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Denver Nuggets News and Notes

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Nuggets news from around the web, including offseason grades and a pair of shorts you just can't refuse

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Another week gone, another week closer to the NBA season. We're just a few weeks away from media day and training camp so news is a bit slow once again but there is some great content coming your way here on Denver Stiffs, so stay tuned!.

With the summer all but over, news outlets and websites are starting to give offseason grades for NBA teams. The Nuggets had a killer draft by selecting Jamal Murray, Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley, and then made a run at Dwyane Wade in free agency. Other than that it was a pretty quiet summer, though. It certainly seems that management likes the roster as is right now and wants to see the development of all the younger players, but what does the mainstream media think of how Tim Connelly handled the offseason?

Sports Illustrated kicked things off with grades for the entire Northwest Division, giving Denver a B- grade. The SI staff praised the Nuggets for the strong draft, but overall thought little of the conservative approach taken by Connelly:

Aside from adding three top 20 picks, Denver pretty much punted on the summer. Nuggets GM Tim Connelly opted not to trade Danilo Gallinari or Kenneth Faried, two franchise mainstays who have never quite lived up to expectations. Connelly did re-sign defensive-minded big man Darrell Arthur to a quality three-year, $23 million deal, but he otherwise opted for the lightest of touches.

Denver’s inaction would seem to signal that it is committed to slow-playing its build-up under coach Michael Malone, leaning heavily on Mudiay, Jokic, young shooting guard Gary Harris and Murray to determine when it’s time to really gear up. That’s a defensible approach, and one that should appeal to fans who prioritize potential over reality. As it stands, though, the Nuggets’ quiet summer sets them up for another season of being overmatched on more nights than not.

USA Today also looked the Nuggets' offseason, giving a grade of B+ and going through the projected lineup for 2016-17. The article also named Emmanuel Mudiay as the Nuggets' "X-factor" for this next season:

As can be expected from a 19-year-old drafted out of the Chinese Basketball Association, Mudiay had a roller-coaster ride of a rookie season in which he most notably struggled with his shooting (36.4%) and ball control (3.2 turnovers per game). But with his struggles came progress, as can be seen by his pre-All-Star, post-All-Star splits. Assuming he continues to put in the work and can pick up where he left off last season, the Nuggets have a lot to look forward to from their franchise cornerstone.

Speaking of x-factors, Bleacher Report listed each NBA team's franchise centerpiece heading into this next season. This has been an interesting debate over the offseason for Nuggets fans as arguments can be made for Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic. Bleacher Report came to the same conclusion, whittling down the roster to these three but ultimately selecting Jokic thanks to his successful rookie campaign and Olympic play.

Jokic also made Zach Harper's list of top rim protectors for each team as the representative for the Nuggets:

Nikola Jokic is one of three rookies highlighted as the main rim protector in this post and his numbers from his first season were impressive. The Nuggets were much better defensively with him on the floor, but there wasn't much of a change in terms of attempts allowed in the restricted area and percentage. He didn't save a ton of points at the rim, but he was still firmly in the positive.

The NBA D-League had the expansion draft for three new teams last week, and two former Nuggets were selected to join the Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets affiliate. Gary Forbes averaged 5.2 points in 63 games for Denver in 2010-11, and Jamaal Franklin played for the Nuggets in 2014-15, averaging 1.0 point and 1.0 assist in that time frame.

Coach Michael Malone and Assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas visited Jusuf Nurkic in Bosnia this week:

Welcome to my home Coach! #denvernuggets #BosnianBeast #provethemwrong

A photo posted by Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast23) on

I love Michael Malone. He truly cares for his players, and stuff like this shows that. This is how you gain respect from your guys and get them to go to war for you. Keep it up, Coach!

Finally, the much anticipated Nuggets item of the week: a pair of the sexiest shorts you can possibly imagine:

Just think, for $50 you can relive the Carmelo Anthony days with your new jersey/jorts combo. eBay, you've come through once again!