Denver Nuggets off-season to-do list

For the third year in a row Roundball Mining Company has arranged an off-season priority list for the Denver Nuggets. The following items are arranged from least to most important. They are moves which the Nuggets would greatly benefit from, yet none are mandatory. After winning 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year, it’s safe to assume Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri will do everything in his power to improve the Nuggets once again — that is, as long as he’s still around.

9. Re-sign Julyan Stone

Stone has been a member of the Nuggets for two years now, yet he’s more known for his injuries than his play on the floor. Since joining the Nuggets back in 2011 Stone has played in 27 games, only four of which came this season. Still, he’s renowned for his hustle, defensive intensity and court vision, all of which leave Nuggets fans salivating for more. Stone hasn’t had a fair shot at playing in a Nuggets uniform so there’s no way of telling just how good he can be. The Nuggets need defenders, especially at the point guard position, so it would seem quite futile to let him walk for nothing after already investing two years of money into him. At the very least the Nuggets should try and re-sign him to a one-year contract and free up some playing time to see what he’s made of.

8. Let Corey Brewer walk

This one is tough. And I hate saying this. HATE. Hatehatehatehate. Brewer should be a Nugget for a while. He fits the system perfectly, plays phenomenal defense, gives 110 percent almost every night and improved more in two years in Denver than he did his entire career elsewhere. If the Nuggets are able to make a trade and free up a few rosters spots then re-signing Brewer should be a top priority. But if not, it’s likely in the Nuggets best interest to let him walk. Unfortunately the Nuggets are just too stacked at the wing position right now. Guys like Jordan Hamilton and Quincy Miller — who could be studs for all we know — need the opportunity to grow and they’re not gonna find it with Brewer on the roster. Ideally, the Nuggets find a way to move several pieces, re-sign Brewer at a cheap rate and let all the wings duke it out at training camp in hopes that the best man wins.

7. Let Timofey Mozgov walk

Ujiri has gone on record as saying he wants to try and retain Mozgov or at least match whatever he fetches on the open market, but that seems more of a polite gesture than a beneficial basketball move. Mozgov isn’t a high commodity in the NBA and Ujiri has already placed him on the trading block once, making it all the more illogical for him to go out of his way to try and match an incredibly modest offer he’ll likely receive elsewhere. Even if Ujiri does intend to match it’s hard to imagine him getting anything of substance from his potential suitor other than a few bucks cash or a late pick in a very, very distant draft.

6. Find a defensive specialist taller than 6-10

The Nuggets have quite a few players who specialize in defense: Iguodala, Brewer, Chandler, Stone — even Gallinari is underrated in this sense. But once you get past Gallinari, the Nuggets have nobody who can lock people down at the power forward and center positions. Koufos did a fine job all year doing what he was told to do and playing fundamental defense; but if you think Koufos is the answer to the Nuggets’ defensive woes up front, then you either didn’t watch the playoffs or you’re the biggest Kosta Koufos fan ever. If we learned anything in the playoffs it’s that the Nuggets frontcourt — either due to a lack of athleticism, brainpower or a combination of the two — simply cannot defend against intricate offensive onslaughts from their opponent. Finding a big man who can be relied upon in big games to set rock-hard picks, hedge like a mad man and not fall for every pump fake sent his way is one of the more underrated moves being talked about in Nuggets Nation right now. Of course, a really good defensive-minded coach could always fix this issue as well…

5. Trade depth for star power

Ever since the Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks for every last significant asset on their roster, Denver has been overwrought with fringe All-Stars and really talented role players. At some point the Nuggets have to find a way to parlay that talent into a single star player — sort of repeating the circle set forth by Carmelo Anthony. Players like Pau Gasol and Kevin Love pique Nuggets fans’ interest most, but even a minor upgrade at a certain position would do. Because the Nuggets absolutely have to open up some roster space this summer so guys like Fournier, Hamilton and Miller can get a shot at competing for playing time. That’s three incredibly talented youngsters who have yet to get a real crack at playing significant minutes and that’s not even including the Nuggets rookie this year who could be better than all three! If the Nuggets can’t make a move for a star they’re likely going to see a trend where several of the team’s younger and more promising assets walk for nothing without having had a chance to compete in city where they were drafted.

4. Sign a shooter

It’s been clear for quite some time that the Nuggets need a legitimate outside threat, someone who specializes in 3-pointers and does nothing else at a more high rate. Last year the Nuggets had two of the better outside shooters in the league in Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington, but when Ujiri sent them to Orlando last summer for Iguodala the Nuggets took a hit to their outside shooting that they have yet to recover from. Jordan Hamilton is likely the Nuggets best shooter from downtown yet there’s no telling just how deep he is in Karl’s doghouse. With guys like Chase Budinger, Mike Dunleavy Jr., James Jones, J.J. Redick, Gary Neal, Jodie Meeks, Marco Belinelli, O.J. Mayo, Kyle Korver, Ben Gordon and Mo Williams on the open market, it’s hard to imagine the Nuggets not finding a deadly outside shooter this summer. If Ujiri is really savvy (which, by all indications, he clearly is) he’ll find a way to free up enough cap space and roster room to not only sign one of the better 3-point shooters in this class, but essentially assure him a spot in the rotation next year as well.

3. Get rid of Andre Miller

You see how I say “get rid of” instead of “trade”? That’s because finding a way to jettison Andre Miller is so critical, simply trading him won’t cut it. The Nuggets need to do whatever they can to sever ties with him — end of story. What’s really sad is that this is the second year in a row Miller has made this list (top five both years!) for the exact same reason. It’s also sad to consider that if not for two of the Nuggets most valuable assets being free agents this summer (Ujiri and Iguodala), finding a way to dump Andre Miller would be the No. 1 priority on this list. That’s how bad it’s gotten. And you can say what you want about Karl’s ability to grind out wins in the regular season but his eye for talent and blind loyalty to players he considers his friends is just flat-out ghastly. If Miller isn’t let go, Karl will likely over rely on him yet again next year when he’s one year older, one year slower and one more year closer to being completely incapable of playing anything that even remotely resembles defense in the NBA. The only thing Andre Miller is good for at this point in time is offense, and that’s the last thing the Nuggets need. In addition to Stone, there are also several point guards in the upcoming draft worth considering, as well as free agents who actually fit the Nuggets run-and-gun system rather than walk the ball up the court while the rest of the team runs their asses off.

2. Re-sign Andre Iguodala

Iguodala has a player option on his current contract for one year at a little over $16 million. In an ideal, Nuggets-centric world, Iguodala would re-sign longterm for about half that per season. The problem? Iguodala can probably get more on the open market. He could also probably take his $16 million player option for next year and still find a contract at more than what the Nuggets would feel comfortable paying him. Like it or not, Iguodala is a unique player in today’s NBA. He’s unselfish to a fault, is perhaps the most intelligent and willing defender in the league and has no real glaring weakness in his game (though his jump shot could use some improvement). Guys like him don’t just fall of trees. The Nuggets know this and so does everyone else in the league. If Iguodala likes Denver and wants to be there then the Nuggets are in good shape, but Ujiri still needs to find a way for Iguodala to take a massive pay cut either way. However, if Iguodala is truly set on testing the waters like he says he is, the Nuggets could very well find themselves in a tough spot as the team already has over $50 million locked up for next season. Ujiri has done an outstanding job retaining free agents in the past, but this is without question his biggest challenge to date. If Iguodala walks, the Nuggets essentially traded a first-round draft pick and Arron Afflalo for nothing.

1. Re-sign Masai Ujiri

All the above moves would be great and all, but without Ujiri their chances of being complete diminishes greatly. There is no other way to put it: Masai Ujiri is the single most important asset the Denver Nuggets have at the moment. In fact, he’s one of the single most important assets the Nuggets have ever possessed in team history! Two other times has a Nuggets general manager won Executive of the Year yet neither possessed the type of innate, visionary talent that Ujiri has. He’s been on the job for only three years yet he’s already overcome the biggest hurdle a franchise can face (Melo) and been deemed the best general manager in the league shortly thereafter. I’ve always thought the true sign of a good general manager was how well they draft and in this case Ujiri is better than anybody in the league — bar none. Even other great general managers like Sam Presti in Oklahoma City or R.C. Buford in San Antonio have made pretty unforgivable mistakes in the draft recently, whereas Ujiri’s hit on every pick he’s been presented (Turkyilmaz: TBD). For once the Nuggets appear to be in position to be really good for a really long time, but unless they sign Ujiri, their hopes of winning a championship just aren’t very realistic.

Follow me on Twitter

The following two tabs change content below.

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.
  • Scott

    1. Resign Iggy/Masai- given.
    2. GET RID OF ANDRE “DEFENSIVE PHENOM” MILLER
    3. Package Miller, Koufos, and 1st round pick for the 17th pick by Atlanta and select C Gorgui Dieng from Lousville.
    OR
    Trade Miller, Koufos, Gallo, and pick for someone BIG. Starpower is what we need because those “playoffs are different, you need a star” talks proved true. I’m thinking KLove but I just don’t see how lineups would work with him and Faried. I see Manimal as a Nugget for life.
    4. I don’t see the connection with Korver. Good shooter, but insanely one dimensional. Find a shooter that fits.
    5. Sign a young backup PG to Ty or just give 4kneeaye the minutes. Nate Robinson anyone? He will probably be overpaid though after these playoffs.
    6. UNLEASH TY LAWSON. Give him 36+ minutes and have him carry the offense. Make him our all star Karl. He can average 20 and 7 if he’s away from miller.

    • Scott

      And condition JAVALE! If he can get 25-30 minutes that would be fantastic. He did nothing but improve his post work in the playoffs and I expect him to do more this summer.

    • Henson

      Not sure how you can say that superstar talent is needed when OKC (led by superstar Kevin Durant) is out and the Knicks (led by superstar Carmelo Anthony) are on their way out.

      • Jason

        OKC and The Knicks don’t have the same depth Denver has. There difference for Denver would be a superstar with some depth

      • Scott

        Both teams they are playing have stars… (George/Gasol)

      • Jason

        Dumb comment about OKC Henson. We all know that OKC would still be in the playoffs if Patrick Beverly wouldn’t have taken out Russell Westbrook’s knee. To me that is what made this first round exit more painful than all the others, this is the first time there hasn’t been a dominant team in the West, it is wide open and we might just see a Memphis vs Indiana Finals (a ratings bonanza, right?)

    • Denver4ever

      No way should Gallo be traded. He is the reason why the Nuggets get some wins because he can complement Ty Lawson.

      I don’t like that trade for Kevin Love. Yes, Love is a great rebounder, a great shooter, BUT he is overrated because of those. He can’t play defend anyone, and is injury-prone. I really believe that the Nuggets can win w/o a superstar if the coach can get his head right and play the right amount of minutes to his players.

    • John

      Chase Budinger- Excellent 3 pt shooter, athletic, team player, not one dimensional. Out of the list, he is the best fit

  • CkWizard

    I think the priority should be to ask the players to commit to fundamentals regarding rebounding and defense then work on improving free throw shooting… Doesn’t matter what happens if the Karl coached teams continue to neglect these two areas of their games this year was a step in the right direction but losing Igoudala is two steps back and keeping Miller is throwing in the towel for next year… But regardless of what happens if the team can’t improve their free throw percentage as a whole then they are not growing as professionals in the GK environment!

  • KW

    AI’s free throwing was atrocious. Lets not forget. It was a pretty glaring hole in his game.

    • CJP32

      4th year in a row it has decreased.

    • Mark

      True – that was the first thing I thought when I read this piece. But still a great, great article.

  • Mike K

    Great list. I do agree with whoever stipulated a work on fundamentals like free throw shooting. Some guys work at it like their lives depend on it (Mark Price, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen) and others…well, they look like Shaq and Dwight. The Nuggets roster looks like they took lessons from Shaq this last off-season. NOT GOOD.

    Two of those games against GS were won if they went even 80% from the line.

  • Positive Freedom

    Dual sign & trade – Iggy and whatever it takes for Chris Paul. If it takes Ty do it, but if the Clips want Bledsoe running point, then send them Mosgov, Hamilton or Randolph. And then we need to really focus on making the Manimal into CP3’s sidekick who wants to win whereas Blake is stuck on commercial success instead. And then McGee needs to learn how to become a real defensive presence. Start CP3, Fournier, Gallo, Faried and McGee and if can keep Ty bring him and Chandler off the bench to absolutely destroy other teams benches. Sign/draft a shooter or two, keep Brewer if possible. Fournier and Gallo will space the floor for the Faried/CP3 pick-n-roll. In case you didn’t realize it, CP3 doesn’t want to play for Del Negro and Blake and DeAndre just want to dunk and don’t want to rebound, defend and win championships.

    • dynamo.joe

      Chris Paul can pretty much write his own ticket and go to any team in the league. So, what makes you think he will pick Denver over any other team?

    • S

      Why in the HELL would CP3 come here?

    • nugswin

      Del Negro hasn’t been the Clippers coach since the day after Memphis eliminated them.

    • G

      Heeelllll no to Chris “Flopping” Paul. We don’t need that kind of culture here. We need mentally tough players with integrity for the game, not whiny little bitches who flop all day long. I wouldn’t even trade Lawson straight up for Paul. No way.

    • Sky

      i like that idea… but not sure how attainable that is…
      However, maybe going after Rondo might be an idea.

      Rondo
      Iggy
      Gallo
      Farried
      Mcgee

      thats a nice starting 5

  • steve

    1. Re-sign Ujiri
    2. make this trade, solves lots of problems
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ahwrn8a

    3 let Brewer Walk
    4 Resign Stone
    5 Resign Mozgov
    6 Sign Korver

    • Alex

      While we’re at it, might as well resign iggy for vet minimum.

    • dynamo.joe

      I’d rather sign and trade YMCAndre and Chandler for Kirilenko.

      • nugswin

        AK would be awesome as a Nugget. Perfect. But I doubt it could happen unless we somehow were able to include him in a Kevin Love deal.

    • http://Denverstiffs.com slader

      Wow, do I hope Masai stays clear of Kevin Love. Great scorer and rebounder, dreadful defender, prima donna, overpriced and always injured.

      I count 2 pros and 4 cons. Oh yeah: he was Russel Whinebrick’s roommate, so 5 cons.

    • nugswin

      Do you really think the Wolves would trade Love for Chandler, Koufos and Andre Miller? Put yourself in their shoes and see if that doesn’t make you laugh.

      • Steven

        Ok…I know I am dreaming but….

        KL and Minn are not going to last…He has been injured but maybe part of it is he is just sick and tire of having his ass handed to him for the past 5 years.

        Truth be told, I am trying to rid us of AM and KK. Chandler is really the only piece beyond Gallo, Ty, Farried that has a good amout of value. Maybe throw in a 1st, they might take it.

  • steve

    Very nice list. Iggy and Masai and dumping Miller are 1 – 2 – 3 no matter what.

    Stone is a given to bring back. I dont see another team giving him more than minimum so it’s in his best interest to stay as well.

    You are very correct with brewer. If we make room he should stay but if we don’t make a big trade to clear roster space, than we got to let him walk.

    I posted this before but i think we should go after Gortat and Dudley of the Suns. It would hit 2 birds with 1 stone. Give us a nice 3 pt shooter in Dudley who is a vet and a great team player who will never complain if he sits a game or only plays 10 minutes. Gortat is the type of big we need. He has some post game and mid range game and would play much better D than what we have.

    I still think a deal like Chandler Koufos and JHAM or our 1st pick will get those 2 in Denver.

    Trading for star power? I just dont see it happening this year. I can’t see the twolves moving Love to another west conf team let alone a division contender when we were the 3 seed this year and will only make us better. I highly doubt we are interested in Pau Gasol with his injury concerns and age. Why would we send a boat load of talent to LA when they have unlimited funds just about?

    i think two players that COULD come into play is Chris Bosh IF IF IF they don’t win a title. We have the assets to give miami what they want. It’s also possible that Al Horford becomes available. I don’t think ATL moves him unless D12 goes there which is unlikely.

  • http://Denverstiffs.com slader

    Nice list indeed. Seems to me that 3-2-1 are really essential.

    In short –
    Re-sign Masai and Iggy
    Shed Dre without taking salary back – just an exception or future picks,
    Let Brewer and Mozzy walk
    Sign one 3pt shooter
    Draft PG Larkin, Green or Kabongo

    I believe we have duty to focus on player development (McGee, Koufos, Fournier, Hamilton, Randolph, QMiller, Stone) until the trade deadline. That’s half the damn roster, but big revelations are guaranteed for better and for worse.

  • nugswin

    I like the list. 1, 2, and 3 are no-brainers. And #4 is probably #2 on Ujiri’s list (after resign Iggy). But it’s more difficult than it sounds. Of the list you provided only two or three, I think, are appropriate for the Nuggets — Either Chase Budinger, Jodie Meeks or Marco Belinelli (Possibly Korver too but he’ll probably command too much on the market). The others have flaws that overshadow what they would bring as shooters — poor attitudes, lack of defense/size, etc.

    The other problem is that signing a shooter directly affects other things on your list, most notably get the young guys playing time. How are Stone, Fournier, Hamilton and whoever we draft going to get anything more than garbage time minutes if we add Gary Neal or Mo Williams to the roster?

    That might be alleviated by #5, trading depth for a star. But that brings up another host of issues. If we do trade for a star we are going to have to give up Gallo, Lawson or Faried (and probably MaGee with one of them). Nobody is taking our “depth” players like Chandler or Brewer in exchange for their star. So who of those players is touchable? Most people are going to say Gallo but that’s probably wrong since of the three big names he’s got the most difficult to replace skill set. 6′ 10″ guys who shoot %37 from beyond the arc, %82 from the line and play more than credible wing defense are super rare.

    Plus, with the injury, teams would probably insist on Faried or Lawson anyway. Those two guys have defensive issues so we could take the opportunity to get better defensively (Eric Bledsoe would be a nice replacement for Lawson — a huge upgrade on defense though a year or so of seasoning needed on O). Magee would probably have to go because of salary match issues, plus he’d be a nice chip to dangle for somebody willing to part with their superstar level guy.

    But however it would work out, one or two of our main guys would have to go if we really want to trade depth for a superstar. And, seeing as either Faried or Magee would be certain to be in any deal, that would make keeping Mozgov important. I’m not even sure why people are so quick to jettison him as the question of who is better between he and KK isn’t settled yet. I feel whenever he got playing time there wasn’t an appreciable difference between the two and with KK being exposed in the playoffs why not see if Timofy can cut the mustard?

    Anyway, nice food for thought article. Thanks!

    • Stephen H

      Bledsoe over Ty no way good backup for Ty, Bledsoe would be though.

      • nugswin

        Not Bledsoe for Ty, but get Bledsoe if we have to trade Ty for a superstar level player.

      • G

        I agree. No way is Bledsoe going to replace what Lawson brings. Lawson IS our offense. He is the center-piece of the dribble drive offense. Bledsoe doesn’t have the speed, quickness or handles that Lawson has and we would suffer severely on offense in Karl’s system without Lawson.

    • dynamo.joe

      If you think the question of K2 or Mozgov hasn’t been settled you haven’t been watching.

      The only thing Mozgov has on Koufos is FT%.

      K2 is 24 Moz is 27 in July.

      Is it legitimate to question Kosta’s playoff performances the past 2 years? Sure. Last year he had knee surgery right after the season, so I kind of give him a pass on that one.

      This year? Well, he actually fell apart before the playoffs. Maybe around game 75 or so. I kind of think he may have hit the rookie wall. Strange for 5 yr vet, but he played as many minutes this year as the rest of his career combined.

      Whether Kosta is the future starting center of the Nuggets or the backup, anyone who doesn’t realize that he is a tremendous bargain at $3M is an idiot.

  • Aaron

    Everyone needs to forget about getting rid of Andre Miller. We all want it. But, it’s just not happening. . becuase of Karl, and because Masai sees a cheap backup point guard.

    So, with that. . we need to find a way to make our bench work with Miller in there. Some things have already been suggested. . . Play Stone at the 2 to guard all the people Andre can’t guard (everyone). Develop Fournier and play Stone at the 3 perhaps? Play Hamilton at the 2 to guard people. . I don’t know. . . . And, getting Korver, or another knock down 3 point shooter (not Chandler) will help Andre have someone to throw to during slow-down ball. We can make our 2nd 5 work better than they did this season. We have the guys, we need to play them with Miller to make up for his weaknesses.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    THANK YOU KALEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://espn herpderpnuggets

    Whatever happens, I just hope for this,

    -resign iggy & masai
    -get rid of miller
    -sign a shooter
    -another successful draft

    Of course there are many another scenarios that could come up, these are just a few I would like to see.

    • Stephen H

      Good call

  • Stephen Hernandez

    Good choices all around, only thing would change is dont need another big man, and I say trade miller for a good back up for Ty. Trade miller for Eric Bledsoe or jameer Nelson. And I say another thing is if George won’t start McGee over Koufus, say George you’re too old for this young team and let him go.

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      I would say give that time to fournier or stone who are both capable and willing to play those minutes

      • Stephen H

        Good call

  • Stephen Hernandez

    O and also don’t trade for star power.

  • Stephen H

    O and also I think it’s key to let brewer walk to clear up space for whatever 3 point shooter we get.

  • EMF

    Thoughts on this trade?

    Lowe and Barea for Gallo, Chandler, and Koufos.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bnfxcgz

    Then could drop Miller for Barea and draft a PF or C

    • Stephen H

      If we do that trade but sign oj mayo during free agency cause Faried can’t play sf so will need iggy to play sf and mayo at 2 guard

      • http://NuggetsRoundball Colin

        don’t know how possible this is but I like…Ty, OJM, Iggy, KLove, McGee. Minnesota might go for a package like this and we could always mix it up with a pick. we get a shooter in mayo and legit big man. I have no problem with Faried coming off the bench. He is an energy guy and has two many deficiencies in his game to be a starting 4. He would dominate off of the bench tho and could still get good minutes

  • Stephen H

    Everyone realize we trade for love Faried goes to bench. Lets just use miller as trade bait and get what we need through free agency

    • dynamo.joe

      2nd’d

    • http://NuggetsRoundball Colin

      that would be fine *see above :)

  • LobCiudad

    I like this list. I really wish we would package Andre Miller into a trade. Although most Nuggets fans see him as a bigger liability than asset to this team, I think the perception among many around the league is that he’s a solid veteran point guard who can still play off the bench. And he could fit other half court systems quite well in fact. I live in LA and the perception of Andre Miller out here is very similar to Derek Fisher – an aging vet who’s leadership can elevate a team. Granted Fisher is used as a spot up three point shooter, and Miller scores more often by attacking the rim or posting up, but the idea is that his veteran talent is desirable around the NBA and I think people could be surprised at the value he could bring in a trade, even at his advanced age. Nuggets fans know by watching that he can really hurt our game plan and just doesn’t fit the system, but other teams took notice of his swag (which was at times undeniable) so I think Ujiri should see who bites. Either way, I agree with Kalen, we gotta break up with Andre Miller. I respect the dude, but he’s not a good fit.

  • Stephen H

    Starting McGee and finishing wit McGee would help our team a lot too

  • JetLife82

    Ok here’s mine:

    1). Re sign Masai

    2). Get Iggy to opt out of his final year and sign him to a slightly cheaper long term deal, say 4 years at 48-50mil.

    3). Use this extra few mil to resign Brewer to say a 5 mil per year deal.

    4). Trade Mozgov and Hamilton for whatever combination of picks and cash you can get.

    5). Sign some good shooters to the summer league team along with this years pick. Let them battle for the last 2 roster spots. They should be signed for no more than about 1.8 mil combined.

    6). Work on free throw shooting and defense for most of the offseason/training camp.

    • JetLife82

      Change of heart. Get rid of Mozzy but keep Hamilton as one of the cheap shooters. He’s young and knows the offense.

      If we could trade Mozzy and our first round pick this year for a future first rounder then we could use his spot to sign another cheap player, preferably a young stretch 4, for under 800k.

      Also, if JaVale cannot earn the starting spot over Koufos by the trade deadline then he needs to be moved, otherwise there seems no point in paying him 10 mil per year. Give him the offseason and half of the season to prove he belongs here and is worth his deal..

  • Matt

    I like these priorities by and large. As for Priority #5, the trade I would like to see is for Al Horford. I think he would solidify our frontcourt issues (he can play the 4 or 5, solid defender, decent ft%, decent mid-range jumper), has a few years left on an extremely reasonable contract, and seems to have a personality that would blend with our current roster. For us, I think it would be a no-brainer. Why would the Hawks do it? It seems like Ferry has done what he’s done with that roster to try and sell a CP3, JSmoove, and DHoward big 3 this offseason. If he’s successful in doing this, Horford becomes the odd man out. We could offer Chandler (who would start for them) KK or Mozzy (if a sign-and-trade is even possible; I’m not sure what the rules are on this), and our 1st rounder this year or whatever else make this deal work.

    As for Miller, I think it will be hard to find any takers. We may be stuck with him. I think it’s worth pointing out, though, that’s it not his fault he was playing too many minutes or that he was asked to guard Stephen Curry. That would be Karl’s fault. I understand that the point of dumping him would be to protect Karl from himself, but if we have to micro-manage our coach, we have the wrong coach. I’m not advocating that we get rid of Karl, but I hope that Karl is sincere in what he said about needing to make changes in his coaching philosophy, and that one of the major changes would be recognizing his over-dependence on “his” guys.

    I’m worried about signing a shooter for the sake of signing a shooter. Our shooting needs to improve, but that can happen by not having Brewer shooting anymore and replacing those shots with just about anyone. I think Fournier can be a decent-enough shooter, as can Hamilton (d is questionable), and I think we improve just by playing those guys with another year under their belt. FT shooting is a bigger deal to me than 3-pt shooting. We can’t become great at every aspect of the game in one off-season, but we should become, through coaching and practice, a better ft shooting team with the guys we have (no idea why iggy is such a poor ft shooter) and better defensive team (if we can acquire Horford).

    • mike

      why would ATL trade Horford? All the reasons you want him are the reasons they wouldn’t trade. And they have the potential to surround him with stars this offseason. Reason people say Love or Pau is that they are potentially available in the next 12 months due to contract/tax situations with their current teams.

      KALEN: “A really good defensive minded coach” More importantly finding a good defensive big who plays decent offense too. JUST ONE. It’s hard to run a stellar defense when 3 of 5 positions are almost always below average defensively on the court (PG and both big positions, chandler was average on defense against some) Mcgee is the bait they should be using to find that. He has enough potential (with 10% chance of realizing it) that some team would trade a gortat type for him. We’ve been through this look at the top 5 defenses. All have STELLAR bigs in the middle. At some point it’s not just a trend. Its reality.(Indiana-hibbert, Memphis-Gasol, San Antonio-Duncan, OKC-Ibaka, Chicago-Noah/gibson, Boston-Garnett)

      10. Nuggets fans temper their expectations of a team with good not great talent. If they don’t make significant upgrades in their bigs next season is another dogfight in 1st round /2nd round exit at BEST team.

  • Ryan

    Gonna be hard to find anybody interested in Andre Miller. I say let Corey go. If Mcgee can’t play more than 25-30 minutes a night then just trade him, not worth 10 million just sitting in the bench, sign Reggie Evans for cheap price or Dejuan Blair. Then keep everyone else. Fournier, J-Ham, and Julyan Stone give them playing time and develop their young legs and talent. Find or draft the best 3 point shooters available that can play defense. Then you have a championship caliber team there, WITHOUT A STAR.

  • DAN

    I really wonder what it would take to get Gortat. He plays good D and is a solid post presence. If we let Moz walk we could either start him or play him behind McGee. I wonder if Phoenix would take Chandler and KK for him. They need a SF and have Frye coming back from injury. That would allow us to play Iggy at the 3 which is his natural position and start Fours. It would also free up playing time for Hamilton or Q Miller while Gallo heals.
    I would also love to sign Tony Allen. He is a free agent and only makes about three mil a year. We need better wing defenders i.e. GSW series.

  • Ricardo

    I hope this is what happens during the off-season:

    1. Re-sign Ujiri, Iguodala, and Brewer.
    2. Let go of Mosgov and Stone.
    3. Trade Chandler for a shooter and picks.

    • Stephen H

      If dont let brewer walk we can’t get a 3 pt shooter who can contribute and who can get playing time

      • Ricardo

        The nuggets could get a 3-point shooter by trading Chandler, without letting Brewer walk.

        • Stephen H

          I wouldn’t take brewer over chandler

  • Stephen H

    1. Let brewer and mozgov walk
    2. Resign Quincy miller and stone
    3. Trade Andre miller for pick or good back up point guard
    4. Sign a 3 pt shooter korver or reddick
    5. Start McGee
    6. Resign iggy and the Masai
    7. If George won’t start McGee and plays miller too much again this is his last season as coach for nugs
    8. If iggy doesn’t resign sign oj mayo to play the two
    9. Starting lineup Lawson, mayo/iggy, chandler till gallo healthy, Faried, and McGee
    10. Bench rotation: back up pg, korver/reddick, Koufus sparingly, chandler when gallo gets back, Randolph, Hamilton and Fournier
    11. Get out of first round and finally make run at a ring

  • Cullen

    1.) http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bbx8m92
    2.) Resign Iggy/stone
    3.) Get rid of Karl (push him into an office job) and sign Brian Shaw or Mike Malone
    4.) Let Brewer and Mosgov walk
    5.) Resign Mesai
    6.) Let JHam and QMiller play more

    Thoughts?

    • Greg M

      I’m sorry but there’s no way in hell that g state takes this and messes up the young and talented core that they have assembled.

  • Poz

    I have posted on another thread but what do people think of JJ Hickson? I would much prefer him to Mzgov and/or 2K. He averaged a double-double this year, is 24 yrs old and a FA.

    I totally want to get rid of A.Miller and resign Iggy…and Masai :)

    Let Mozgov walk, probably let brewer walk. That saves us about 12 Million in salary there.

    Sign Reddick (or Korver or Morrow) and JJ Hickson in FA. If we get JJ Hickson I would trade 2K/Jham for a back-up PG or future draft picks.

    PG – Lawson/??/Stone
    SG – Iguodala/Reddick/Fournier
    SF – Gallo/Chandler/Q.Miller
    PF – Faried/Hickson/Randolph
    C – McGee/draft??

    The PF/C minutes could be split between Faried/Hickson/McGee and Gallo/Chandler at times.

    “small” line-up would look something like Lawson/Iggy/Gallo/Faried/Hickson, this would still give us strong rebounding, a low post presence and an outside threat.

    • Stephen H

      Love it good call on everything

    • Max

      I like JJ Hickson. I think he would be a nice free agent signing. He would give us some low post scoring and solid rebounding. Big knock against him is he’s very poor on Defense which might prevent Masai from going after him.

    • Cullen

      I love JJ Hickson! I think he is a great player, but I would prefer Paul Milsap or Al Jefferson. I think Jefferson would be a pretty good fit with the Nuggets. Plus, I have some reservations about Milsap and Hickson because they’d have to split playing time with Faried and Randolph. But I suppose you could play Randolph at center as well… I also have reservations about Jefferson because he’s awful at defense and it’s not like GK is a defensive wizard either.. so yeah.. But if all else fails go for Carl Landry, he has some offensive potential.

      All around I think getting a Hickson, Milsap, Landry or Jefferson would be great… I would love for the Nuggets to get Jarret Jack for their replacement to the minutes that Miller played. Plus, he would compliment Lawson well and can stroke from downtown. But if Jack goes back to GS, a Reddick at the right price would be great, but he’s easy to over pay for because he thinks he’s hot stuff.

      Getting Iggy back is pretty crucial, though. He may not be a dynamite offensive player, but he can score 20 every few nights.. and he is a dynamic all around player. Defensively great, rebounds well, and is a tremendous leader and fit with the Nuggets.

      I think JHam and QMiller need playing time. I think these guys are going to be studs… they just need to start with 10-15 minute rotation time to prove their worth. One of my biggest pet peeves about Karl is his weird dog houses he develops. JHam has shown potential, let the kid play.

      As far as the draft, here are a few players I fancy:

      Reggie Bullock- Would go to an already crowded guard/small forward position but he is probably a better version of Corey Brewer. Plays great D and is more offensively consistent.

      Jeff Withey- Could be a solid big man in the NBA. Is a great shot blocker and is a surprisingly good shooter and post player. There are worries of strength and ability to play with the bigs, but could be a compliment to JaVale and a player for the future.

      Shane Larkin- If they can’t get Jarret Jack in FA or another PG to axe Miller, we need to get Larkin if available. If would be a great up tempo guy with loads of athleticism.

  • Poz

    Kalen, from what I can figure, Nuggets have no cap space, how do we “Sign a shooter”?

    We have $67M in roster salary for 2013/14, even if we traded A.Miller for a 2nd round pick we would be at $62M. Say we re-sign Iggy for 5yr/$60M (lowers his salary by $4M) we are down to $58M which is the projected salary Cap.

    I know you can go over the salary cap when re-signing your own players but I dont think you can do that to sign FAs.

    Is Masai saying he wants to re-sign Mozgov possibly part of a sign-and-trade strategy?

    • Max

      Good question. I think it’s going to have be done through trades. Sign and trade with Korver or Redick maybe.

      I want Andre Miller gone like everyone else but it’s going to be hard for the Nuggets to trade him with his $5M salary. That was a bad contract. We should not have resigned him last summer. Could’ve gotten Jarrett Jack for similar $$ last year.

  • Dennis M

    A lot of interesting ideas…personally..I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep thinking about all of this before I read the article..lol…This is what I came up with..if anyone cares..lol..

    # 1..Resign Uriji
    # 2. Let Iguodala go get the money..and the team he wants..and use that money on signing Al Jefferson..we need a true Center who can SCORE and REBOUND.
    # 3. I love Corey Brewer..but we need a more consistent shooter..like JJ Redick….or Jodie Meeks…Gary Neal..someone like that who can be had at the same price.
    # 4. You’ve had a great career Andre Miller..but please..retire and get into coaching..you’re just too much of a defensive liability and are too slow to run the offense effectively anymore…how about JJ Jack to bring in more consistent shooting and YOUTH?
    #5. I like the idea of packaging several younger players and a #1 for a “Lights out” shooter who can change the game by himself on any given night. The depth we would lose would be easily replacable.

    My new Nuggets Roster…2013/14

    C Al Jefferson. PLayers Released
    PF Faried…
    SF Gallinari Iguodala
    PG Lawson…. A Miller
    SG Tony Allen C Brewer
    K Koufous
    C Javale McGee
    PF Carl Landry
    SF Wilson Chandler
    PG Jarret Jack
    SG JJ Redick

    PG J Stone
    SG E Fournier
    SF J Hamilton
    PF Quincy Miller
    C Mosgov

  • Dennis M

    My list got mixed up…..when I clicked submit..lol…the players I felt we need to trade or not resign are

    K Koufous
    A Iguodala
    A Miller
    C Brewer

    Al Jefferson to replace Koufous
    Carl Landry to replace Iguodala
    Jarret Jack to replace Miller
    Tony Allen to replace C Brewer

    And bring in either JJ Redick..Gary Neal..or Jody Meeks as an extra shooter to throw in the mix with Lawson or Jarret Jack

    Go Nuggets!!

  • John

    Sign Budinger.
    Sign and trade Iggy and miller for Gasol.
    Draft SG ( McColllum of lehigh),
    Sign Gary Neal to replace Brewer.
    I like C-Brew but we need a sharpshooter

  • Sky

    trade Ty and Moz for Rondo.

    Sign Iggy

    let Brew walk Keep Stone give stone and Hamilton more minutes.

  • Clint

    Im so glad someone else shares the absolute disgust of Andre Miller and how much he holds the Nugs back. If he isnt trying to “take over” a game, he says how bad the team is and how they are never going anywhere. With you gone, Andre, we could get some where. Vent Over.