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A make-or-break season for the Denver Nuggets will begin Oct. 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers on the road, conclude April 10 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at home and feature 14 nationally televised games. The Nuggets, who have finished ninth in the Western Conference two seasons in a row, are seeking to break a five-year playoff drought. Getting off to...

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The logjam that was the Denver Nuggets’ power forward rotation during the 2017-18 season was dense enough to dam up the Platte River. There were six players on last year’s squad whose best position was the four: Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles, Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, Juancho Hernangomez and Tyler Lydon. That number swelled to seven if you counted Wilson Chandler,…...

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LAS VEGAS — Monte Morris stamped out any faint hope the Milwaukee Bucks were clinging to. In the final game of group play Monday at NBA Summer League, the Bucks were in possession down five with 20 seconds to go. D.J. Wilson got jammed up along the three-point arc and tried to find teammate Jordan Barnett, but Morris read the…...

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LAS VEGAS — DeVaugh Akoon-Purcell caught the ball on the right side of the floor, charged downhill and crashed into a couple Milwaukee Bucks. The referee blew his whistle, and even though Akoon-Purcell earned a trip to the free throw line he still let out a manic yell after his shot didn’t drop into the basket for a potential and-one.…...

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Torrey Craig seemed content to make a living hooping overseas. The South Carolina native spent most of his 20s playing in New Zealand and Australia. His goal as a kid was always to make it in the NBA, but it never materialized — until the Nuggets took a chance on him. Craig was discovered by Joe Connelly, the brother of…...

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LAS VEGAS — The Denver Nuggets came into their second Summer League game shorthanded. Tyler Lydon and Thomas Welsh, two starters who suited up Friday, weren’t in the lineup. Lydon was resting while Welsh was out with a sore shoulder. Their absence meant the Nuggets were depending heavily on their starting backcourt of Monte Morris and Malik Beasley. Those two…...

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LAS VEGAS — Monte Morris entered NBA Summer League with the understanding that it was an audition. “My job is to go out … and show everyone I can be a backup in this league and run a unit,” he said last week. Morris is aware of the gaping hole in Denver’s rotation at point guard behind Jamal Murray, and…...

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Practice was wrapping up Wednesday when Michael Porter Jr. took the floor. On a side goal of the Nuggets’ practice facility, Porter offered everyone a small reminder of why he was the top-rated prospect in his high school class by sliding around the three-point arc and swishing one deep ball after another. Porter’s jumper looked impossibly smooth for a player…...

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However slimy Game of Thrones’ Petyr Baelish seems, there’s no denying his wisdom about self preservation. “Fight every battle, always, everywhere, in your mind,” the man nicknamed Littlefinger instructs Sansa Stark in season seven. Denver Nuggets shooting guard Malik Beasley is only 21, but he seems to have internalized that advice during an uncertain offseason. “I don’t know what’s going…...

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There was not a lot to do on Friday nights in Hobbs, New Mexico. The nearest city with any decent nightlife, Lubbock, Texas, was a 90-minute drive — too far a trip up Route 62 for one night out on the town. That meant Kenrich Williams and his New Mexico Junior College teammates kept it low key most of the…...

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Tyler Lydon was sporting some fresh ink Monday. About a month ago, he got an owl’s head and a mountain landscape tattooed on his left arm. Lydon, who grew up in Elizaville, New York, had both of them done as a way to remind himself of his rural upbringing. “I just grew up in the outdoors,” he said. “I just…...

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Missing two game-winning shots in a week might damage the confidence of some NBA players. In February, Nuggets swingman Will Barton misfired on a pair of three-pointers in two straight nights at the end of regulation that could’ve given his team the lead, the first a wild 34-footer against the Boston Celtics and the second a wide open look from…...

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Tim Connelly didn’t sleep the night his team fell inches short of its postseason dream. On the flight out of Minneapolis hours after the regular-season finale, the Nuggets president of basketball operations couldn’t help but rewatch Denver’s overtime loss. The Nuggets had shown resolve just to get to that point by rattling off six wins a row. To get to…...

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The Denver Nuggets are betting big on Nikola Jokic. On Monday, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported that Denver is declining Jokic’s team option next season and plan to reach an agreement on a five-year, $146.5 million maximum contract, which is consistent with what Nuggets president of basketball operation Tim Connelly has said all along this offseason. A league source confirmed…...

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By Michael Porter Jr.’s own admission, the game of basketball has always come easy to him. As a high school senior, Porter became just the fifth player ever to win MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game as well as the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, following in the footsteps of Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003),…...

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Wilson Chandler is exercising his $12.8 million player option, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. The 31-year-old forward plans to return to Denver after a down season in 2017-18 rather than testing the open market. Chandler started 71 games for the Nuggets last season. He averaged 10.0 points per game, his lowest scoring output since his rookie year in 2007-08. Although…...

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Michael Porter Jr.’s slide surprised everybody — including Michael Porter Jr. “It’s been an unreal night,” he said Thursday. All spring and summer, any mock draft you could find had the sweet-shooting 6-foot-10 forward going somewhere in the top 10. It didn’t matter that Porter played a total of 53 minutes in his lone season of college at Missouri because…...

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The Nuggets followed up their first-round selection of Michael Porter Jr. by trading for another player who didn’t log many minutes in his lone season of college: Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt. The Nuggets packaged the 43rd overall pick and a future second rounder to the Orlando Magic to move up to 41 and choose Vanderbilt, an athletic 6-foot-9 big man....

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Michael Porter Jr. fell and fell and then fell some more at Thursday’s NBA draft. The talented scoring forward, who was rated as one of the top high school prospects in the class of 2017, watched 13 players go before him in the lottery. Back surgery limited Porter Jr. to a grand total of 53 minutes during his lone season…...

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