The Denver Nuggets are stuck in a bad situation. They are in a competitive conference and they are not a competitive team. They are expected to have a pick around seven which doesn’t guarantee a star player. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are good players, but they don’t win games. The Nuggets are in rebuilding mode. Denver is going to be involved in plenty of trades come draft day. They have plenty of young players who could make others serious contenders. In return, they get more draft picks to start all over again. There are holes all over the roster except at center. They will be looking to add another point guard, wing shooter, and a bench via draft or free agency. Lets take a look at who could be in or out of the Mile High City next season.
Players to be traded
Ty Lawson is a star on a team going no where. He is averaging 15.4 points and 9.6 assists per game. He was trying to shop him at the trade deadline, but a deal just never went down. The need for a point guard in today’s NBA is crucial. There are plenty of contending teams who would love Lawson’s services. Lawson may require two first-round picks. The demand for a point guard will guarantee a trade.
Teams to watch: Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets
The Kenneth Faried that owned the FIBA World Cup is not the Kenneth Faried the Denver Nuggets are seeing. He did just sign a four year extension last offseason, but the Nuggets are so bad the right deal could send Faried to another city. Faried is still young and is freakishly athletic. He is a beastly defender and is always on the low post to grab rebounds and second chance points. The right system could turn him into a star, and plenty of teams have the picks to intrigue Denver.
Teams to watch: Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers
If Ty Lawson gets traded, Jackson is a great replacement. He is averaging 17.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game since becoming the starter for the Detroit Pistons. He is 24 years old and has improved every season. He may not like Russell Westbrook, but he learned a lot being his back-up. He has a high asking price but with Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are pending free agents, the Nuggets will have plenty of money to spend.
Wesley Matthews had the best season of his career in 2014-2015 until he tore his achilles. He will be back for the start of next season. He is a wing scorer that can score from all over the court. His specialty is three point shooting which every team can’t pass on. He was shooting 39% from behind the arch before his injury. He plays his best when he is a teams third option. Could this be the move to prevent a roster explosion?
Justise Winslow has declared for the NBA Draft. Coach K has high praise on Justise Winslow’s pro potential. Most of his potential is on the defensive side of the court. He is a solid on ball defender with a high motor. Offensively, he can score all over the court and proved he can score in the spotlight. He can move the ball on the fast break to speed up Denver’s offense. He is the young wing scorer which Denver desperately needs.
The Denver Nuggets already have an international big man in Jusuf Nurkic. Standing 7’0″, Porzingis is a smooth player that can pass and shoot. He has huge potential to become an outstanding stretch 4 in the NBA. He is a project. He needs to add some strength to play with other fours in the NBA. His ceiling is so high and Denver is so bad, they have the time to wait for him to become NBA ready.
Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris are the only safe players on the Nuggets roster. The Nuggets organization needs to find a way to get out of the deep hole they have dug themselves into. I envision the Denver Nuggets to be the most active team at the NBA draft. They need to find young players who have passion for the game and won’t cause problems in the locker room. The Western Conference is so good, they need to find these players quickly. It will take time, the Nuggets just have to be smart.