Calling Denver a franchise where “black men score the crucial baskets and white guys make all the important management decisions”, the Denver Post’s Mark Kizla takes a look at the racial makeup of the Nuggets’ front office and coaching staff.
People of color are noticeably absent from Denver’s organizational chart. The highest-ranking African-American employees are assistant coach Adrian Dantley and Teri Washington, senior director of communications.
With the recent departure of general manager Kiki Vandeweghe, will Denver look for a fresh, new direction in management, or conduct business in the same, old fashion?
Neither Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke nor executive vice president Paul Andrews were made available for comment on the lack of African-Americans in positions of power with the local NBA franchise.
Introduce race into any discussion and hot buttons will be pushed, guaranteed. If the failed reigns of former Nuggets executives Dan Issel and Bernie Bickerstaff proved anything, it’s the NBA does not discriminate when it comes to bad basketball decisions.
In the search for a new Denver general manager, the names of Cleveland Cavaliers assistant GM Lance Blanks and Detroit’s Scott Perry should be on the list of candidates, not to fill a quota or promote social change, but because the Nuggets could use their basketball acumen.
Realistic names include Darius Songaila (above) — he’s expected to opt out of his contract with Chicago — Reggie Evans, Devean George, Milt Palacio and Jannero Pargo. Nets’ brass also wants to see how big men Nazr Mohammed and Joel Przybilla are priced.
The Nets like the group of restricted free agents, including Melvin Ely. But they don’t want to lock up their money on them since their respective teams can match any offer.
They have the midlevel and low-level ($1.7 million) exceptions and two trade exceptions ($2.1 million and $719,000). None can be combined. In this market, the Nets probably would rather split the midlevel between two players.
“We’ve been looking at this list for a while and we’ll keep looking at it to see what makes sense,” Ed Stefanski said. “But it makes no sense to overpay someone that you haven’t really fallen in love with.”
The Nets will try to use their draft picks — they have Nos. 22, 23 and 54 — to either move up or package them with a Zoran Planinic, Bostjan Nachbar, Scott Padgett and/or Jeff McInnis to get bigger and deeper.
They don’t necessarily want all those rookies next year anyway. There is a possibility that Mile Ilic, last year’s second-round pick, will be playing here next season.