Nuggets’ addition of Jerami Grant part of “A-plus” offseason for Denver

The Nuggets don’t have the glitz of the Clippers or the Lakers to lure free agents to Denver.

Instead, they’ve relied on shrewd drafting and impactful trades to build their roster.

While the rest of the Western Conference stockpiled stars the past two weeks, the Nuggets added former Thunder forward Jerami Grant in a trade earlier this week. Nuggets officials raved about the Grant acquisition even before Thursday’s news conference, which drew president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and coach Michael Malone back to Denver from Las Vegas.

“I think he’s going to be a guy that we continue to grow with, that’s gonna be here for a long time and is an additional piece to what we think is an already strong team,” Connelly said.

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The Nuggets picked up Paul Millsap’s $30 million team option earlier summer. The trade for Grant, 25, potentially gives Denver some insurance in their frontcourt. Grant has a player option next summer.

“We can’t control what happens elsewhere,” Connelly said. “We can’t control where we are geographically and how appealing we are to other free agents, but we can control the culture and the team success. With the year we’re coming off of, to add a guy like Jerami, I’m as excited as I’ve ever been with any team I’ve been associated with.”

After the Thunder dealt Paul George in a blockbuster move to the Clippers, Grant knew there was a possibility he could be on the move as Oklahoma City looks to rebuild. He sounded excited to land in Denver, where the offense moves freely and the passes fly liberally.

“Going against them, I always told my teammates and everybody that played with or against that they move the ball,” Grant said. “They always move the ball at an extremely high clip and they get a lot of open shots, a lot of easy baskets. I’m definitely excited to be here, be a part of a winning organization.”

Considering their surplus of wings, Malone wouldn’t tip his hand when asked about where Grant might fit in the Nuggets’ rotation. But citing his defensive versatility and his improving offensive arsenal, Malone made it clear Grant would get plenty of time on the court.

“He was a starter on a playoff team,” Malone said. “I have no idea about minutes, rotations, but I will promise you that he will be a prominent figure in our rotation.”

The Nuggets are enamored with Grant’s ability to defend multiple positions. He’ll slot into a team that ranked 10th overall defensively last season, vaulting 13 spots up from the 2017-18 season.

“You look at his defensive versatility, I mean he’s guarded almost every position guardable, and every player from Damian Lillard to James Harden to Anthony Davis,” Malone said.

That also means he knows the book on George, his former teammate, who along with Kawhi Leonard, shifted the landscape of the conference to the Clippers. Every move the Nuggets make has to …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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