The Denver Nuggets will not sign guard Sean Kilpatrick for the rest of the season after the second of his two 10-day contracts expired today, league sources told BSNDenver.com. After two 10-day contracts have been given out, teams must either sign that player for the rest of the season or let him go. Kilpatrick is once again an unrestricted free agent.
"I'm a huge fan of Sean Kilpatrick's," said head coach Michael Malone after his team's 112-93 win over the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 1. "That's why at the end (of the Raptors game) Ed Pinckney said, 'Let's try to get Sean a shot.' We put him in the pick-and-roll a couple times and he scored. That kid did everything we asked of him and more. I hope in the future that we'll have a chance to work with Sean again. He is everything that we are trying to be in terms of: culture, character, hard work, good teammate. He has shown, to me, that he belongs in the NBA. It has been a pleasure coaching him and getting to know him."
The Nuggets signed the 26 year-old shooter to an initial 10-day contract back on Jan. 12 and re-upped him to another 10-day on Jan. 22. Kilpatrick appeared in seven games and averaged 3.6 points during his stint in Denver.
Denver's been searching for a consistent threat from 3-point range for the past couple years and that's what initially attracted the Nuggets to Kilpatrick. The former Cincinnati Bearcat averaged 27.1 points per game on 47 percent shooting and converted on 44.5 percent of his 3-point attempts this season in the NBA D-League for the Delaware 87ers.
However, his stint with the Nuggets wasn't enough to keep him in Denver for the rest of the season and it really might not of even been his fault. It was more of a numbers game in Denver and about maintaining roster flexibility. With Malone's comments, it's easy to see that Kilpatrick made a very positive impression with the Nuggets.
As the Feb. 18 trade deadline draws closer, the Nuggets are sure to be active and looking for trade partners. They have a number of players on their roster with moveable contracts and an extra roster spot could prove valuable if Denver engages in any trade talks that involve them getting back more players than they send out.
Kilpatrick certainly played his heart out and looked at times like he belonged in the league. He's sure to catch on with a team in Summer League and have a shot at making the 13th, 14th or 15th spot on a roster next season. Kilpatrick could even catch on at the end of this season with another team looking for a shooter.