View Full Version : 7/9 Denver Post - Nuggets seem to be kandi's 1st choice

07-09-2003, 09:07 AM
Denver tops Olowokandi's list
Center hasn't ruled out return to the Clippers
By Marc J. Spears, Denver Post Sports Writer
Los Angeles Clippers center Michael Olowokandi's first choice is to be a Nugget.

The free agent also is getting interest from Miami, and could hear from San Antonio if New Jersey guard Jason Kidd stays put. He hasn't scratched the Clippers off the list, either. Even so, the 7-foot, 270-pounder called the Nuggets his No. 1 team Tuesday.

"(The Nuggets) are probably the main team I am looking at right now," Olowokandi said. "Obviously, it all depends on who is being brought in and what is being done. The Nuggets do want to win and are serious about winning. That's what I need and am looking for."

Olowokandi is scheduled to meet with Nuggets officials this weekend in Los Angeles. Denver's summer league squad and team officials will be heading to Long Beach, Calif., for the Summer Pro League on Saturday.

While playing with a sore left knee last season, Olowokandi averaged 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds in 36 games. The top pick in the 1998 draft missed the final 2 1/2 months of the season after surgery to remove loose cartilage. Olowokandi visited Denver last summer before signing a one-year, $6 million contract. The Nuggets have $18 available for free agency.

"He's a legitimate center," Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said. "There are very few legitimate centers out there."

Olowokandi said he will prove he is an all-star caliber player, and the NBA's second-best center behind Shaquille O'Neal if healthy. The Nuggets have met with two other Clippers free agents, point guard Andre Miller and shooting guard Corey Maggette.

Free-agency update
After a flight delay, Miller arrived in Denver on Tuesday afternoon for a visit that is expected to conclude this afternoon. The restricted free agent led the NBA in assists two seasons ago with Cleveland, but with the Clippers his statistics dipped as he averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds last season. He is expected to visit Utah as well.

"In Cleveland, he was one of the best point guards in the NBA," Vandeweghe said. "Obviously, we're hoping that if he comes to Denver and the fit is right for him that he'd return to form. I have no reason to think that he wouldn't. He's a great player."

Golden State restricted free- agent guard Gilbert Arenas met with Miami officials in Los Angeles on Monday and is expected to meet with Utah officials soon. Arenas met with Vandeweghe last week.

Clippers restricted free-agent forward Lamar Odom is expected to meet with the Nuggets this weekend in Los Angeles. He is also getting interest from the Clippers, Miami and Orlando.

Melo's debut
Agent Calvin Andrews said Nuggets rookie forward Carmelo Anthony could make his summer league debut July 17 against the Clippers at the SPL. Denver opens play Sunday, but Anthony isn't expected to be eligible to play until July 16. The former Syracuse star will attend the ESPY Awards on July 16 in Los Angeles. He has been nominated for best male college athlete.

Howard to Wolves?
Minnesota owner Glen Taylor told the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press he has offered Denver free-agent forward Juwan Howard the midlevel exception ($4.7 million range).

"We've done just about everything we can do," Taylor said.

07-09-2003, 09:12 AM
If the Mavs were dead set about getting a center, they should have been calling Olowokandi and Rasho. Not Mourning.

07-09-2003, 09:19 AM
neither do anything for me. i might look into signing kandi as a last minute replacement if it doesnt work out with mourning, but rasho has spare written all over him.

07-09-2003, 09:26 AM
More interested in Miller than Rasho.

07-09-2003, 09:31 AM
I keep forgetting about Miller, but my point was that if the Mavs were after a center over Malone as their number one target, they should have gone after these guys and not Mourning.

I'd rather have Olowokandi, Rasho, or Miller over Mourning.