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Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke: A New Leadership Era for the Nuggets

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Many questions hover over the Denver Nuggets, but two of them have been answered now that the team has hired a new general manager and is officially under the control of a new owner.

Manager Masai Ujiri is a former Nuggets scout and rising star in NBA executive circles, notes The Denver Post. The 39-year-old is walking into what could be a dream job, but he’ll have to figure out how to handle the delicate negotiations with star forward Carmelo Anthony. He’ll also have to figure out what to do with coach George Karl and the one year remaining on Karl’s contract, as well as defensive leader Kenyon Martin, who is in the last year of his deal.

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Ujiri will have to answer to new team owner Josh Kroenke. At 30 years old, Kroenke is taking over ownership of the Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche from his father, Stan Kroenke, now that the elder Kroenke is officially majority owner of the St. Louis Rams football team. The Post points out in a separate article that NFL rules prohibit owners from holding other professional sports teams in the same market.

Josh Kroenke has experience working in finance and the front office of the Nuggets for the last few years, and he’ll work closely with Ujiri and other team executives to run the team. All of them will have to figure out what to do with J.R. Smith. The Denver police were called to the Nuggets practice facility August 13 after Smith allegedly attacked someone hired to play defense against players in practice (via AOL Fanhouse). 

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