody||F||6'7"||245||Notre Dame||2|
|5||C.J. Harris||G||6'3"||190||Wake Forest||R|
|20||Richard Howell||F||6'8"||257||North Carolina State||R|
|Date||Time (MT)||Opponent||Location||TV Coverage|
|July 13||8:00 p.m.||Milwaukee||Cox Pavilion||Altitude/NBA TV|
|July 15||8:30 p.m.||Chicago||Thomas & Mack Center||Altitude|
|July 16||8:00 p.m.||Washington||Cox Pavilion||Altitude/NBA TV|
Single-elimination tournament begins July 17
All roster and schedule information is via NBA.com
Will Erick Green Shine Instantly?
There is a lot of uncertainty in the Nuggets' starting lineup surrounding the shooting guard spot with the departure of Andre Iguodala.
Could Green be the guy?
Even though Green was primarily a point guard at Virginia Tech, he has the skill set to play at the 2. Green led NCAA Division I in scoring in 2012-13, averaging 25 points, and he did it in just about every imaginable way a guard can score.
Ty Lawson has locked up the starting point guard spot, with Andre Miller backing him up. There were times last season when head coach George Karl had Lawson and Miller in the game at the same time, mainly at the end of the second or fourth quarters.
New Nuggets coach Brian Shaw should be able to do the same with Green, whether he is starting at the 2 or running certain sets at the 1.
One player who Green will look to develop chemistry with in Vegas is Evan Fournier. Fournier's minutes increased last season and he even started a few games toward the end of the season when Danilo Gallinari went down with an ACL injury.
Will Green be the primary point guard with Fournier as his partner in crime in the backcourt for the summer league?
Green should get plenty of time on the court over the next week. Even though Lawson and Miller won't be joining him along with newly acquired Randy Foye, as reported by Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post, keep an eye out to see how Green is utilized in the offense.
Can Jordan Hamilton or Quincy Miller Make a Strong Impression For Brian Shaw?
Jordan Hamilton is now entering his third season with the Nuggets, but has only played 66 games over his career.
He's been stuck behind Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, having only been in the primary rotation due to roster injuries or rest days for players ahead of him.
Now that Shaw is the man in charge, Hamilton—a former Texas Longhorn—will have a chance to impress his new coach. With Gallinari's return from his ACL injury still unclear and most of Denver's new players at either guard or center, Hamilton's services could be used as the small forward off the bench.
Quincy Miller is in a different situation since his contract is only partially guaranteed unless he isn't waived by the start of the regular season, according to Dempsey. Miller split time last season between the Nuggets and the Iowa Energy.
As Nate Timmons at Denver Stiffs points out, Miller has added roughly 20 pounds to his 6'9" frame. It's crucial that Miller has a good run in Vegas considering the recent additions of Darrell Arthur and J.J. Hickson, along with the potential re-signing of Timofey Mozgov to a multi-year deal, according to RealGM's Shams Charania.
Granted, Miller is more of a power forward, but there are only 15 spots and the Nuggets have a deep roster as it is.
Is Travis Releford the Sleeper?
There's always one guy on each team who surprises everyone during the summer league.
Averaging 11.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in his senior year at Kansas, Travis Releford's percentages were more impressive. He shot 57.4 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from three-point territory and 78.9 percent from the foul line.
The Jayhawks always seem to produce NBA talent each year, but last year's team was particularly stacked, featuring Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson by Releford's side. Did Releford slip through the cracks due to the superb talent around him?
Who are you most excited about seeing on Denver's summer-league team?
Releford has speed and athleticism, has scoring ability both inside and outside, plays defense and is efficient.
We'll see if he can bring that to the next level.
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