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Michael Malone believes Nuggets ‘got a lot better’ after acquiring Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant, Michael Malone, Nuggets

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone is excited for the arrival of 6-foot-9 forward Jerami Grant.

The Nuggets acquired Grant in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending a 2020 first-round pick in the process.

Malone sees big things for Grant in Denver and believes that they got better with the acquisition of the 25-year-old forward.

“I think the Denver Nuggets got a lot better,” Malone told Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com. “He’s a guy that I’ve long thought very, very highly of.”

Malone went on to describe Grant as a “seamless” fit into the Nuggets’ culture and praised him for being a playoff-starting-level of a player. Grant appeared in 16 postseason games for OKC over three years, starting in five of them and averaging 9.2 points on 53.8 percent shooting from the field.

Malone, who’s coached Denver since the 2015-16 season after a two-year stint with the Sacramento Kings, took the Nuggets to the playoffs in 2019 following a five-year postseason drought. Denver finished with a 54-28 record for the second-seed in the Western Conference last season, but they lost in seven games in the conference semi-finals to Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Nuggets are attempting to resurrect their playoff chances and keep the window open for Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and company as the West continues to get loaded. Denver’s summer has been more low-key, though the addition of Grant will no doubt help the team’s depth.

Denver also reached an agreement to a contract extension with Murray and relinquished their qualifying offer to 6-foot-10 power forward Trey Lyles, who will be an unrestricted free agent.