Green, who was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft night trade with the Utah Jazz a year ago, spent all of last season in Italy, playing for Montepaschi Siena after an up and down 2013 Summer League. It would appear that Green's body of work, both in Europe and in the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League, plus as his progression in the same competition from a year ago helped him land on Denver's roster. We detailed how those two things helped his chances in a post from Saturday.
According to Rotoworld, the Nuggets also signed 2014 first round pick Jusuf Nurkic, and are full up on roster spots provided that Green's deal is guaranteed. It is possible, however, that Green will have to outplay a camp invite on an non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed deal, but that wouldn't seem to mesh with what Nuggets' Coach Brian Shaw made to Woody Paige of the Denver Post recently:
"Coach Brian Shaw claims the roster is set, so Kevin Love with the Nuggets is a Pipe Dream Team. And don't look for the Nuggets to sign other sexy free agents."
Those comments were of course, before Green put together what Rotoworld characterized as an "outstanding" Summer League, on his way to averages of 16.6 points, 3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. His points per game were the seventeenth-highest of all players in the Summer League. He showed a marked improvement in his game, looking like a completely different player than the young, green (no pun intended) rookie from a year ago that seemed timid and lost. He spoke to that with DenverStiff's Nate Timmons after the Nuggets' first Summer League game.
Ultimately, Denver felt that the benefit of keeping Green and having a third point guard, something they struggled with a year ago due to injuries, was a safer bet than sending him back overseas for a second time and needing him at a later point, or losing him to another team. The signing, however, does not mean Erick will be on the Nuggets' active roster. In fact, he is unlikely to see much time at all unless the Nuggets suffer injuries.
Despite having a 15-man roster limit, the NBA only allows for 12 players to be active for every game. As such, expect to see a lot of Erick at the end of the bench and making trips back and forth to their D-League affiliate (which has just changed from the Iowa Energy to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants) where he can gain some more playing time and experience. But, an NBA contract is an NBA contract, and as the top of the post noted, it's always a big deal when a former Hokie even gets a sniff of the top basketball league in the world.
According to DenverStiffs, the details aren't final yet, but it sounds like they should be very soon:
"First reported by Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net, the Denver Nuggets are expected to sign point guard Erick Green to an NBA contract. Denver Stiffs can confirm, through unnamed sources, that the Nuggets hope to announce the signing of Green in the next day or two with details of the contract still being ironed out"
Congratulations to you Erick! Hokies the world around are proud of you. You've earned it.
For more on Green's contract details and his situation with the Nuggets and everything Hokie basketball, Gobbler Country is your top source.