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One of the most anticipated free agent signings in league history could debut with his new team against the Nuggets this fall. Denver will visit LeBron James and the Lakers twice over its five-game preseason slate that the team released Monday.
The Nuggets’ preseason opener, which is also the first game on the Lakers’ preseason schedule, falls on Sep. 30 in San Diego at Valley View Casino Center
Denver will also face the Lakers on Oct. 2 at Staples Center before hosting their lone preseason home game at Pepsi Center Oct. 5 against 2017-18 National Basketball League Most Valuable Player Bryce Cotton and the Perth Wildcats.
Perth is one of five teams from Australia and New Zealand’s NBL that will play against NBA competition this preseason. The Wildcats won the 2016-17 NBL Championship behind 45 points from Cotton, a 6-foot-1 scoring guard, in the league’s Grand Final. Last season, Perth advanced to the NBL’s semifinals before falling to the Adelaide 36ers. Cotton appeared in 15 games for the Jazz in 2014-15 and five games for the Grizzlies in 2015-16.
The Nuggets’ other two preseason games are both on the road. Denver will travel back to Los Angeles to play the Clippers on Oct. 9 before the Nuggets wrap up preseason action Oct. 12 in Chicago against the Bulls.
Per a team press release, all five preseason games will air on the Nuggets’ flagship radio station Altitude 950 am. Only the Oct. 2 game against the Lakers in Los Angeles and the Oct. 10 home game vs. Perth will be televised on Altitude TV.
The Nuggets’ preseason opener against the Lakers is also the first time Denver and Los Angeles will face one another since last year’s heated season series between the two teams.
At the conclusion of a Dec. 2 matchup in Denver, Jamal Murray went out of his way to dribble around Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball as the final seconds ticked off the clock in a 115-100 Nuggets’ win. Following the two teams’ next meeting on March 10, Lakers coach Luke Walton called Murray’s actions at the end of Denver’s 125-116 victory “disrespectful.” Walton alleged that Murray trash-talked some of his players.
“I can’t control what the other team’s gonna feel,” Murray said that night. “I’m just gonna go out there and hoop, and whoever takes it to heart and takes their losses salty, I can’t do anything about that.”