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Nuggets Summer League

August 29th, 2004 by jmaness

With the Nuggets busy offseason, which consisted of the signing of All-Star Power Forward Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony going to Athens to compete in the Olympics, many people forgot about the Nuggets yearly Summer League team. The biggest names on this year’s team were Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Francisco Elson, both players played for the Nuggets last year. Their main goal for the team was to get Tskitishvili the ball and help him mature into the player the Nuggets thought he could be when they drafted him in 2002. They also wanted some of their younger players also mature and look at some potential players to invite to training camp.

The SL Team was coached by Nuggets Assistant Coach Scott Brooks, who led the team to 6-3 record overall in two different Summer Leagues – Reebok Vegas Summer League and Rocky Mountain Revue. The Summer League has a number of players that have a chance to be invited to the Nuggets training camp.

Here is a list of some of the players from the SL Team and how they did during the course of the summer.

Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Forward- Skita showed signs of why the Nuggets drafted him. In the Vegas Summer League he averaged 25.7 ppg and 6 rpg and was chosen as a All-Star performer. He was also chosen to the All-Revue team at the Rocky Mountain Revue. Time may be tough for him next year with the addition of Kenyon Martin and he may be traded. If he can go into training camp and continue to play well he could get some more time. He is only 21 years old and should just be a senior in College, so he still has potential to be a solid player in the league.

Francisco Elson, Center- Elson has a guaranted contract for next year with the Nuggets and is regular on the Nuggets Summer League Team. He averaged a double-double in Vegas and averaged 13 ppg at the Rocky Mountain Revue. He did have problems with foul trouble during the Summer and could be the Nuggets backup Center when the season starts.

Sani Becirovic, Guard- Becirovic was the Nuggets 2nd round pick in 2003 and is one of the major players in Europe before a knee injury almost ended his career. He participated in the Rocky Mountain Revue and showed good leadership skills and good passing skills. He did have problems with turnovers, but is a player that the Nuggets are excited about for the future. He will spend the next couple years working on his game in Europe and could be the next Manu Ginobili.

Melvin Sanders, Guard- Sanders was a late addition to the SL Team, but showed reasons why he should make the team. He attended Oklahoma State, where he showed excellent work ethic. He showed an ability to be a tenacious defender and the ability to knock down the 3-pointer. He may be a poor man Desmond Mason, also an ex-Cowboy. He will most likely be invited to training camp and could make one of the last two roster spots.

Matt Nielsen, Forward- Nielsen came to the Nuggets SL team from Australia, where he was one of the top players and also participated on their Olympic team. He showed a good game down in the post and could be a valuable player for the Nuggets. He made 60% of his shots and averaged 6.5 rpg at the Rocky Mountain Revue. His game is a lot like Troy Murphy of the Warriors and could replace Chris Andersen.

Miles Simon, Guard- Simon is most known for playing with Arizona when they won the 1998 NCAA Tournament. His game never made the change to the NBA, but Simon showed the ability to be versatile enough to play both guard positions and showed the ability to score, rebound and pass the ball. His play this summer may help him be invited to training camp.

Ugonna Onyekwe, Forward- A star at Penn, where he was their top player and showed the ability to rebound and score. A little undersized, but a very hard worker. His statistics werent great, but he did the little things on the court. He is another player that could be invited to training camp.

Koko Archibong, Forward- Onyekwe’s college teammate showed an impressive offensive game and strong work ethic. He too could be invited to the team.

This Summer League Team had no big names, but a wide variety of hard workers and smart players that may make the Nuggets team and help them out for the future.

One Response to “Nuggets Summer League”

  1. Wavatar aswitzer Says:

    Enjoyed your article jmaness, and I welcome you to the NH staff.

    Thanks for the facts on the summer league team, and the optimism. Do you know how old Sani is? I’d love to see Nielsen make the team after getting to see his game while he played against Team USA.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

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