DENVER (AP) -- Although he's playing for his fifth NBA team in five seasons, Shelden Williams seems to be settling in nicely with the Denver Nuggets.
Signed by the Nuggets as a free agent in July, Williams has set himself up as the most likely candidate to rack up minutes at power forward early in the season as Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen work their way back from offseason knee surgeries.
In their daily injury report Friday, the Nuggets said that Andersen, who had surgery on his right knee to repair a patella tendon, has begun taking part in court activities. Martin, who had left knee patella tendon surgery, is making what the team called "excellent progress." He's currently focusing his rehab efforts in the weight room.
They remain out indefinitely, creating an opening in the Nuggets' rotation that Williams is working hard to try to fill. Denver opens the regular season at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 27 against Utah, which ousted the Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season.
Williams, who is married to WNBA star Candace Parker, was signed to a one-year contract in July. He spent last season as a reserve with the Boston Celtics, helping them reach the NBA finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The former Duke University star was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2006 and has also played for Sacramento and Minnesota. He's averaged 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 244 career games.
"I've been very impressed with Shelden Williams," Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups said. "I really didn't know what to expect. I only played against him a few times. But he's been very, very solid."
More bit player than bench player during his career, Williams said he's hoping to establish a regular presence in the Nuggets' rotation.
"I knew with Kenyon and Birdman, there was a great chance for me to come in and play early minutes," Williams said. "Hopefully, I continue to play well like I've been doing in practice, establish that early, and when they come back, we'll go from there."
Coach George Karl said he likes what he's seen from Williams in the first week of the Nuggets' camp, though it's too early to define his role.
"I would say he's been one of the top five players in camp so far," Karl said. "He's played very well, his basketball IQ is at a good level. He's kind of a physical guy. He doesn't mind getting hit and doesn't mind hitting people, either. Right now, he's playing at a good level but there's a lot of practices and a lot of games before that decision (on his role) is going to be made."
Meanwhile, Karl also said he had a positive meeting Thursday with Carmelo Anthony. Karl is trying to convince Anthony to stay in Denver. Anthony, recently the subject of tr4ade rumors, hasn't signed the Nuggets' offer of a three-year, $65 million extension and could be eligible for free agency after the season.
What did Karl tell Anthony?
"I think this is the best team for you, from what I know of the situation," Karl said, recalling his talk. "I think it's a great city and why can't we be the team that creates the great team? Next year, we will have a salary cap situation that will probably be the first time it's been a positive in five or six years. But whatever happens, I want 'Melo and I to be respectful and professional with one another. I think that will get done."