DENVER, June 26 --
The Denver Nuggets have acquired the draft rights to senior G/F Sonny Weems
of Arkansas (39th overall pick) from the Chicago Bulls in a three-team trade, Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.
The Portland Trail Blazers received the Nuggets’ 2009 second round pick, New York’s 2009 second round pick (via Chicago) and Chicago’s 2010 second round pick. Additionally, the Bulls picked up the draft rights to the 36th overall pick, Omer Asik of Turkey, from Portland.
Weems, 6-6, 203, averaged 13.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.3 apg in two seasons at the University of Arkansas and was named First Team All-SEC by the league coaches as a senior in 2007-08.
He began his college career at Arkansas-Fort Smith Junior College where he posted averages of 15.2 ppg and 2.1 apg in 64 contests and helped lead his team to the NJCAA Tournament title as a sophomore.
Nuggets Quotes Regarding Sonny Weems:
Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien on how Weems can fit on the Nuggets roster -- "You look at J.R. (Smith), Linas (Kleiza), A.I. (Allen Iverson), Melo (Carmelo Anthony) -- high octane scorers. And then there's a niche, whether it's for Sonny or somebody else for dirty dog, run the floor, defender, wing-type guys . . . he will be in that mix."
Warkentien on scouting Weems prior to the draft -- "It's just kind of the nature of the draft. In the NBA, now the time you can work guys out is more limited. Often guys hit a certain point in the draft, and there's seven to eight teams that they haven’t worked out for. A lot of teams won't take a guy that hasn’t worked out for them. They reach those pockets and they need parachutes because they are falling . . . who is slipping, where's the value? With Sonny slipping today, we chose to make a play. He was in the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp and then there was a multi-team workout (in Oakland on June 13 & 14) and he participated in that. We saw him in Junior College too."
Warkentien on making the Weems trade -- "Picking up the additional (2009) first round pick (from Charlotte), the residue of that made it easier to make a play like this."
Nuggets Vice President of Player Personnel Rex Chapman on the developments throughout the night -- "We had a lot of conversations, there was a lot of talk, a whole lot of talk. As the draft unfolded, we saw guys sliding, and as that happened we started to become more active. Other teams become more active and we have been working on these types of scenarios for days."
Warkentien on the developments throughout the night -- "After trading the pick to Charlotte, 'Maybe we will dangle a 2009 second and see what is out there.' Rex and I kept those teams up last night. This morning we spoke to every franchise in the league, 'generically we have an interest in moving our future second for a current variety.' One through 25, we were the Maytag repair man. When 25 came . . . the game was on."
Chapman on the team's preparation -- "We had our ducks in a row. Doing our preparation last night and this morning, we were prepared if something happened like this. If it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen. But we feel very fortunate to get a quality player, a quality young man at 39."
Chapman on whether or not he had spoken to Sonny -- "Yes, we did. George talked with him too. Very excited kid from West Memphis, (he) had a bunch of family and friends with him. Maybe two minutes before we spoke with him did he know he was actually coming to us instead of Chicago. He was very excited."