The Denver Nuggets now have 18 players in training camp, as they have officially waived shooting guard Matt Janning, according to Denver Post.
As first reported by International reporter David Pick, Janning did not stay unemployed long and has signed with the Israeli Club Hapoel Jerusalem. Pick said Janning’s deal is for one year with an option for a second season.
Janning was not expected to make the team out of camp and was one of four players in Nuggets camp not to have a fully guaranteed deal. The 27-year-old scored two points in nine minutes over two games this preseason.
This was Janning’s first NBA contract since 2010-11, when he was on the Phoenix Suns’ roster, though he never appeared in a regular season game. Janning has spent most of his career overseas, though he has played on several summer league squads, including Phoenix, Boston, Memphis, Indiana, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Minnesota. He played for Anadolu Efes of Turkey last season.
Janning’s departure leaves 7-foot center Oleksiy Pecherov and 6-foot-6 swing man Devin Sweetney, along with 6-foot-4 guard Erick Green, who played for the Nuggets last year, in the battle for the team’s last roster spot. Pecherov and Sweetney hold non-guaranteed contracts, while Green has a partially-guaranteed deal for $100,000. Denver has 15 players with fully guaranteed contracts.
Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post recently opined that Green “has shown enough to make the team.” If Green does indeed make the team, he will likely replace Nick Johnson on the 15-man roster. Johnson came over from Houston in the Ty Lawson trade and possesses the smallest full guarantee on the team at just more than $845,000.
Green must be really impressive in practice, because he hasn’t done much in the preseason so far.
Green has appeared in two of Denver’s four preseason games so far, tallying two points in 15 minutes of action. The thing is, the 24-year-old is very quick and gets into the lane, where he is a good finisher.
Green, who was acquired from the Utah Jazz on draft night in 2013, appeared in 43 games last season for the Nuggets. He averaged 3.4 points in 9.5 minutes of action, though he only shot 37.7 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc. Green did possess a good assist to turnover ratio at 2.94 (37-to-14).
Green averaged 14.8 points and 4.0 assists in five Las Vegas Summer League contests this summer.
Johnson is known more for his defense than anything. The 22-year old has also struggled this preseason, scoring four points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, and four turnovers in three contests. He is also shooting just 2-of-9 from the field (22.2 percent) and 0-of-2 from the three-point line. Johnson scored four points, grabbed six rebounds, and produced three assists but also turned the ball over three times in 23 minutes against Golden State on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3 2014 second round draft pick averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 caroms while playing nine minutes over 28 contests last year for Houston. Johnson, who appeared in nine postseason games a year ago, shot 34.7 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Pecherov, who was selected in the first round of the 2006 draft by Washington, missed the Nuggets’ game against Golden State with a strained calf. The 29-year old has appeared in just one preseason game, totaling six points (2-of-7 shooting) in seven minutes of action against the Chicago Bulls on October 8.
Pecherov hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2009-10 season, averaging 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 111 career games. He played for the Estonian club Kalov/Cramo last season.
Sweetney also hasn’t appeared in a preseason games since registering one point and two rebounds in four minutes of action against the Bulls. The 27-year old has played for several international teams since going undrafted out of St. Francis (Pa.) in 2010.
Denver has won three straight preseason games and are 3-1 during the exhibition campaign. The Nuggets host Phoenix on Friday before travelling to Oklahoma City on October 18 and Utah on October 22. Denver will open the regular season in Houston on October 28.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]