Dirty Laundry: Denver Nuggets offseason priority list

With the Playoffs firmly underway and free agency right around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the most, and least, important tasks the Denver Nuggets must undertake in order to remain competitive in the Western Conference.

Priority No. 1: Re-sign Nene

To be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time making this the No. 1 priority this offseason after recent comments by Nene in which he revealed, “I’ve been here for nine years…If that doesn’t work how you want it, you need to sit down and evaluate everything and see what you can do.” According to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post, “Nene said Monday he is strongly considering opting out.” Now before we totally jump to conclusions, there are a few things we need to consider.

First, just because Nene said he’s leaning towards opting out, that does not inevitably mean that he’s leaving. With so much uncertainty regarding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and a potential lockout, it’s still anyone’s guess as to how much players will benefit from the new terms and conditions. Maybe players like Nene who have stayed with their respective teams for a long time will benefit even more lucrative Bird Right considerations, you never know. But at the same time, that’s exactly the problem: With $12 million sitting on the table entering one of the most precarious offseasons in NBA history, wouldn’t it be a no-brainer to take the money, especially considering the fact that David Stern has been extremely vocal in his desire to cut down on player salaries?

Unfortunately Nene’s comments, just like his game, are somewhat of an enigma. He’s clearly not happy with the Denver Nuggets organization but whether it be strictly contractual or on-the-court matters, we cannot definitively know at this time. One thing is for certain though: Re-signing Nene must be our top priority this offseason as he’s still somewhat young, in the dead heat of his prime and most importantly, a big man. In the NBA, athletic big men who can give you 14 and eight to go along with the highest field goal percentage in the entire league on a nightly basis, are extremely rare. I know we all get frustrated at times with Nene’s lack of assertiveness on the offensive side of the ball, but I’ll take a little hesitancy any day over not having Nene at all. More importantly, if we lose Nene, who are we going to replace him with? The most prominent unrestricted free-agent centers available are Tyson Chandler (whom the Mavericks will undoubtedly make an advantageous offer to), Yao Ming (can he even play?), Joel Pryzbilla and Samuel Dalembert, all of whom — except Chandler — Nene is currently better than. I’m not entirely frightened at the prospect of Mozgov starting at center next year — in fact I’d probably petition for it right now — but I am however frightened at the prospect of Mozgov and Koufos starting together.

Priority No. 2: Re-sign Arron Afflalo

The great thing about Afflalo is that he’s a restricted free agent. Any offer he receives from another team, we’ll surely match without even thinking twice. Afflalo must be a key part of our future and Nuggets’ GM — or should I say “executive vice president of basketball operations” — Masai Ujiri, knows this. The real question is: How much will our coveted young shooting guard fetch in the offseason? Under the current CBA, Afflalo would be the type of player most likely to reel in anywhere from $6-8 million per year, but with changes in player contracts on the horizon, it’s hard to imagine where his production value lies numerically. But no matter what happens with the new CBA, Nuggets fans can rest assured knowing Afflalo will be a satisfactory investment in every way imaginable.

Priority No. 3: Re-sign Wilson Chandler

This one might come as a bit of a shock, but it’s paramount for several reasons and here’s why:

First off, Wilson Chandler is a nice player. He’s extremely versatile, can play great defense and is young. Since coming into the league back in 2007 Chandler has improved every year in the points, rebounds and free-throw percentage categories while with the Knicks. Though the Nuggets already have Harrington and Gallinari there’s no doubt that Chandler is as good, or better than both of them in many ways. To many Nuggets fans, re-signing Chandler might be considered somewhat protocol considering all that’s mentioned above, but to others Chandler is seen as a valuable, yet expendable asset; the truth lies somewhere in-between.

Because Chandler is a restricted free agent, we have the right to match whatever he is offered by another team if we do not re-sign him on our own terms. Though it would be tempting to keep him, other clubs around the league will be salivating for his services more than the Nuggets, and in turn, would likely offer up a pretty substantial amount of assets — say for example, an unprotected draft pick in the already infamous 2012 NBA draft. Because we have Harrington and Gallinari — two extremely serviceable small forwards — locked down for years to come, Chandler then appears to become the odd man out. Some would say trade Harrington and keep Chandler, but the minute any NBA team takes a look at his contract, they’ll likely decline proceeding any further. So re-signing, then trading Chandler for another big man, draft pick, etc., would seem to be the road the Denver Nuggets would take in order to fully maximize the value of the Carmelo Anthony trade right? Not quite.

You see, restricted free agents cannot participate in sign-and-trade deals under the current CBA regulations. As of now, restricted free agents can only be (A) signed by another team, or (B) re-signed by their current team; they cannot however be re-signed by their current team then traded to a different team immediately following the deal. In fact, once a restricted free agent re-signs with his incumbent team, he cannot be traded for an entire year following the transaction. And though this is something that has the potential to change over the summer, we definitely shouldn’t bank on it.

So, the conclusion we reach with Chandler is this: either lose him in free agency or re-sign him, let him play for a year and figure out what we want to do with him after that. Seems like a pretty easy decision and a win-win for the Nuggets either way. For at least one year Chandler can continue to help the team win basketball games, and after that we can then gauge how happy he is coming off the bench. If he’s fine with his role and would like to continue his career with the Nuggets then we have another potential Sixth Man of the Year, and if not, then he offers up a great trade chip without the Nuggets taking a significant hit in production.

And that is why re-signing Chandler is so  crucial.

Priority No. 4: Sign key role players

This, I feel, is often times one of the most underrated aspects in all of basketball. When you look around the league, especially in this year’s playoffs, role players can have a monumental impact on a team’s success. Take the Grizzlies for instance, who just pulled off one of the more difficult tasks in all of sports by defeating a No. 1 seed in the first round. Guys like Tony Allen, Shane Battier and Darrell Arthur — though not the most prolific names on the team — can make all the difference in the world. These are the types of guys that generally fetch anywhere from $1-5 million, but have an affect that suggests they make much more. The Denver Nuggets in particular are an interesting prospect because of how deep and talented our bench is currently constructed, but we will likely lose a few key pieces this summer and it would be in our best interest to peruse some of the following standout free agents (starting at point guard and moving up to power forward — the best centers have already been covered): Jose Juan Barea, T.J. Ford, Leandro Barbosa, Delonte West, Anthony Parker, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Shannon Brown, Kelenna Azubuike, Shane Battier, Grant Hill, Luc Mbah a Moute, Josh McRoberts, Reggie “The Joker” Evans (strictly for rebounding purposes), Jeff Foster, Chuck Hays, Chris Humphries, Glen Davis and Carl Landry.

Priority No. 5: Trade Raymond Felton

Unlike Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton (whom one of my friends recently stated, “looks like a turtle without a shell”) is a free agent asset that the Denver Nuggets can afford to lose right now. I know it sounds harsh, especially given how well Felton played in a Nuggets uniform this season, but this is a situation in which not only would the Nuggets benefit greatly, but Felton as well.

Ty Lawson is the future of this franchise. I know that’s a bold statement, but there’s no other player on this team at the moment who has greater upside than Lawson. Some might argue Gallinari fits this bill, but because of the position Lawson plays he has more of an overall affect on the game than Gallo. Lawson is ready to be THAT guy right now, and there’s simply not enough space to employ a timeshare with another player. He’s is young, extremely athletic and has displayed this year that he’s beyond ready to assume full-time duties at his position. As far as I can tell, there’s just no point in cutting down on both Felton and Lawson’s minutes to allow for them to share the same court. These are young, starting caliber point guards in the NBA and the Nuggets would be doing a disservice to both by continue to try and squeeze them together. Furthermore, Felton is in a contract year and we all know what that means: He’s going to want to play the best basketball of his career to ensure that come free agency in 2012, he has put on a clear display of his talents that will allow teams to offer him the appropriate amount of money he deserves.

The one caveat with dealing Felton this summer (and this is why he’s ranked No. 5 in the Priority List), is that because he only has one year left on his contract we likely wouldn’t receive an equal amount of value in return for what he represents as a player. To avoid trading him for pennies on the dollar, it might be in the Nuggets best interest to wait until the new CBA is reached, sign Felton to a multi-year deal and then trade him sometime next season — if there is a “next season.” This would ensure that whatever team lands Felton would have him for the foreseeable future, resulting in a more willing approach to part with their own precious assets than if they only were guaranteed his services for a year. Again, this is very similar to the Chandler scenario in that we could potentially sign a player, wait until he can be traded under the rules laid forth by the CBA and then evaluate what the best course of action would be from that point on.

Priority No. 6: Re-sign both J.R. Smith and  Kenyon Martin

Of all the Denver Nuggets, these two are probably highest up on the “Least Likely to Re-sign List.” Though both have stated somewhat recently that they’d like to continue their careers in Denver, this most recent (oh I hate saying that) first-round playoff exit might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Smith was once again made the scapegoat for Karl’s ineptitude and since then has remained skeptical about giving even more valuable years of his career to a coach that does not respect him or treat him fairly. With Afflalo’s emergence and Ujiri’s emphasis on making him a large part of the Nuggets future plans, you have to wonder if Smith’s days in Denver are now only a part of the past.

Martin on the other hand is a bit more of a question mark. He’s dropped little hints here and there about his desire to win even if it means coming off the bench, which you’d think would be an indication that he’d be willing to play for a title contender, but then recently expressed strong interest in remaining in Denver. I fully admit that even though I’m a huge “J.R. guy” I’d chose K-Mart over him if I had to, as his presence means way more to the Nuggets success than Smith’s. Martin should be higher on this list, but because the Nuggets have so many imperative priorities as well as the more youthful Mozgov, he finds himself at this lowly position. Still, re-signing Kenyon should be as cardinal of a priority as any the Nuggets take on this summer.

Priority No. 7: Consider replacing Karl

If it was up to me, this might be at the top of the list, but because Karl recently signed a three-year extension it’s hard to imagine the Nuggets following through with this “priority.” Some options that are currently available: Bill Laimbeer (my target for quite some time), Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Fratello, Rick Adelman, Mike Brown, Lawrence Frank (Boston Celtics defensive assistant), Patrick Ewing (might be worth the shot) as well as countless others. Bottom line: There are a plethora of suitors out there that would likely do a better job with this team come playoff time, and I don’t think it’s too outlandish to suggest we take a look even if it means Stan will have to pay a few million extra per season, because I honestly don’t know how many more heartbreaking first-round exits I can endure at this juncture.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Aussie Nugs Fan

    Kalen I pretty much agree with you. I am a bit disappointed obviously your research has shown it won’t be quite so simple to package Raymond, Wilson and Al Harrington for a legit starter/star such as josh smith.

    I think when it comes to who we sign, as much as I would love to have all the guys from this season back, we have to get them at the right price.

    I agree Nene has to be no.1 priority, he is in his prime and we should be a top4 team in the west with our core next year.

    Wes Mathews got 5 years $34mil last year. I would say AAA is comparable to that, wouldn’t want to give him much more than that though.

    Similarly we should sign Wilson as long as nobody else comes in with an outrageous offer.

    You also mention we need a backup point guard (won’t need many minutes as Ty should be good for 36min/game), Could you tell me what you think about this?
    We all know JR is a great player who at times has great vision and deserves more than 20min/game… what about a 3 guard rotation with Ty, JR and AAA. You have 96 back court minutes a night how about
    Ty 36mins at PG
    AAA 32mins at SG + occasional SF mins
    JR 12mins at PG (with the second unit)+ 16mins at SG
    Plus at times you can play all three by sliding one of them to SF.

    We could sign another true point guard at the minimum (or draft one) for garbage minutes and insurance, but honestly I think giving JR some burn at the point could work!

    Finally with K-Mart, I agree he is a great defensive presence – for now, but he won’t be getting any better at 32yrs of age, Please please nuggets do not give him a multiyear deal!

    • Kalen

      I think that could work. J.R. played some PG this year and from what I could tell did a pretty good job of it. But I don’t know if Karl is comfortable with giving him that much responsibility.

    • dbyron24

      i think that the nuggets are still in the rebuilding phase. however they are on the good side of that. i agree on some of these but one that pops out to me is nene. he is a huge dude. and has grown in his game a lot this year. but i am still concerned with his lack of ability to take over the post game. he got dominated a lot this year. he is bigger and stringer than most guys in the league but still got posterized. i think we need to take a look at who is out there or going to be out there and see if there might be a better prospect for us. i like moz. he will grow a lot this summer and and i think he could be a roleplayer. but if we can, we need to get rid of nene. ty lawson and gallo are the future of this team. we need to build around them. kenyon martin has always been a defensive piece for us. not an offensive. he is getting older and its time to move on. (all of this is assuming a lock out does not happen) same with jr. i love the guy. in my opinion the most explosive 6th man in the league and someone who can turn around a game in a heartbeat. but he isnt happy here.
      here is what i think could be a possiblity. a small one… but still a chance.

      we need to keep felton and lawson. but his minutes need to be dropped a little. many teams have a hard time guarding certain point guards, and look for a breather when the sub comes in, but not with the nuggets. those are two point guards you have to constantly watch.

      afflalo is a perfect piece to this team. keep him. jr needs to be traded for a draft pick. i dont think he has enough trade value for another team to give us the same caliber of player. we would get someone much more insignificant. if we cant get a pick. keep him.

      trade chandler. or harrington
      he is worth a two player trade. maybe even a decently high draft pick.

      trade kenyon martin for a strong rebounding pf. we need defense in the post. we need someone like tyreke evans, (i wish) a shutdown pf is crucial for denver. kenyon has dropped out of that category.

      trade nene, maybe in a package deal with one of the before mentioned players. or go out in free agency.
      someone to look at dwight howard. i know it sounds insane and i myself dont see this happening, but i really think they should look into this. he doesnt do well when its all on him all the time. he needs someone to take the attention away from him at times in the game. orlando has no one to do that. something that i think would work is kenyon and howard. maybe moz. but somehow we need to get rid of nene and get a more domniant post presence. we need to shutdown the post. our perimeter defense has been fine.

  • Clayton

    Oh Man Kalen… I was with you, with you, with you, and then… BAMM made my my eyes pop out with the yanking of Karl. On second glance, I can reflect that yeah we might need some different blood in charge to really push us over the hump. But I think it always comes back to – I would rather be with him than without him. Cause I remember life without him. The head coaching position was a revolving door that causes chaos, confusion, uncertainty and most importantly un-winning seasons. And the even better question is: WHO would be better off to replace him? I mean really? You threw out some nice recycled names that just don’t jump out and say – that is a coach that can get more out of what we have than Karl can.

    Ok on to #1 – I’ve been holding this back for weeks now… Nene got PUNKED and totally wimped out at the slightest push of Serge and Perk. We can’t loose him, but there has to be something on HIM to finally step up. Come on big fella – we’ll love you but you gotta keep it coming.

    I’m gonna be realistic and not share by dream about finding a trade partner for Big Al’s monster contract. Too bad that couldn’t make the list.

    Finally, where is the outta box thinking? Everything (besides yaya role players and trading Felton) here is closing up in house contracts. Lets think a little bigger… cause if we make that priority one, we can offer up more money and then double back and sign our guys to their deals still. So to be more specific… how about replacing KMart with a bigger big man that can clog the middle and make Nene a true power forward. Marc Gasol tops my list today, followed closely by DeAndre Jordan. Either one of those guys would put together a front line that would finally not be something that get run over by Ibaka, Perk, Bynum or anyone else… BRING IT :)

    • Kalen

      Yeah Clayton, I guess I’m just still fuming over how we went out in the first round yet again. Karl does offer a security blanket sort of feeling, but has he ever done anything with this team he wasn’t supposed to? I mean, he’s had some pretty damn good teams and from what I could tell we underachieved quite a bit until Chauncey got here and led us to the WCFs. I think we have to take a chance, that’s all. I’d hate for this great period of Nuggets basketball to end without us ever knowing what we might have done with a different coach in the playoffs. Just look at what happened in Atlanta for example. They had a coach that did everything right except win in the playoffs, they fire him and hire a no-namer and suddenly they win in the Playoffs. You gotta take a chance, that’s all I’m saying.

      As for “outta box thinking,” this was more just a basic run-down of what the order of our priorities should be in my opinion. We’ll plan on doing more of the stuff you mentioned in separate posts here soon.

      • Clayton

        One thing I keep forgetting (or subconsciously suppressing) is the job that Karl did this year with all of the Melo-drama. Honestly I don’t think another coach could have handled it as well. Clearly Karl and Melo were never really going to see eye-to-eye. But I think we can all agree that Melo’s game is never going to translate to a championship unless he comes more in line with what Karl was preaching. But beyond that – who else could have held a team together 2/3 of a season with a super-star that wanted nothing more than to play in NYC. And then after the trade, to put together the run they had, the team-first attitude for the regular season was exactly what they needed. Lets give him a chance to try and mold this group. I think if it doesn’t work out, he would be the first to leave. But lets give him a chance.

        • doktarr

          Exactly, Clayton. I really don’t believe there’s a coach in the league that would have done a better job than Karl did this season. It was an impossible situation; it would have been hard to blame him if they had emerged from the trade with a losing record and then limped in from there.

          Let’s see what he can do with a full season with the players and system he wants. I think we’ll be a top-4 seed next year. Other than OKC, who should the Nuggets be afraid of in the west?

          • Warner

            I agree that Karl did a nice job considering the adversity that faced the team but you guys are missing the big picture. The fact is that Karl continuously gets out coached in almost every single playoff series he’s coached for us. Scott Brooks was Karl’s assistant in Denver and if you saw the difference in coaching styles you’d thing Brooks was the one with 1000 wins. Karl has a long history of feuds with his star players and he’s one stubborn son of a b.. He played small ball against OKC which killed us and he refused to make any adjustments. He’s done the same throughout his career in the playoffs I think his 40 something winning percentage in the playoffs speaks volumes. Anyway, I’d love to take a run on Mike Brown. Give Karl one more year to develop young bloods then its time to move on. Here’s a name to throw out there as well… OJ Mayo? Also, throw nene at PF and have Mozgov start at center

      • doktarr

        Did we really underachieve, though? I don’t think impartial observers looked down the Denver roster in, say, 2006, and thought that it should dominate. Did pairing Iverson and ‘Melo make sense? No, not really.

        As I’ve said before, Karl finally has the team he wants and a team built to play the style he wants to coach, for the first time since he was coaching the Sonics in the mid-90s. After the trade, the Nuggets went on a tear through the league until falling to the team that was literally their worst matchup out of every team in the playoffs, and even then they kept 3 of 4 games close. I didn’t agree with every Karl decision (in particular, I thought he should have played Felton less and JR more) but I have a hard time blaming the loss on Karl.

        And not to put too fine a point on it, but why would we expect one of those guys you mention to do a better job than Karl? Of those guys, only Mike Brown actually has a winning playoff record, and I can easily argue that his Cavs teams underachieved in the playoffs far more glaringly than the Nuggets have.

        I agree with the rest of the points. I wouldn’t put a very high priority on re-signing K-Mart, though, and I would love to trade Al Harrington if we can find someone who will take the contract. Obviously, that would make the power forward position our draft priority.

  • Andrew

    Not sure about the order, but I agree with all but the re-sign JR priority. I would rather they replace Karl, too, but there is no sense keeping a miserable JR around anymore. Not fair to him or the team. He and Karl just do not mix. I wish they could get a new coach, but it isn’t going to happen. So, re-sign everybody except Felton and JR. If they can package them and (wishful thinking) Harrington, maybe they can get a decent backup PG, a 2 that can play defense and hit the three, and a rebounding PF…that would be nice. I look forward to Karl’s excuse why he cannot play Mozgov or Koufos…and keeps Nene out of position at Center.

  • Ryan

    PLEASE NO JEFF VAN GUNDY!!!!!!! that guy is such a loser, karl is better than him. he is the whole reason i cant stand watching ESPN televised games.

  • Aussie Nugs Fan

    Just want to add I’m also against getting rid of karl.

    One more scenario I have heard thrown around…

    Nene and Raymond for Chris Bosh.

    I think Miami would definitely consider this and it may push them over the top.

    I am not the biggest bosh fan but if we played moz at centre and then gallo at SF that could still be a pretty strong team…

    • Clayton

      Miami would drop everything for that! I don’t think that helps the Nuggets too much. Bosh won’t want to be here and he has softer moments then Nene… Nut much of a win for giving up Felton as well. But the way playoffs are shaping up and the way they are playing now, they will probably win it all and have a hard time breaking up the big 3.

    • Kalen

      If the Heat win the title it’s hard to imagine they’d trade Bosh, but if not then I would do that in an instant. Let’s be honest here, Bosh is on another level than Nene and Felton would be gone either way, so it seems like a steal for us.

    • Andy

      I’m also intrigued with the idea of Bosh in a Nuggets uniform. He will be the scapegoat if the Heat fail to win the title and they really need more depth. Nene’s deference would be a perfect fit there. Besides, I just don’t see the fire in him. He will never be a dominant big man.

      As for Karl, I’m inclined to keep him. He’s cut from the same mold as Popovich. Surround him with team-oriented players who share the same philosophy.

  • Aussie Nugs Fan

    Yeah the possibility of this deal hinges on how miami go probably against the bulls in the east finals.

    As you say Kalen, Raymond is gone anyway and only has a year on his contract so how much can he really fetch? And we all have to admit Bosh is better than Nene and younger and locked up on a reasonable contract.

    Clayton I completely agree with you that bosh can be really soft BUT imagine how pissed he would be to be shipped out of miami he may have a massive chip on his shoulder. And because of the decent contract and several years maybe we can flip him for more value down the track if it doesn’t work out.

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon L.

    Trading Felton is a good idea because Lawson is here to stay. Maybe they can get a good scorer for him. I also agree that they need to resign Nene.

  • Haig

    If Nene opts out, I don’t think we can trade him. And as a RFA, we can’t sign and trade him for a year, right? I agree keeping Nene is better than losing him for nothing. But I don’t think we can package him with Felton this summer.

    • Kalen

      If we were to re-sign Nene, it would be on a new contract because he already opted out; therefor, he couldn’t be traded for at least three months from according to the current CBA.

      That’s how I interpret the rules at the moment. If anybody knows otherwise please feel free to enlighten me.

  • Brad

    Aussie, if we trade those three for Josh Smith, that will be the last day I’m a Denver Nuggets fan. I hope you were just making a point and not suggesting that Josh Smith is a Denver Nugget.

    • Aussie Nugs Fan

      No I really think Josh Smith is a great player in the same mould as his namesake JR, super athletic, unstoppable when his is on his game, can have massive brain snaps.

      But you do need to take a chance on guys like that, and I think he is much better defensive and perhaps has slightly better judgement than JR. He showed both sides of his game in the orlando and chicago series.

      I also really want to keep JR because he is just nowhere near his ceiling at the moment, I would love a team that looked like Ty, AAA, Gallo, J-smooth, nene, with JR on the bench. Thats a super athletic team that could play lockdown D and contains a couple of great shooters.

      From what ive hear J-smooth may be in play as atlanta might be forced to rebuild.

      But yeah he is about the best player in the nba who the nuggets have a better than 10% shot at I would imagine.

      I take it if you are not a Josh smith fan you are not a JR smith fan, as i say, i do understand.

  • Warner

    I say we go after Kevin Love or Michael Beasley. The wolves can’t keep both of them and they’d both fit nicely with the Nuggets I believe. I’m not in love with Josh Smith or Bosh but Carl Landry wouldn’t be bad.. Also, Kris Humphries finished off the season very strongly in NJ I was impressed with him great rebounder

  • http://www.roundballminigcompany.com Steve

    NO Michael Beasley. We have enough offensive minded big men. We need defense.

    What about this…..starting 5:

    Lawson – PG
    Afflalo – SG
    Gallo – SF
    Nene – PF
    Mozgov – C

    Felton – PG
    Shannon Brown – SG
    Forbes – SG/SF
    Chandler – SF
    Battier – SG/SF
    Harrington – SF/PF
    Kris Humphries – PF
    Koufos – PF/C
    Birdman – PF/C

    This might be too many players on a roster but we need defensive minded players and hustle players. Battier gives us the ability to match-up with Kobe, Lebron, Durant, etc… that denver does not have now. I know he’s getting older but he knows his role. Shannon Brown is getting sick of not playing in LA, he would be our explosive JR but with more upside. I think JR has peaked. Moving Nene to PF is obvious. He is a great help defender and decent on the offensive side of the ball. Mozgov is a good presence in the middle and is only going to get better. Nene is always wanting more big men to help take minutes, this is a great way to do that for him. With role players like Humphries & Battier we have hustle players to get loose balls and move momentum our way.

    What do you guys think? Can it happen?

    • Kalen

      I really like it Steve. But Brown and Humphries are going to be some of the most sought after free agents on the market. The odds of us landing both are thin. I think Battier should be a top priority though. He is exactly the type of guy we need to compete with team that have superstars.

  • Darian

    I agree with alot of the things said. We do need to do get some role players because it seemed a litttle disorganized during the playoffs and some of our players seemed frustrated with going in and out which resulted in them playing well. I hate the fact that it probably would be better for J.R to leave because Karl does not appreciate him. He is such a good player and I personally think that he should start over Afflalo. I hope that eventually Karl will recognize his valuableness and start him.

  • diehardnr1

    I admire Karl’s ability to keep his team competitive during difficult times, He is a genius at taking over teams mid-season and posting mind boggling regular season results (i.e. his 1st and latest season in Denver).

    That being said…I have to question some of is rotation decisions in crucial situations. His (mis)use of JR in playoff run and OKC was of Greek Tragedy proportions. JR was ready to step up and be the answer to KD and RW…and at times proved it…he was just never given a chance to work through mistakes. imo, JR committed less “bone-headed” head plays than say Gallo or Felton…And took less “HUH???” shots than say Chandler or KMart…yet all were given free passes EXCEPT for JR. While I agreed with the short leash in past seasons…this was JR’s time to shine and imho Karl blew it.

    Karl’s refusal to play Koufos, Ely, Mozy(?) into the rotation (if even for foul fodder) in OKC was truly baffling. Even the most distracted fan could see that Nene needed a break…and all Nuggets fans know that a tired, winded Nene is a bad Nene. He tends to get his “break” on the floor…totally disappearing for critical stretches……….All the while Karl is oblivious while he tinkers with his “Twin Tar-heel Terrors” 2PG line-up…Baffling…

    And can the guy call a TO at critical times???? (This has always been my opinion of GK) The OKC series just proved this problem…Seemed like every Nuggets run was cut short by timely TO’s and adjustments. Meanwhile, George would allow dbl digit leads to totally evaporate…and THEN call his timeout!!! Play-off loss…like many in the past few seasons must be laid squarely on Karls doorstep…if he doesn’t produce this year…boot him

    Keep: Nene (as PF)
    KMart (for less $$)
    JR (as Starting SG)
    AAA (duh….)
    Anyone over 7′

    Trade: Felton (who won’t be happy with
    back-up/sharing role)

    Bubble: Gallo (Just not sold yet)
    Birdman (can he stay healthy)
    Chandler (unless he finds his shot
    and a new ankle)
    Forbes (just what is his role?)

    As always… GO NUGGETS!!!

  • Freeman

    Gallinari is priority # 1. Aaron Afflallo is over rated. K-Mart ripped us off, to heck with him. Nene for eight playoff seasons has dropped his performance numbers by 20 percent across the board while most players improve theirs in the post. Trade Nene and go after someone with heart and those things most men have. Karl is great with experianced players, but we now have a young team that needs structure and most importantly discipline. Free throws ineptitude and head follies are directly related to coaching and Karl did not have in the playoffs at all. Business is business.

  • JC


  • http://www.roundballminigcompany.com Steve

    As much as I would love to blame the playoff losses on Karl, it wasn’t his fault. the only reason I say this is our free throw shooting was horrible. Here’s a recap of our horrendous free throw shooting:
    Game 1:L 21-33(and lost by 4pts & outrebounded 37-30)
    Game 2:L 28-37 (not bad but outrebounded 54-31)
    Game 3:L 30-45 (lost by 3 & outrebounded 49-43)
    Game 4:W 31-44(outrebounded 50-44)
    Game 5:L 17-21 (lost by 3 outrebounded 51-38)- this game was a home town cooking job. OKC shot 42 free throws to Denvers 21. give me a break.

    Denver had every chance to win this series but shot free throws bad and couldn’t get a rebound. Come on!

  • Dan

    Good points all of them. I would move #5 up to #3. Felton is useless in my book. I believe he did more harm than good in the playoffs. He makes about every 3rd lay-up and a lot of TO’s. Ty is the future and we don’t need two point guards from NC that Karl can’t decide on so he plays them together. Hopefully, some team will want him. Heck, I would even give him away to clear cap space. They did it with Camby and he was 10x better than Felton.

  • Isaac G

    #7 and Kenyon Martin are both horrible ideas. Re-sign everyone else and trade Ray Felton for anything, he is awful. Sign Shannon Brown if the money isn’t spent on JR

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