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While the rest of the league is still in offseason mode, the Denver Nuggets are getting back to work.
Nuggets players arrived in Atlanta over the past few days ahead of Denver’s second annual voluntary team minicamp this week at Paul Millsap’s state-of-the-art Core 4 facility. Millsap organized the inaugural minicamp last summer around a month after he inked a three-year, $90 million contract with Denver in free agency.
Jamal Murray, Mason Plumlee, Trey Lyles, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Monte Morris, Tyler Lydon and rookies Michael Porter Jr., Jarred Vanderbilt, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Thomas Welsh were among the players on hand for the group’s first workout Monday morning. Nuggets director of player development John Beckett, assistant strength coach Carlos Daniel and physical therapist Matt Tuttle are also with the team.
“I think with this situation, we’re just building a relationship and a family for this upcoming season,” Akoon-Purcell told BSN Denver after the team’s first workout at Core 4. “It never hurts to be around your teammates to get to know each other off the court. It definitely helps.”
Millsap’s 44,000-square-foot facility was still under construction when it hosted a Nuggets practice prior to an early-season road game against the Hawks last season. The warehouse boasts multiple courts, a hot tub, cold tub and sauna. There’s also a weight room, an area with turf, and a track.
Last season’s minicamp featured more than 10 Nuggets’ players and provided an opportunity for Millsap and the rest of his teammates to bond prior to their inaugural season together. The first minicamp began around five weeks prior to Denver’s week-long training camp in late-September. This year’s gathering comes with training camp six weeks away.
“The thing about Denver is all the guys are open. Nobody acts like they’re just some person that can’t be talked to,” said Akoon-Purcell. They’ll come and initiate conversation with me before I even say something. That’s a good thing about the guys we have. I definitely feel like we have a good chemistry. I felt like that even in Summer League when it was just a bunch of new guys.”
Core 4 is frequented by NBA players in the offseason for scrimmages and workouts. Mike Scott, Joe Johnson, Mike Muscala, Lorenzo Brown, John Jenkins, DeMarre Carrol and Shelvin Mack are some of the players who have walked through the facility’s doors already this summer.
Denver’s first preseason game is Sep. 30 in San Diego versus the Clippers. The Nuggets open the 2018-19 regular season on Oct. 17 in Los Angeles against the Clippers.