How Good Can the Denver Nuggets Be?

How good are the 2011-12 Denver Nuggets?  Now that the opening night roster is largely in place, Arron Afflalo is not officially signed, but I anticipate he will be in the next few days, we know what Denver has to work with.

Earlier today we Kalen, Charlie and myself made some high level projections in our second 3-on-3 installment as to how good Denver will be this season.  As I am wont to do, I would like to delve into the roster with a little more depth as we attempt to determine what should be expected of this team.

Right off the bat we need to address the desire to connect this team’s potential with the fantastic finish last year’s team submitted.  This team is actually deeper from one through 15 than last season’s squad, but there is one massive difference.  Attitude.  The post-Melo roster last year was full of players with Great Wall of China sized chips on their shoulders.

Every one of them was insulted by the trade.  The Nugget players who were left behind had been told by Carmelo that they were not good enough for him.  The Knicks players who were traded to Denver had been told collectively they were less valuable than Carmelo Anthony.  They all were highly motivated to stick it to Carmelo and the Knicks.  Because of that unifying desire they all played selflessly and with an unnaturally heightened sense of purpose.

That screw you attitude is not something that can be sustained forever.  The players that remain have gotten it out of their system while the newbies do not have it.  That unifying force that drove Denver to dominate their opponent every night is gone and it is not coming back.  Players will have different motivations this year and that complete selflessness will be lacking.

Denver’s depth is undoubtedly an incredible advantage over this abbreviated and ridiculously taxing season. There will be nights where they will win games because they can put more players with fresh legs on the court than their opponent.

Denver does have talent and in order to have a successful season, they will need a breakout season from either Ty Lawson or Danilo Gallinari.  If neither one of those two show significant improvement, Denver will struggle against the top teams in the league.  In looking at the changes from last season the Nuggets have taken a step back at three of their top seven spots. The exchange of Andre Miller for Raymond Felton is nearly a lateral move, but Felton is more explosive and while he made me crazy the way he constantly cut off the roll man on ball screens by changing course and dribbling across the lane the screener was supposed to use to dive to the rim, he was dynamic on the break and made several big shots.

The exchange of Rudy Fernandez for J.R. Smith is a big step back.  Fernandez has not shot the ball well the previous two seasons and even when he is on, cannot replicate what J.R. could do.  Fernandez is a more willing passer and might prove to be a new partner on the pick and roll with Nene that Smith was so shockingly effective running.

Kenyon Martin will be dearly missed, primarily his ability to defend on the perimeter and bail out teammates who would get caught up on screens.  What many fans did not notice is Kenyon was a very good passer.  He rarely made the dramatic eye popping passes, but was very adept at putting the ball directly where it needed to be.  If Nene does indeed play power forward the drop off from Nene and Kenyon to Nene and Mozgov is rather drastic.  If Mozgov is not able to earn a starting spot at center, and Nene must man the pivot resulting in being paired with Al Harrington all bets are off.  I believe Kenneth Faried is the best answer at power forward, besides Nene of course, and that he will earn playing time at some point this season, but there is no guarantee Karl lets him off the bench.

If there is one thing that could lift Denver to the same level as the other elite teams in the west, it is their team defense.  The Nuggets defense after the trade was as good as any in the league.  Apart from Afflalo, Nene and possibly Corey Brewer Denver does not have any defenders who would be considered above average for their position in their top ten players.  Lawson is better than he gets credit for, but he struggles against bigger point guards.  Fernandez is below average.  Birdman is wildly inconsistent.  He will play the pick and roll like Anderson Varejao one trip down the floor and then look like he has never been taught what to do the next.  Mozgov’s abilities are hindered by his size and he moves like a fence post although his length makes it easier for him to recover.  Andre Miller is strong, but does not have the lateral quickness to handle quicker guards.

The good news is in the past when Karl has really focused on defense in training camp, the results have been very good.  Hopefully, that will be the case this year.  Of course, with so many new faces and an abbreviated training camp, there is only so much he can do.

I made no secret that I was in favor of Denver rebuilding.  From the time Denver started fielding trades for Carmelo the worst case scenario was getting a package that was good enough to remain a playoff team, but not good enough to truly contend.  Now Denver has spent their cap space to retain Nene and bring in players with below league average PERs.  They will have one more shot at signing a big time free agent next summer, but apart from that, I am not sure how they will get this team to reach the next level.

Their draft picks will be in the late teens to early twenties.  They will struggle to get a legitimate franchise player to sign in Denver as a free agent.  Denver has collected a strong slate of assets, but they certainly are going to fall short of putting together a trade offer for a star like the Clippers just did.  Their only young intriguing players are Lawson and Gallo.  I am not sure that the Rooster is going to improve dramatically beyond the player he is today and regardless how effective Lawson is teams will be turned off by his size.

For Nuggets fans who could not stomach the thought of rebuilding, you got your wish.  They will be a playoff team for the foreseeable future, but I fear that is all they will be.

The following two tabs change content below.
  • Omar

    have faith man. lawson and gallo have a good upside.

    • AAA

      I guess I sort of went with the flow initially believing the gallo could become a gun but then I started reading scouting reports on him and watching him further and I realized he is what he is, a good shooter and his ceiling is really peja stojakovic minus that one freaky year

  • Jeff

    With this schedule the Nuggets depth is so crucial and I think will help them more than people think. Right now I feel we are much better than the Clippers. My only serious concern is Mozgov, because I have only see him play a few games. I hope he doesn’t turn into a Greg Ostertag type big guy.

  • Nate

    The one person you forget to mention is George Karl. He can coach ’em up with the best of them. You can blog and write your opinion but the only influance we Nuggets fans can really trust is in coach, who has fought off death to lead this squad, TWICE! Do not under estimate the factor of human will! Good article none the less.

  • Ernie


    Would you trade right now our entire team for New Orleans situation? They have two potential good player, one Minnesota draft pick, and not much else. So it’s I think a good litmus test for your philosophy vs what is being done here in Denver. Not for 2012 obviously but for 2014 and beyond. Is that a fair assessment?

    Also I think your tweet about anticipating conspiracy talk when New Orleans magically wins the first two picks in the lottery was the best thing you’ve written.

    • Yetanotheraussienuggsfan

      I would swap our team for new Orleans in a heart beat. Eric Gordon is a stud, I think aminu has just as much if not more potential as gallo, kaman expiring contract is a nice trade piece, the minny pick could be a top five pick in a loaded draft and plus they are not going to be great this year so they will get another top 10 pick. Imagine a team something gordon, aminu, Andre Drummond and Quincy miller.

    • Jeremy

      Ernie, I absolutely would trade situations with New Orleans. The Nuggets are locked into being a lower level playoff team for the next three to five years. New Orleans will be this year and probably the next, their potential is far higher because they have a clean slate.

      I take no pleasure in endless pointless trips to the playoffs and I do not look forward to several more years of the same. If you are content in a decade of first round exits then we want different things from the Nuggets. I am happy to risk a few bad years for a chance at building a championship roster. The only way to accomplish that in a market like Denver is to acquire a championship caliber leader in the draft. To do so you have to be bad and I am not afraid of being bad.

      • Ernie

        Great, we then have a pretty good team to look at and determine which was the right path. I’m not a fan of 1st round exits either, and I don’t mind being bad for a year especially if it’s a shortened 66 game year. But there are a number of teams that are bad and have been bad for a long time. The Wizards had 2 #1 overall picks in the last 10 years and are still awful. In addition the Bobcats, Rapters, Warriors and Kings have all had high draft picks and virtually no success for the past 10 years. If we blow it up we risk being really bad for a long time, like 1996-2002.

        I’d rather keep gaining assets and seeing if last year’s success post Melo was a fluke. Nene, Gallo, Moz, Brewer and the rest can all be dealt in February if this is a mediocre team again since they are on such reasonable contracts.

        But a good debate. I appreciate your response and enjoy your analysis and this site.

  • Charles Muray

    Unfortunately, this is a good analysis. Karl has developed players to their strengths, so let’s see how Galo comes along. If Chandler comes back we need to teach him to hit that final shot with two men on him. That’s what we need to truely contend.

  • Matt

    I am not sure if an elite basketball team has to have a “star” player. Take a look at the number 1 college team in the country right now, The Syracuse Orange. They do not have a “star” player, yet they play some incredible basketball. Now I am a little bit biased since I am studying computer engineering right now at Syracuse. However this Syracuse team reminds me so much of the Denver Nuggets team after the Carmelo Anthony trade last year. Sure they all had a chip on their shoulder, but they could have all chosen to play angry and frustrated, or to put it behind them and meld together as a team which is what I believe they did. By losing Carmelo there was nowhere to hide, and that is what brought out the potential of every player on that team last year. Now again this year there is not a Carmelo Anthony to hide behind and just heavily rely on to score the basketball.

    I have always felt that 10 good players that play selfless basketball is always going to beat a team with 5 good players and 1 star player. the good players always tend to hide behind the star players. With that being said I think that this Nuggets team has a huge potential to do some great things this year.

    • Sanokumo

      Your theory sounds on the surface correct. but twenty years of watching NBA ball does not agree. In the last 30+ years only 2 teams won the championship without one of these players: Dr. J, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Olajuwan, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe or Nowitski.(I would say all of these players are more than just “star” players.) Both of the other teems were Detroit, one with Isiah Tomas and the bad boys and the other had four all stars.
      So the evidence is that yes you need a superstar to win it all.

      • Matt

        18-7 to end the year last year says otherwise. We just ran into a blistering hot OKC teams that I felt was going to win the whole ting last year. OKC was the only team we just could not beat post Melo trade. You also can not forget that the Nuggets were the TOP SCORING TEAM IN THE LEAGUE LAST YEAR!!! that was a stat that everyone said wold drop after melo was gone, but it didn’t. In fact the Nuggets PPG actually rose dramatically in the post melo era. This right here is evidence that you do not need a superstar to rely on as a crutch if you just play the game the right way. Look at the Broncos, (yes I know different sport but its a great example), everyone said that Tim Tebow could never be a QB in a NFL offense. But where the hell is the rule that says that you have to play a pocket passer offense? So John Fox made the absolutely fantastic decision to start running the option and now look what happened under an unorthodox system, The Broncos are 7-1 under Tebow. So where is the law that says that you have to have a superstar to win a championship. Sure history says you do, but who the hell cares about what happened in the past, and where is the law that says that the mold of a championship team can not be broken? There isn’t one! I believe that a team, under the proper system and coaching, could wind up doing some absolutely remarkable things, and I strongly feel that this Nuggets team can do that.

    • Yetanotheraussienuggsfan

      Dude college basketball is different

  • rjberryx

    I am not as eloquent as many posters here but I know this: defense wins games, not “stars”.

    Like any other aspect of life, the team that works the hardest – in this case at defense – will certainly make the playoffs. Realistically I think that is the most the Nuggets can do this year.

    Next year they probably need to obtain a game changing player, if they hope to go further.

    Nevertheless, I am excited about this group of players and seeing how far they can go.

    • Peter

      Yes, defense wins games, but once you get to the playoffs all the teams play defense and we don’t have as many scoring options as they do.

  • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

    Ok a crazy idea I think but I will leave it up to yall. What about a trade of Koufos, Big Al, and cap hold if possible for Kmart for a superstar Kobe Bryant. He seems a little upset there and we are a team that could help him get payback if you will towards the Lakers. Plus he could help draw other stars to Denver maybe. Well that might be a dream option but if possible what you think? Kalen, Jeremy, or Charlie ar any other Nugget Fans especially our Aussie ones.

    • AAA

      Koufos is the next Hakeem Olajuwon

    • Kalen

      Not a chance. Not in a million years. Hate to be so blunt but Kobe would never come to Denver no matter what.

      • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

        I love the blunt ness I saw something along the lines of this I really didn’t care if we were to even think about it. Lol the bluntness is why I love his page lol

    • FinazzAus

      Kobe has a NO TEADE CLUSE in this contract. Only player to have it. So is not a chance

      • FinazzAus

        TRADE sorry

  • Yetanotheraussienuggsfan

    this is a great article and something I have been hoping for since last year. I was hoping somehow we could get the new jersey package which included favours, morrow, Harris and picks. This would of allowed us to rebuild but I was disappointed with the new York trade. I am a firm believer that if you are in a small market you must rebuild through the lottery and it seems many Denver fans can’t comprehend a couple of seasons of being bad for chance to contend, instead preferring to be a 5th seed. With this lineup we are locked into mediocrity and something has to change. We can’t afford to make decisions on this lineup next season with this loaded draft class.
    – Lawson is not worth trading, probs our most talented young player and this draft isn’t great for pgs
    – afflalo is a glue guy which many championship teams crave, not tradable
    – nene has just resigned and big guys are hard to come by, not tradable
    – mozgov doesn’t have much value by himself and would have to be included in a package
    – I’m sorry to all those gallinari lovers but he seems to be a logical choice to trade hopefully for a draft pick, which would open up room for j ham to develop and hopefully a stud like Quincy miller or Michael Kidd gilchrist

    • Z

      I’m not sure why everybody is convinced the lottery is our answer. We could just as easily end up with a bust as a franchise player. We could end up with Melo 2.0. How many times did he take us past the first round of the playoffs? Oh yes only once and I would give Chauncey a lot more credit for that then Melo

      • AAA

        You could also get a durant, d rose, wade or duncan. That is why it is a lottery. Are you telling me you would rather this mediocre team or a chance you could get a kevin durant, if not you try again. And the point is you blow up this team to get multiple picks so you increase your chances of success. Stars win in the nba. THIS IS NOT THE NFL! You can’t get by with good coaching and chemistry. It may work in the regular season but it won’t win you a championship. Are you really convinced this team will win a championship. Looks at past champions they all have a superstar except the 04 pistons and they had 4 all stars and a couple of all defensive team players. DENVER WON’T WITH THIS LINEUP!!!!!! You get the star and then build depth around them that is just how it works

        • Z

          I’m sorry apparently you misunderstood me when I said you could just as easily end up with a bust. I fully understand you can get a superstar, but can you not also trade these assets and get a proven player rather then chance the lottery with Denvers luck?

          • Jack

            Hey Nikoloz Tskitishvili could straight up ball he should have been an all star in his rookie year. Are you forgetting all NBL (Australian league kids get on it) third teamer julius hodge????

  • Peter

    Jeremy, fantastic article, I agree with everything you said. I was actually hoping that we wouldn’t sign Nene so we would have a better chance at a higher draft pick and could get Faried some more minutes. My question is how do you think the Nuggets will obtain their next franchise player? Through the draft, through a trade or free agency? I mean I hope Nuggets management doesn’t think it will be through free agency. Who is the best free agent we have signed in the last 10 years? Andre Miller the first time? I guess you could even make the case that it was Nene just now.

    • aussienuggsfan

      Time to blow up this team and give faried and j ham some starter minutes and build through this monster draft


    Good news Denver faithful I went through a all the teams in the league and we might have a decent shot still at being bad enough for a top ten pick and once you are in the lottery you never know. Hopefully a loyal version of Carmelo like Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd gilchrist or Quincy miller. FINGERS CROSSED gallo blowing out a knee might be the sealer. With brewer, Carroll or j ham starting we put ourselves in prime position to join the other lucky basement junk like the raptors and bobcats. JUST REMEMBER TO SUPPORT TEAMS LIKE the warriors, hornets, suns, rockets, net and jazz so they can knock us down into where you win championships… THE LOTTERY. Ujiri you are a genius

  • AAA

    Scary to think one of our best signings in years might actually hurt this franchise and I am not even talking about paying $13 million to a 34 year old with injury history

  • FinazzAus

    Can no one remember that a couple of years ago we went to the west conference final (and should have won the series) after that play Boston (which we had beaten that year on there home court) and anything can happen. Agreed we had melo back then but remember that everyone saids defence wins championships. So there could be a point to be made that his D hurt the nuggets. Yep he scored 30poinrs a night but you only need a guy scoring 15 points if your D is 15 points better. Re-building is crap. the lakers were shit a few years back and traded in player ( I know we don’t have the same pull as LA does) only got bynam from the draft and he was on the bench in casuals when they were winning. Look at Dallas last year, don’t tell me anyone though JJ was good enough to be a championship player and have an impact, even chandler jump around a few times before finding his true calling with Dallas.
    Its easy to play crap and win the lottery or a high pick. But you have to surround them with quility players.
    30% superstar 50% quility players (who play for the team) and 20% LUCK.
    I’m happy with our team and deep down I wound be upset of we miss the playoff this year to get a good pick. But just because your a team always sitting in 5th spot doesn’t mean you can’t compete for a championship

    • FinazzAus

      The free card to build a championship team is the amnesty cluse. First explain is billups, clippers being able to have a backup point guard of billups statue for 2mill a year ( we pay koufos more then that)
      If a chance for teams to big up big assets for cheap. So players might be older but doesn’t mean they can’t add something to the team.
      I wish Denver had left roster spots open to pick up these guys. Even Brandon Roy if we pick him up for 500k (no risk) and if we get 40 games from him off the bench would be a good chip to have.

    • AAA

      You pretty much said it yourself we had Carmelo and Chauncey , they were stars and yes defense wins but we still had big time players. And comparing us to the lakers and Dallas is silly. They are bigger markets that attract players and they kinda had Kobe and dirk. We don’t . So you have pretty much showed exactly why we won’t win. We have all the good complementary players you need minus a dirk, wade, Kobe, Carmelo, paul, d rose, dwight or even lebron

      • FinazzAus

        I’m not saying we’re the lakers and have a big market. I’m saying they did not build from the draft. Drafts don’t get good players scouts get good player. I wonder what plays San Antonio had for Manu when they drafted in the secound round.
        Dirk wasn’t as good as he is now in this third year, Kobe got traded so charlotte didn’t see Kobe as a star. I can’t remember that dud’s name who got drafted before melo.
        Drafts don’t create championships.

        • Kalen

          Absolutely agree 110%. I don’t know why when people think of the best stars in the league they always assume they HAD to be picked No. 1 overall. Dirk, Kobe, Pierce, Stoudemire, etc. are all guys selected 9th or lower in the draft. Three of those guys have won titles as the best player on their team.

          With the amount of assets we have, we could EASILY trade up to the 9th spot in this years draft and land a Kidd-Gilchrist, Lamb or Miller.

          I understand the concept of a superstar, but people need to realize that we must first build a culture of winning before any of the championships start pouring in. Intentionally sucking to you can possibly get a shot at the No.1 pick goes against everything sports were ever created for.

          And you said it best, drafts don’t get good players, scouts do. What a great quote. Bottom line is that with Masai, it doesn’t matter if we’re picking 22nd or 28th, we’re gonna get a steal no matter what.

          • Andrew

            I completely agree with your comments on this post. Going backward on the chance of later going forward is bullsh*t. That is a loser’s attitude. If they scout right, the Nuggets could end up getting the next mvp with the 10th pick in the draft next year, but if they are not an excellent organization, they will not win a championship even if they get the next Kobe, because they will not have the pieces to build around him. The Nuggets should be focused on excellence, decide who they want and then find a way to get that player. Even if they have to overspend. Scout, Coach and Play to win. That simple.

            • Andrew

              I would add that, in the end, there are a lot of players with amazing talents, but precious few with the will to win and fewer teams still that have a multiple of these types of players. Those are the teams that have a chance. To my mind, the Nuggets need a Center with that attitude and will to pull their team together. I think both their point guards have that will, if Gallo can develop and get smarter, he has that will, Afflalo arguably has that will and Faried looks like he might have that will. Kmart (because if his knees) and Nene are on the bubbles. All the rest are good components, but probably expendable if the Nuggets can trade them to get the right, fearless Center with the and other complimentary pieces. What gives me hope is that there are so many people on here and throughout the NBA who would rather have Chandler than Gallo. Did you watch the playoffs last year?! Gallo might very well end up being a bust because he might not be able to improve the way he needs to, but he laid it out there in the playoffs. He went down swinging. That’s why I love him.

          • Jack

            I agree Kalen that you dont need to have the no 1 pick however I think it is more about having a top 10 pick. I love the idea of trading up for Kidd gilchrist or Quincy miller around pick 8 or so. Actually think they are better than barnes. Having a top 4 pick might not help Denver that much this year anyway. Davis is a stud but he is pf and we nene and faried. Drummond is a man child but is a bit of a pipe dream. Sullinger wouldn’t fit with us anyway.

          • KW

            Agree with Kalen. I have two words for all you draft lovers… DARKO MILICIC.

            What’s the common thread in all this talk of first round playoff exits? George Karl.

            GK has been horrible in the playoffs. As long as there are Greg Popovich’s and Rick Adelman are still consuming GK’s playoff lunch before they start on their own, we’re going to have problems.

            We are starting to see a winning culture in the Nuggs FO and I love it but until we get a different coach, we’re going to continue to flounder.

  • Jim

    So, to be good we have to suck enough to luckily draft someone that will make us really good again?

    Didn’t we do that? Like exactly, in every single way? Didn’t work out, btw. There’s gotta be a different script.

    • AAA

      We did it but we didn’t have Masai Ujiri to round out the roster at time. For example we didn’t we trade for stoudemire when we had carmelo

    • aussienuggsfan

      Um if you are new york or la, boston or Miami maybe but last time I checked yeah that is how it works for small markets in the nba. Have you forgotten that nobody has ever won the nba championship without a superstar or multiple all stars?????

    • Jeremy

      Hi Jim, you are absolutely right, Denver did follow this script in 2002-2003, it netted arguable the best seven year stretch in team history. Instead of hanging on to what is left of that team it is time to make another run at it.

      As others have pointed out it requires a huge amount of luck to not only get a high pick, oh by the way Denver has never once moved up in the lottery so take that for what it is worth, but to get a high pick when there is a Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant and not a Michael Olowokandi or Greg Oden.

      This is a subject that has been on my mind quite a bit and you can read more of my thoughts on how championship rosters are built from a couple of weeks ago here and how important luck is to winning from August 2010 here.

      • Jim

        Sure, i completely agree with you the run with Carmelo was great – its why i have loved the nuggets since moving to denver in 1999. but didn’t it ultimately yield exactly the kind of middling playoff team you argue we don’t want to be? How can doing it again be better than going to war with the best team we can field right now? With luck and maybe two or three gifts from joe dumars? Too hopeless.

        I will definitely reread your championship teams post because it’s right on. But I keep coming back to the pistons team example and the celtics team. The outliers. This league is nucking futs right now. Why not some team with depth like the nuggets? I don’t see the spurs, lakers, mavs etc coming back so strong. Vinsanity, really? Shoot even the heat are banking on dudes like eddy curry “making a contribution”. Bonzi wells is back in the league! Build a team that can better compete with the thunders and grizzlies. Get lucky. Maybe even George Karl could get his playoff head out of his ass. Why not? I don’t think this makes me content with mediocrity. Maybe ignorance…

        I think I just don’t trust the draft. For every nowitski there’s what? 250 darkos.

        And even Jordan needed a shitload of Steve kerrs.

  • aussienuggsfan


    You are right on the money. The lottery is the only way for small market teams.

    I am sick and tired of the ignorance of so many nugget fans and their seeming contentness with mediocrity.

    I am a big a nene fan as the next guy but his resigning could hurt the nuggets. George karl also needs to realize that this recreating thing only works when you have a constant star to build around.

    I should have taken more time when choosing Denver as my team because I have never been more disappointed with their direction

    • Kalen

      You’ve never been more disappointed with their direction? So, let me get this straight. You’d rather intentionally lose for years just so that we could MAYBE land a top 3 pick, rather than actually make smart moves and collect and expand our assets in an attempt to keep winning ball games and set ourselves up for perpetual success? Sorry, but count me as one who simply does not understand this concept of thinking.

      We had a “superstar” in Melo and you know what it got us? Nothing except for continuous first-round exits, player-coach feuds, selfish basketball and in the end an entire year of tumultuous hell while he demanded a trade somewhere else.

      I, for the life of my, cannot fathom the concept that we should have just let Melo walk all over us and leave for nothing so we could suck for years to come in an effort to rebuild.

      But, to each his own, I guess.

    • Jack

      I get where you are coming from but to say you never have been more disappointed with the team is a bit over the top

  • Jeremy

    The one thing I have not touched on that is an important factor here is the business side of things. The new CBA has made it easier to have a crummy team and make money with the expanded revenue sharing and increased tax penalties, but for an owner throwing away a solid team for what may seem like a pipe dream is a very difficult business decision to make. For season ticket holders who already re-upped on their tickets to all of the sudden shift from seeing meaningful games to a season of watching a team deliberately putting an inferior product on the floor is difficult to swallow.

    • aussienuggsfan

      I enjoy watching young developing teams even if they lose knowing that you are improving young guys but also more is on the way

    • gk4prez

      It will also make it easier for teams with cap space to add a quality player in a couple of years when the tax hike kicks in. The Lakers already started the process by unloading one of their key pieces for next to nothing. In my opinion, there will be several more deals like this to come along between now and then.

      Take a look at how several of the teams that had some cap flexibility spent money over the past week.

  • Jack

    I wish lakers had offered us Bynum for carmelo like the rumours, despite his injuries he still has just about as much potential as anyone in the league. Then we could have ha the best front court in the league with room left at the 3 spot for this loaded draft class.
    Btw I don’t understand why some people think we should tank however if we get a pick between like 20 and 12 (which is likely) we should try and trade up for like someone suggested a quincy miller or Michael Kidd gilchrist. Those kids can flat out ball and make you fall out of love with gallo quicker than you can say nenes full name

  • Jack

    A lot of people taking strong sides of this site. Totally suck or try and draft well from pick 24. How bout just play the season out, develop youngsters, develop winning culture and then if there is an opportunity to trade up into the 6-10 range we take it.

    All I want for Christmas or in april whatever is Quincy miller. Next time Baylor is on tv take some time out of your day to watch this man ball out like Kevin durant

    • Kalen

      I’ve only seen him play a few times but I was extremely impressed with his game. Dude is just smooth, has an excellent overall game and seems like he has what it takes to succeed on the next level. Baylor is ridiculously talented this year too. Watch out for them come March.

  • Ricardo

    I think the nuggets could be a good team this year if Lawson and Gallinari have a break-out season, which I think they will because they don’t have Felton and Chandler to affect the minutes they play.
    The nuggets could be better off if they build through the draft, like the Thunder did. It only took two years for the Thunder to be an elite team in the West. One way they could get draft picks is by trading Smith, Chandler, and Martin when they come back from China.

  • Colby

    Has anyone heard about the Nuggets signing Michael Ruffin? How many people are they going to have on this team? If they were going to get someone else, I would have rather had it been Earl Clark or even Marreese Speights. I think they should also see if New Orleans would give them the Minnesota pick for someone on this team since they have so much depth. I would give up Gallinari for it. Especially if the pick ended up being Harrison Barnes. Barnes will be a better SF in the NBA than Gallinari. Also, whats the news on Afflalo? Resigning him should have happened before signing someone else.

    • Jack

      I would trade a few players including gallo for that pick but I doubt David stern would

  • Emmanuelle

    Why is nobody seeing the star player we have on the nuggets right now in Nene. This is going to be his best season why not build around him hope Galo becomes what his suppose to and drop 20ppg and Ty Lawson has alot of upside. If the Nuggets show they can win with this team and still have cap then other star players will want to come. Players want to win not just play for big teams the nuggets are doing the right thing.

  • gk4prez

    I disagree with this part of the article:

    “That screw you attitude is not something that can be sustained forever. The players that remain have gotten it out of their system while the newbies do not have it.”

    I think this mentality is still alive. Miller still thinks he should start and he was traded, so he will bring it. Hamilton slipped way down in the draft. Fernandez wanted more minutes, was traded, and then traded again. Brewer is a former lottery pick that several teams have given up on. Koufos wants to prove that he should get regular minutes, etc… GK just has to keep this fire burning in these guys and keep them motivated, no small task, but it’s doable. Even Gallo has something to build on from last year, it was his first taste of the playoffs, and instead of having to play 2nd or 3rd fiddle, he will now get the keys to the car.

    • gk4prez

      Nene wanted to play more at the 4 spot and he will be getting his wish, so he should be motivated to prove that it is a move that should have been made a long time ago.

  • jr15

    Wow, are you a Nuggets fan Jeremy? So you really have no faith in the young talent that we already have? Well the Nuggets have been put down many times before including you right after the trade, so keep putting them down.
    I don’t see how Ty Lawson’s height affects his trade value. Isn’t CP3 the same height? NO got a big haul for him.
    Well just another hater, ready to be proven wrong. Also that 2014 NY pick will be a lottery pick so we can still get some more talent while being a playoff team.

    • Jack

      What possibly makes you think new York will be a lottery team with 2 more years to build around Carmelo amare and chandler???!??!?

  • Jesse

    Just got back from the inter-squad scrimmage. Mozgov has terrible hands and doesn’t seem to understand what a pick and roll is. Galinari shows he’s ready to be #1 or #2. Demarre Carroll if anything, has a lot of energy. He should get a roster spot from just that. Koufos was really impressive. I’d rather him start then Timo, but then again it was just one scrimmage…

  • steve

    The only part this team is missing is a closer to finish out games. we can play great team defense and we have plenty of weapns to turn too. Nugs have pleny of depth…but we just dont have that closer YET. It could be Afflalo, he did have a winning basket or 2 after the Melo trade. It could be Gallo who needs to step up and take more of the scoring load. I’m assuming it will be a committee during the season and they will have a gameplan come playoff time. I see this team competing for the division title with OKC. Yes we may come up a 2 or 3 games short and be a 5th or 6th seed. regardless, the nugs will be very competitive. We just need to close games which gave us problems last year in playoffs vs OKC. FIND THAT CLOSER…and we could be a legit contender.

  • Brad

    Ok. First off this has nothing to do with tim tebow or the nfl. Ya he may be 7-1 as a starter but the same thing is gona happen to the broncos that happened to the dolphins a few years ago. The option will work for the rest of this year then next year teams will have found a way to stop it just like the stopped the wildcat. So unless tebow learns to be an nfl quarterback he wont take the broncos anywhere. However with the nfl u can get a player from the draft that will make an immediate impact such as cam newton has done for the panthers. The nba is nothing like that. You look at all the “stars” in the leauge now and the majority of them came from the ’03 draft except for kevin durant. The last time there was a draft loaded with that many players that could carry a team was in ’96 and kobe is the only one from that draft who still has the skill to do it but its clear that even he don’t have it like he used to. Kobe is degressing and probly has 2 maybe 3 good seasons left and the same goes with dirk. Lets face the facts, other then the Knicks, Heat, Thunder, Grizzlies, and Clippers, the majority of contenders are heading into their last year or two of contension because most of them are filled with veterans that are on the down side of their careers. For the nuggets to rebuild now would just be plain stupid. They are full of young talent that are perfect to make a good “TEAM”. If you were to trade all those assets to take a risk at a high draft pick that might be a bust then all u would have left are a few “ok” players with one possible star. Which makes it easy for an opponent to come up with a defensive game plan, stop him from scoring, then you are left with no offense. The perfect example are the Wizards and John Wall. Wall has the potential to be just as good as a Chris Paul or Derrick Rose but it wont show without a good supporting cast. On top of that getting rid of the caliber of players that the Nuggets have won’t attract any superstars. Think about it, why have so many superstars left the teams that drafted them? They want to win championships and they werent able to win with the players they had around them so why would any star want to join a Nuggets team with absolutly no talent around them. Carmelo left the Denver to go to the Knicks to play with better players, mainly amare. So tell me how a team with a bunch of no name players is gona attract any kind of superstar? There are no players coming up in college that are going to be at the talent level of a LeBron, D-Wade, or Kevin Durant. The Nuggets mad the right move by chosing to try and compete in the western confrence because even though they may not be a championship contender this year, with the veteran teams entering their last good years the Nuggets have a legitimate chance in the next couple years. And lets not forget that other than game 5 in the series against OKC last year, the rest of the series was a dog fight and Denver had a realistic chance. I expect the same this year.