NBA Sunday: Brewer Wants New Deal With Nuggets
After being selected with the seventh overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, Corey Brewer struggled to find his niche at the professional level during his first four years in the league.
Brewer spent the first three seasons of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, playing under two different head coaches, before being traded to the New York Knicks as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal in 2011. Brewer was quickly waived by New York, caught a late season flyer with the Dallas Mavericks a few days later and won a championship ring with the franchise.
Before the start of the 2012 campaign, the Mavericks shipped Brewer to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick. In Denver, Brewer has thrived and finally been able to find his niche playing under Nuggets head coach George Karl.
Brewer will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and figures to be one of the more coveted wings due to his strong ability to defend the perimeter. However, Brewer’s first choice is to sign a multi-year deal with the Nuggets and remain with the franchise long-term.
“You know I’d love to be here,” Brewer said to HOOPSWORLD. “But you never know what’s going to happen, because it’s the NBA. I just take it day by day and hopefully this will be home.”
Brewer is set to earn $3.2 million this season in the last year of his deal.
The Nuggets are currently committed to $67 million in salaries for the 2013-14 campaign, which doesn’t include a potential qualifying offer to center Timofey Mozgov, who will also likely hit the free agent market. The Nuggets could find themselves in luxury tax territory barring any cap clearing deals on the horizon.
Brewer is playing the best basketball of his pro career, averaging 11 points and three rebounds per game this season. The forward quickly credits Karl with his on-court development and helping him to carve out his role in the league.
“I love playing under Coach Karl,” Brewer admitted. “He has helped me expand my game. He just lets me play. This was the first opportunity I had to actually run up and down the court and play basketball like I did in college.”
Although Brewer is averaging close to four three-point shot attempts per game, on 37 percent shooting, Karl says the forward is at his best when he’s aggressively attacking the rim as opposed to loitering on the perimeter. Karl also says Brewer is playing the best on-the-ball defense in Denver right now.
“I think Corey is more of a scorer than a shooter,” Karl said. “If Corey tries to make this league as a shooter, it’s a mistake. He’s one of the best back cutters in the game of basketball. “
“When we create a high level of turnovers, I think that’s a big part of how we got to play,” Karl added. “The league right now allows you to attack the ball and Corey is probably the best guy on our team right now to get after the ball.”
Outside of Brewer, unrestricted free agents next summer at small forward include Stephen Jackson, Dorell Wright, Chase Budinger, Corey Maggette and Matt Barnes.
The class could be bolstered by the additions of Paul Pierce (N), Andrei Kirilenko (P), Shawn Marion (ETO), Trevor Ariza (P), Metta World Peace (ETO) and Hedo Turkoglu (N) depending on how the NBA landscape shakes out over the next few months.
As always, you can find the full 2013 free agency class here.
Hornets Rookie Guard Brian Roberts Proving He Belongs In The League
This season’s crop of rookie guards appears to be a promising group. But while guys such as Damian Lillard, Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters and Brad Beal get all of the mainstream attention, New Orleans Hornets rookie Brian Roberts has been quietly establishing himself as one of the league’s most efficient backup point guards. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 16.23 ranks sixth amongst rookies, just behind second-overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and 26th in the league overall.
Roberts went undrafted in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Dayton and was forced to start his professional career overseas, winning three straight German National Championships with Brose Baskets Bamberg (2010-2012), but after a strong showing for New Orleans in the Las Vegas Summer League, the team signed Roberts to a multi-year deal.
The 27-year-old rookie, the third oldest in the class, has thrived in his role, but even with the early success to start his NBA career, the former University of Dayton product is hungrier than ever to keep improving.
“Right now I don’t want to be content,” Roberts said to HOOPSWORLD. “I want to keep improving and keep doing the things that are going to keep me in this league. It’s a man’s league and you have to be ready to come out every day fighting.”
Roberts is averaging eight points on 47 percent shooting from the field and 95 percent from the free throw line. Although the guard had several other suitors willing to take a look at him, Roberts maintains he’s loyal to the Hornets because the franchise gave him his first shot and were straight up with him from day one.
“They gave me a chance,” Roberts said. “They told me the roster situation and they made it clear that coach [Monty] Williams is willing to play guys that are out there producing. I took that approach in the summer and just tried to go out and prove what I can do; played hard and I got the opportunity.”
Like most rookies, Roberts has had to adjust to the tempo of the professional game. After a whirlwind start of the season, Roberts was able to start putting it all together on the court.
“I think early on it was kind of a blur,” Roberts said about the start to his rookie campaign. “The speed of the game and just being here at this level, everything was just going so fast. I was just trying to catch up to it. Right now, I think I’m getting a little more comfortable with where my spots are and what my role is on this team here in New Orleans.”
Check out HOOPSWORLD’s exclusive interview with Roberts in its entirety below. The rookie discusses playing under Monty Williams, carving out his role on the team and adjusting to the pace of the pro game.
Bobcats’ Reggie Williams Looking Forward To Free Agency, Says Knee Is 100%
The Charlotte Bobcats signed Reggie Williams to a two-year deal before the start of the 2012 season in an effort to bolster their wing scoring. On paper, it seemed like a perfect match. At the time, the Bobcats needed guys who could consistently score and Williams had established himself as a legitimate double-digit scorer during his first two seasons with the Golden State Warriors.
However, prior to the start of last season Williams suffered a torn meniscus, which led to the wing missing half of the 2012 campaign while dealing with the knee.
Williams will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and one of his goals entering this season was to prove to the Bobcats and other teams around the league that his knee is fully healed.
“I want to definitely prove that my knee is 100 percent,” Williams said to HOOPSWORLD on his goal heading into free agency next summer. “I want to show why [the Bobcats] signed me to score, shoot and do the things I used to do in Golden State. It’s just a bad time for me because I got injured and had to do the surgery. Coming into this season, I felt really good.”
“The knee is fine,” Williams added. “The offseason was really good to me as far as my knee getting back to where it needed to be. It feels good; I haven’t had any problems with it. As far as that goes, I’m injury free and I’m happy about it.”
The Bobcats drafted forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor this past June and also acquired shooting guard Ben Gordon as part of their rebuilding process. The new additions have contributed to Williams receiving numerous DNP-CD’s to start the season and the former VMI standout is averaging by far the lowest minutes of his career at just 9.6 per game.
“I just been doing my extra work on days that I don’t play,” Williams said. “The next day, I get in the gym and do a full workout, practice and get some shots up. After, I come back to the gym that night. On game day I lift, do cardio and do my pregame workouts. The rest of it is just trying to stay in shape for when my number is called.”
Williams is keeping a positive attitude although there is a lot riding on his performance this season heading into free agency.
“That’s how the league goes, you have to be patient and wait on your time,” Williams said.