In the latest game of roster musical chairs, the Denver Nuggets will waive Mo Williams (again) and turn to the D-League for their next contestant on, “how long can you remain a Denver Nugget?” Per Chris Dempsey the Nuggets will add forward/center Johnny O’Bryant:
#Nuggets will waive G Mo Williams and plan to sign forward Johnny O'Bryant to a 10-day contract, according to league sources.— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) January 24, 2017
Watching the Denver Nuggets play with their 15th roster spot this year has been amusing. The kept Jarnell Stokes, a stout-but-short center after a D-League audition party to man the slot. He hurt his foot and Gary Harris went down, so they re-signed Alonzo Gee, then waived him to avoid guaranteeing his contract for the season but re-signed him to a 10-day contract a couple of days later. Gee even made the trip to London. Then Denver traded essentially nothing for Mo Williams in a salary cap move, immediately cut him with the intention of re-signing Gee, but were spiked by the Philadelphia 76ers, who nabbed Williams off waivers for their own salary cap shenanigans (while also possibly tossing up a finger at the Nuggets for stealing JaKarr Sampson last year). They then cut Williams, who was again added by the Nuggets only to be cut, and it’s that second release that frees up the spot for O’Bryant.
Got all that?
O’Bryant is a 23 year old, beefy front court player with long arms who had been playing for the Northern Arizona Suns in the D-League, but will now take his talents to Denver. He’s been a bit of a traveler himself, having already had stints with the Bucks and the Wizards. He’s another higher-motor player like Kenneth Faried but can play some center (which has been an issue with Faried). He has more of a jumper and fewer hops and transition skills than Faried, but his length helps on defense. Having him around to back up Faried when Darrell Arthur’s knees are acting up while also being available for some center minutes is a nice option.
Whether it’s an indication that another Denver big man may be on the move is a different question, and he may not get any minutes for the Nuggets on this 10-day contract. But at least Denver is looking at roster options that aren’t Alonzo Gee. Here are some D-League highlights for the newest Nugget. Welcome to Denver, Johnny O’Bryant!