According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Denver Nuggets have signed guard P.J. Dozier to a one year deal
Guard PJ Dozier has agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, agent @KB_Sports tells ESPN. Dozier was on a two-way with Celtics and earned a G-League All-Star spot last season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 12, 2019
Woj did not indicate in his initial report whether Dozier was being signed to a two-way contract or if he would be signed to a guaranteed NBA contract. The Nuggets have one guaranteed roster spot still available, meanwhile second round draft pick Bol Bol remains unsigned.
Dozier is headed into his third year in the NBA after playing his college ball at South Carolina. At the time of the draft he profiled as a classic “athlete without a true position” type of a prospect and has extremely limited experience at the NBA level in his two years (read: 8 games). However as Woj notes, he has played well in the G-League and has shored up some of his biggest deficiencies. While Dozier still isn’t a knock down shooter, he’s steadily improved his accuracy and efficiency from his college days where it was an issue.
He did have success at the college level however. He was a starter on the Gamecocks team who made a run to the final four in 2017. Dozier averaged nearly 14 points a game to go along with almost five rebounds and three assists while playing mostly the two guard. As noted by Draft Express, he has upside as a potential ball handler while also being a strong defensive player.
That profiles well into the Nuggets needs. With Isaiah Thomas now in Washington, the Nuggets were in need of an emergency point guard. Additionally, they can use any help they can get on defense out at the perimeter. If Dozier can provide the Nuggets with a big body who is capable of keeping up with and frustrating NBA point guards then he also provides a different dimension at the point guard position. While it’s unlikely that he would steal minutes away from Jamal Murray or Monte Morris if both are healthy, Dozier could give coach Malone a specialty weapon to deploy in special scenarios. If he can continue to improve his shooting then he has the potential to be another classic Tim Connelly diamond in the rough type of find.
Update (6:14 PM): According to Mike Singer of the Denver Post, Dozier has been given a training camp contract.
A training camp contract is of course not much of a contract at all, just a spot in camp to earn a roster spot as Mike puts it. This contract doesn’t guarantee Dozier a roster spot, nor does it prevent the Nuggets from offering any of their three remaining roster spots to someone else. Still, the Nuggets have generally taken a guy who has shined in summer league, given him a training camp invite and then ultimately a two-way deal. This was true of both Torrey Craig, who parlayed that opportunity into a starting spot in the playoffs, and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who was released a few months into last season. Though Dozier did not play with Denver during Summer League, he appears to fit that type of mold in terms of roster construction. The Nuggets have generally kept around twenty players in camp before whittling the roster down to the final seventeen. With fifteen players currently accounted for (14 NBA contracts plus Bol) expect Denver to continue to fill out its training camp roster in the coming weeks.