On To Denver

FAYETTEVILLE — Sonny Weems was a Chicago Bull. And then he wasn't.

Fifteen minutes after being selected by the Bulls with the 39th overall pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft, Weems received a phone call from his agent, Roger Montgomery.

Forget about Chicago, Montgomery said, and get ready for Denver.

"He just told me I got traded to the Nuggets," Weems said Thursday night. "That was fine by me. I think Denver wanted me all along. I talked to their general manager and head coach, and they said they were excited about it."

The Nuggets didn't draft anyone because they had traded away their two selections — a first-round pick to Charlotte and a second-rounder to Seattle. As part of the trade, which was pending NBA approval late Thursday night, Chicago will receive a second-round pick in the 2009 draft from Denver.

In actuality, the Nuggets may turn out to be a better fit for the former Razorback, a 6-foot-6 guard from West Memphis.

The Bulls used the first overall pick to snag Memphis freshman Derrick Rose. And while the Bulls should make changes this offseason, Weems would've landed on a roster with quality guards such as Rose, Ben Gordon, Larry Hughes, Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon and Thabo Sefolosha.

Instead, Weems ended up on a team with a need for depth at shooting guard. The possibility of playing alongside stars such as Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony was also enticing, Weems said.

Montgomery said the Nuggets had been tracking Weems throughout his senior season at Arkansas. Rex Chapman, the Nuggets' vice president of player personnel, took a particular interest in Weems throughout his first-team all-SEC campaign.

"He covers the SEC and liked what he saw from Sonny," Montgomery said.

Weems, who said he watched the draft at West Memphis High with 500 people, will play for the Nuggets' summer league team in July in Las Vegas.

"I can't wait to get started," Weems said. "It was kind of a crazy night, but now that I know where I'm going, I'm ready."



Sonny Weems

Age: 22

BORN: July 8, 1986.

POSITION: Guard/Forward.

HEIGHT: 6-6. WEIGHT: 203.

HOMETOWN: West Memphis.

HIGH SCHOOL: First-team All-State selection at West Memphis High. Led team to Class 5A state championship and 27-2 record.

COLLEGE: Arkansas-Fort Smith (2005-2006 — Led Lions to the 2006 NJCAA championship at 33-3. Honorable mention All-American and NJCAA All-Tournament team pick. Averaged 15.7 points. In 2005, averaged 17.0 points as All-Bi-State Conference pick. Also third-team All-American.); Arkansas (2007-08 — Averaged 11.8 points (second on team), 4.8 rebounds (second), 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals as junior, leading Hogs to 21-14 mark and NCAA Tournament. Named in All-Southeastern Conference Tournament team after leading Hogs to the finals. In 2008, averaged 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping the Razorbacks go 23-12, finish second in the SEC's Western Division at 9-7, reach the finals of the SEC Tournament for a second straight year and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Won national slam dunk contest during NCAA Final Four. Named first-team All-SEC. Scored career-high 31 points against Indiana in an 86-72 upset of Indiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Hogs' first NCAA Tournament win since 1999. Scored 19 points in second-round loss to No. 1 overall seed North Carolina.

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