Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri Draft Transcript


JOSH KROENKE

ON ANDRE MILLER’S RETURN:
“We’re excited to have Andre back. He was a vital part of the organization several years ago. We included him in a trade before either Masai or I was here in the Allen Iverson deal. We’re happy to have him back and we think he’s going to be a great addition to the team. We’re just excited in general.”

ON HOW DRAFTING FARIED IMPACTS POTENTIAL RE-SIGNING OF KENYON MARTIN:
“I wouldn’t say it diminishes the chances of re-signing Kenyon. Masai had several talks with Kenyon’s representation. We’ve had continued dialogue since the end of the season. I wouldn’t say anyone we drafted was a replacement for anybody on our roster, whether they are a free agent or not. Coming into the summer, I think we were just excited about having the opportunity to add two quality players to our roster. Kenneth Faried is a relentless rebounder and he’s got a motor that few guys have in this game. We’re really excited to have him.”

ON RESIGNING NENE:
“We had one meeting with Nene – Masai and I did together. Masai met with his people several times, and I have had ongoing dialogue with his agent. We are going to continue that dialogue into next week. I can’t comment any further, but Nene is a player that we want to have here for a long time. He has been a backbone of ours for the last several years, and I think he is a big part of our future.”

ON DECISION MAKING PROCESS IN THE WAR-ROOM:
“We met several times, and like Masai said, we had scenarios for almost every situation that we could wind up in. I would say that once the thing came to fruition, it was a pretty easy decision for us just because we had done all of our due diligence on all the players in the draft; we did our due diligence on all the players in the league, so when one of those scenarios appears in front of you, you know what to do right away. I think everyone was in agreement at that point with what we were doing.”

MASAI UJIRI

ON RAYMOND FELTON’S DEPARTURE:
“We evaluated the situation and we tried to evaluate point guards in the league and we tried to figure out if there was anyone who would make sense to us that would come here and give us (production). Raymond was great for us. We want to thank him for everything he did here. He was huge for us when we made that trade. We wanted to get an equal type of leadership, someone who would come here and mentor some of these young guys, but who can still play. We’re excited about Andre coming back here; he still lives in Denver. He’s excited.”

ON ANDRE MILLER’S ROLE ON THE TEAM:
“Andre wants to win. That’s what he wants to do. He said he wants to come in here and he wants to win. He’s going to help us mentor these kids and teach them how to play. He’s one of the best lob throwers in the league. That’s what he said to me, he wants to win.”

ON STRENGTHENING FRONT LINE:
“It was very important to us to get a couple young guys that would come in here and address some kind of a need, which we feel we could need Kenneth Faried as a good rebounder. Rebounding mostly translates to the NBA. We’re excited about him. Jordan Hamilton is a good scorer and a really good shooter and I think his game will develop. He is a big, big wing. He’s about 6-8, 6-7 ½. We feel like we got a couple good young players that could be a big help to our team.”

ON WAITING TO SEE IF KENNETH FARIED WOULD FALL TO 22:
“We had different scenarios and we have guys. I just want to say our guys Herb Livsey and Mike Bratz are scouts that do an unbelievable job scouting around the globe everywhere. Those guys are warriors and they had us very well-prepared, not just now, but throughout the year. When we had to go see players or evaluate players they put them right in front of us. Was it nerve racking? We tried to do our best and it fell right into our lap.”

ON GEORGE KARL’S REACTION TO MILLER’S RETURN:
“We had three different options and he kept whispering in our ears, ‘Andre Miller, Andre Miller,’ the whole night. So he loves Andre Miller. He explained it to us that Andre Miller makes our young guys better and makes our team basketball better. He’s a very solid player. Felton had an understanding with Mozgov and Koufos in practice and he’d throw lobs and he understands these guys, drive and kick passes to Gallo and Afflalo and all of those guys. I think Andre gives us that and he gives us good presence on the court. Maybe we found our Jason Kidd.”

ON FARIED’S NCAA TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE:
“Him playing here (Pepsi Center) really helped us and it got our whole crew the opportunity to see him. We had gone on the road a few times to see him and our guys really like him. But playing here and seeing how relentless the kid was and bringing him into a workout really helped. He went for every loose ball. He has that natural instinct to go get the ball, and he’s tough. It was a big help for us that he was playing right here.”

ON POSSIBILITY OF GETTING TWO PLAYERS THAT IMPRESSED IN DRAFT WORKOUTS:
“We had a good list and we rank them and you try to get the best guy available. The way our ranking went, we were sitting there just counting and counting. We were patient because between 22 and 26, you never know what’s going to happen. We got them; we had both of them very high on our board at 22.”

ON HOW CLOSE THE NUGGETS CAME TO MOVING IN TO THE TOP 10 PICKS:
“I don’t think you can ever say how close you come. You get as aggressive as you can, and I think we were very aggressive. We tried every single way we could. We cannot control the other side, we can only control our side, but we tried – were very aggressive.”

ON HOW HE WOULD SUM UP HIS FIRST DRAFT EXPERIENCE:
“It was fun.”

ON IF HE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT THE NUGGETS WOULD BE ABLE TO OBTAIN FARIED AND HAMILTON:
“Never – not at all. I think for a long time (ESPN College Basketball Analyst) Jay Bilas had Hamilton in his top eight available – however he does that. He has been up there for a long time, Faried too. There are a lot of teams up top that liked them. Then draft day comes and a lot of things happen. I never thought we would get both of those guys, and they landed in our laps. We are very excited.”

ON IF FARIED IS MORE NBA READY THAN HAMILTON:
“Yeah, they are both NBA ready, but I think they both need development. They are both great but need development. They need coaching and teaching and playing. I think we are excited because we have staff, George [Karl] and all the assistant coaches that do a great job. The Nuggets have done a great job of developing players here. The Lawsons, the Afflalos, and all the players that were here before – the Kleiza’s, the Melo’s— and we see what Nene has become. We are very excited to bring that kind of talent to our coaches, and I am sure they will do a good job teaching them.”

ON RESIGNING JR SMITH:
“We have been having dialogue with J.R. and I think he is doing a good job of working out with John Lucas. We will see how it goes. J.R. is a big part of our program here and has been a big part of Denver the past few years.”

ON MADUABUM’S GAME:
“Doing Basketball Without Borders and all the camps in Africa, you try to watch the young kids like Mozgov and Koufos – young guys who like to play and love the game and love the gym. He is 6-foot-9 and has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He is 19 years old and still growing, and he jumps out of the gym. We will take a chance. We will see how he develops. We don’t how he will, but we will monitor his development and see what comes out of it.”

ON BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING TEAM:
“We are trying to acquire as many assets as we can. We lost a superstar, and you build by position and we feel like we are fitting people into those positions. I think the objective of this whole thing is to win. You put these types of players on a platform where they are being coached by good coaches, and we try to get the best out of them. If we get players in every position, and we get young players that we can develop, I think we have a good shot at being successful.”

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