Northwest Notes: Brown, Moran, Jazz, Thunder

It appears that momentum may be building towards Nuggets swingman Bruce Brown, a free agent in line for a potentially major raise this summer, to remain with the champs at least a bit longer, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).

During Denver’s championship parade this week, Brown alluded to his impending free agency in addressing a crowd of Nuggets faithful, with the team’s front office and coaching staff on hand.

“[I’ve] got a question for you,” Brown told the gathered fanbase. “One question: one more year?”

Singer adds that, following Denver’s Finals-clinching Game 5 win over the Heat, he was hoping to remain with the Nuggets for 2023/24. Brown, the club’s versatile sixth man throughout the playoffs, has a player option for next season, worth $6.8MM, but could easily double that annual salary on the open market.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The still-unnamed new G League affiliate of the Trail Blazers has found its new head coach. A Portland press release reveals that Jim Moran, who had most recently served as an assistant coach for Dwane Casey on the Pistons from 2021-23, will lead the new club. Moran had also worked in various capacities with Portland from 2014-21.
  • The Jazz have a wealth of intriguing options they could choose from with the ninth pick in the 2023 draft. Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune takes a look at players the team should consider — and, conversely, which players the club should avoid. Larsen opines that shooting ability, an aptitude for full court offense, and basic defensive competency are the three key traits Utah should prioritize. In terms of likely selections that could still be available in the Jazz’s range, Larsen is dubious about the shooting skills of Arkansas guard Anthony Black, but like the shooting and defense of Central Florida forward Taylor Hendricks. He appreciates the floor vision of Indiana wing Jalen Hood-Schifino. He also examines a few other possible prospects.
  • The Thunder once again have a late lottery pick at their disposal this season. Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman unpacks several guards the club could consider with its No. 12 selection, including Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. and 2022/23 All-Big Ten Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin.