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Unclebuck
05-05-2006, 07:18 PM
Nuggets will be making a lot of changes this summer, are there any players on that team we want


http://www.denverpost.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?article=3790609



denver nuggets
Nuggets lose general manager

By Marc Spears and Adam Thompson
Denver Post Staff Writers
DenverPost.com

The Nuggets and general manager Kiki Vandeweghe have mutually agreed to part ways, according to Kroenke Sports Enterprises.

"After meeting with Kiki today, we agreed his contract will not be extended," said owner, Stan Kroenke, in a statement. "We appreciate the time he spent with the Nuggets and wish him good luck as he seeks out his next challenge."

"I am truly grateful to Mr. Kroenke for the opportunity he gave me and for everything I have learned from this experience," said Vandeweghe, in the statement. "I am excited about moving in a new direction."

"We remain focused on attaining our goal of establishing a team that consistently competes at the highest levels and will make every effort to achieve that goal," said Kroenke.

Speculation on Vandeweghe's future with the team has been rampant.

Vandeweghe, hired Aug. 9, 2001, led the franchise back to the playoffs after an eight-year drought. But the team's inability to make it out of the first round in the past three playoffs - especially this season - led to huge disappointment among players, ownership and fans.

The Nuggets are expected to pay Vandeweghe the remainder of his contract, which expires Aug. 1.

Every player on the Nuggets' current roster was signed by Vandeweghe, including Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby, whom the team acquired with Nene in a 2002 draft-night deal for Antonio McDyess. The team also received late-season boosts from deadline deals that brought Eduardo Najera in 2005 and Reggie Evans and Ruben Patterson this spring.

The general manager's draft record has not been as strong. Much has been made of his decision to twice bypass eventual rookie of the year Amare Stoudemire in favor of Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Nene in 2002. Nene developed into a productive player, but Tskitishvili struggled before being traded to the Golden State Warriors in February 2005.

He has been criticized because none of his second-round picks have worked. With the exceptions of Anthony and Nene, no Nuggets draft pick during Vandeweghe's tenure has made a major impact on the team.

He has also been criticized for his inability to provide the roster with enough outside shooting, a weakness exposed in three consecutive 4-1 first-round playoff losses. The Nuggets were also resistant to discipline at times under his watch. Ex-coach Jeff Bzdelik once tried to suspend Anthony for refusing to re-enter a game, but the front office did not back him.

Another strike against Vandeweghe in Kroenke's eyes was his public dalliance with Cleveland when the Cavaliers had a G.M. opening last summer.

Fissures between the owner and Vandeweghe first surfaced in the summer of 2003, over the failure to sign Golden State free agent Gilbert Arenas, who eventually became an all-star with Washington.

Tensions also arose during the tenure of Bzdelik, who guided Denver to the initial postseason appearance of the current regime. The GM had hoped to replace Bzdelik after that season, but Kroenke would not approve the move.

Instead, the Nuggets fired Bzdelik after a slow start the following season, and went 4-10 under the interim coach Vandeweghe chose, Michael Cooper. In January, 2005, the Nuggets opted for George Karl, their current coach, at Kroenke's urging.

Vandeweghe was a longshot hire when Kroenke tabbed him to run his team on Aug. 9, 2001. Only 43 at the time, his two years as an assistant coach and director of player development in Dallas marked his lone stint in an NBA front office.

He was tested immediately, steering the franchise through a public relations storm after coach Dan Issel made a racially insensitive remark to a Hispanic fan during Vandeweghe's first season.

On the positive side, Vandeweghe engineered one of the largest salary dumps in league history during his first season - jettisoning the long, expensive contracts of Nick Van Exel, Raef LaFrentz, Avery Johnson and Tariq Abdul-Wahad. The move hurt the Nuggets in the short term, as they won 17 games in 2002-03.

But it also cleared the salary cap space that Denver would use to attract free agents Andre Miller, Earl Boykins and Kenyon Martin and the re-signing of Camby to a team that has made the playoffs the past three seasons after an eight-year drought. The team captured its first division crown since 1988 this spring.

Vandeweghe, a man as likely to read a book on history or philosophy as anything sports-related, often brought a non-linear approach to his job. When he first arrived to a team that could have used an infusion of cash, he briefly considered selling the naming rights of the team itself, though the Denver Qwest never came close to existing.

He also took a hands-on approach to off-court issues. Before the Nuggets switched uniforms for the 2003-04 season, he researched which colors would sell best. Anthony's presence has certainly helped, but Denver's baby-blue uniforms have sold well since their debut.

With the Nuggets at their lowest point, Vandeweghe worked hard to win back fans with promotions like a public tryout for Denver's summer league team. He also consistently tried to align his team with military, police and fire organizations in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

DrBadd01
05-05-2006, 07:21 PM
Melo

ChicagoJ
05-05-2006, 07:21 PM
More importantly, do we want him to replace DW and Bird?

Interesting...

Pig Nash
05-05-2006, 07:26 PM
Anyone that thinks that the Simons will get rid of DW or his protege is on crack.

Eindar
05-05-2006, 07:43 PM
Now is our chance to grab Andre Miller!

bulletproof
05-05-2006, 09:31 PM
More importantly, do we want him to replace DW and Bird?

Interesting...

More importantly, Donnie's sons live in Denver. Interesting indeed.

pizza guy
05-05-2006, 09:36 PM
Nuggets will be making a lot of changes this summer, are there any players on that team we want

Carmelo Anthony.


DW isn't going anywhere, I have to agree with Piggy on this one.

Moses
05-05-2006, 10:38 PM
You think they would be willing to part with Melo? I would love to see JO and Melo on the same team. That would be a pretty dominant 1-2 punch assuming we don't give up to much for Melo.

grace
05-06-2006, 12:29 AM
Anyone that thinks that the Simons will get rid of DW or his protege is on crack.

I thought crack was more enjoyable than this. :confused:

Jermaniac
05-06-2006, 12:31 AM
Nuggets will be making a lot of changes this summer, are there any players on that team we want

Camby,Nene,Elson. Any of the 3.

Kegboy
05-06-2006, 07:55 AM
I'd take just about anybody on that roster not named Kenyon. It'd be funny to see Camby fall and break his back as he crossed the threshold of Conseco for his introductory press conference.