Winding toward the NBA Draft this year we get some CBA talk, some qualifying offers made to some fan favorite Nuggets and some more draft talk.

The Nuggets made some news today by extending qualifying offers to three players. Two who are at the end of their rookie contracts (Wilson Chandler and Arron Afflalo) and one who is coming off a one year deal (Gary Forbes). Also, in a bit of great news for the Ty Lawson fans, the Nuggets went ahead and picked up his option for next year. You can look at the qualifying offers made to both AAA and Ill Will here on Hoopshype (QO’s are in Yellow) as well as what Ty will be owed next season (thanks to my buddy Nate Timmons for the information and the heads up). Good move by the Nuggets. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the two restricted players will be back. While I anticipate that Arron Afflalo will make a good faith effort to stay with the club, in my own opinion the restricted free agent market may overpay Wilson Chandler. We shall see what the future holds.

Also, we are two days away from the draft and I've seen so many mock drafts that I no longer think in anything but team draft order and the number 22 is burned into my brain. You all know my position on the draft so we won't go over it here. I will say that I'm consistently amazed that there are so many mock drafts with every major sport (well, maybe not baseball … at least to this extent). It's really amazing the type of hard work that people put in to these drafts. I tip my cap to you guys who know all this information because it would be extremely impressive to me if I wasn't so jaded.

Here are your Golden Nuggets. Pay particular attention to some tid bits I saw on twitter and from Wojnarowski about one Raymond Felton.


On with the Links!

Paige: Cheaper payroll could put Nuggets in good shape – Woody Paige, Denver Post
Woody Paige talks about the upcoming CBA and the Nuggets position to take advantage. However, what Woody doesn’t say is … if the projected “hard” cap were to come to fruition (as the owners want it, $45 million) the Nuggets would only come in $5 million under as currently constituted (without re-signing J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin) So the fabled “cat-bird seat” would be not as advantageous as Paige surmises unless player salaries were rolled back big time.

Nuggets make contract offers to three players; pick up option on Lawson – Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
Ben Hochman from the Post talks about yesterday's qualifying offers as well ask the Nuggets picking up next year's option on Ty Lawson. All good moves, but the qualifying offers merely put both Afflalo and Chandler into restricted free agency. Was a bit surprised that there was a such thing on a league minimum salary (Forbes) that there would be a qualifying offer (again, thanks to Nate for the info).

Twitter is an interesting vehicle for information. While scanning my feed I saw this curious tid-bit from Eric Pincus

Eric Pincus

The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are two teams with interest in prying Raymond Felton(notes) from the Denver Nuggets, league sources said. The Nuggets believe strongly in Ty Lawson(notes) as their point guard, and Felton, with a $7.5 million expiring contract, is expendable
I’m sure there’s an element of pre-draft gobbelygook being said, but it’s interesting that people have picked up on this with the Lakers. Also, I’m not sure what the Kings would have to offer for Felton other than maybe Tyreke Evans. Doubt that would work though. Any ideas fellow Stiffs?
Place your draft speculation here in this column today. We will have fresh daily columns up going all the way through the draft.
Anyway, have a great morning everyone