Good morning, Nuggets Nation! It's August, so with the Olympics rolling and the roster all but set in stone, it is a bit quieter on the news front. However, Nikola Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne are in Rio representing their countries and the Nuggets, which is awesome! They each played in their first games on August 6.
Lauvergne played about 10 minutes in France's blowout loss to Australia, grabbing three rebounds and going -12 in the effort. Meanwhile, Serbia easily defeated Venezuela where Jokic contributed four points and seven rebounds in his 19 minutes of play. Neither player got a ton of burn, but look for that to change as the Olympics roll on.
Both play again today, with Jokic and Serbia taking on Australia at 11:15 am MDT, while France will play China later at 5:30 pm MDT.
Elsewhere around the web, ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton named his nine biggest winners this offseason, and the Nuggets were among the teams to make the list . Here's what Pelton had to say about Denver:
Sitting at No. 7, the Nuggets got to wait and see which of the top seven prospects fell to them. That ended up being Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, who had a promising summer league and strengthens an already talented young backcourt. With the 15th pick, Denver added Spanish forward Juan Hernangomez, who looks like another quality international contributor to a frontcourt with centers Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic.
While the Nuggets didn't do much in free agency, re-signing forwards Darrell Arthur and Mike Miller after a failed (and largely inexplicable) run at Dwyane Wade, there's no hurry to add to a growing core of young talent.
As part of their Summer Forecast series, ESPN also gave the Nuggets six votes for the "Team Turnaround" category in 2016-2017.
Wilson Chandler was featured in an interview with Sports Illustrated Kids about his involvement in his hometown community of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Chandler has been a huge part of the local Boys and Girls Club, specifically helping out in keeping kids off the streets by turning to basketball. This isn't the first time Chandler has given back to Benton Harbor - for Christmas in 2013 he donated thousands of dollars worth of presents to underprivileged children in the community.
The interview is brief (as it is targeted for youths) but is still interesting to read and learn more about his personal life and all the awesome stuff Chandler is doing off the court to be a great role model.
Sports Illustrated featured Gary Harris among other NBA stars like Paul Pierce and Andre Drummond for their work in developing the global aspect of the game. Harris has spent time in both China and London this summer promoting the NBA and basketball in general.
Harris had a lot of positive things to say about his experience and the growth of the NBA outside of the USA:
You're seeing so many more international players come into our league, it just shows you that the game is growing outside of the United States. It's crazy how many people are in tune with what's going on back in the states. For them to be able to go around and be able to experience, and watch the guys help motivate them to possibly reach that level, it's huge.
Finally, check out this amazing shirt made for Nikola Jokic as he takes on the Olympics:
I think it's safe to say everyone loves Jokic at this point, and we all certainly wish him the best in Rio this summer. This beauty was found on Amazon and can be purchased here. Make Serbia proud, Big Honey!
We're going to start ending the weekly news and notes with a featured item of the week, which will be some sort of Nuggets paraphernalia found online similar to this one. Be on the lookout for some cool/fun/obscure Nuggets gear!