Thoughts on Denver
Denver’s resigning of Nene for $67 million over 5 years shows that the Kroenke family are still interested in the team and want to try and keep it relevant to a certain degree. With the trade of Melo and Billups for several of NY’s roster the Nuggets underwent a huge line up change but managed to still make the play offs and had the potential not to completely struggle this year.
But with K-Mart being out of contract and going to China, Chandler and Smith both restricted FA’s and under contract in China, Nene a free agent and Affalo a restricted FA, the Nuggets could well be 4 players down from last year even if rhey matched any offers for Affalo as expected. With a possible season long lockout at one time on the cards, the Nuggets could have ended up with a lowish draft pick based on their earlier success but then with a weaker squad for 2012-13 and thus any rebuilding via the draft would not be until summer 2013. Whilst if they played this year and struggled they would get a high pick in a loaded draft and could then have the option to bring back Smith or Chandler if they wished or do an S and T to get assets in.
With Affalo resigned and two RFA’s stuck in China even with a couple of decent rookies to bring in Denver looked thin on the ground so maybe giving serious minutes to the youngsters was an idea and both Gallinari and Lawson’s fantasy value surged as they could be volume scorers on this team. So the decision to resign Nene was made and after other big men FA’s going for large sums, $67 million for Nene was not as much as some pundits predicted. It is however a large amount for a guy who is 30 next birthday and who has had injury issues in the past, however in recent years he has played the majority of games and was rated the top FA by a number of respected sites. So Denver could maybe not try to keep Nene and risk a backlash from fans if the team struggled even if they could have done an S and T and longer term they got better picks or they resigned Nene and hoped to stay at or above .500 with a young supporting cast. I feel that with the two RFA’s in China that Denver were almost forced to resign Nene to show they wanted to be relevant, if they could have got Chandler and Smith under contract then they had decent depth and could have said they were saving cap space and looking to the future by letting Nene to for a big offer or ideally doing an S and T with Nene to get something in return.
I never saw it written anywhere that Nene wanted to leave Denver and why should he, he’d played there for a decade and was a popular player and one who Coach Karl obviously rated. Although lots of teams especially Houston looked at Nene, perhaps the offer that could have turned his head never came as a true contender nevercame in for him as far as I can recall.
Anyway Nene is back in Denver and will no doubt have nice fantasy value and if the young core can develop then Coach Karl can maybe get the team back into the play offs if not this year then next season especially if the China contingent returns whilst the newer players progress. Also the team has a nice expiring contract in veteran PG Andre Miller who is a well respected pass first guard who a lot of contenders may covet if as expected Ty Lawson is allowed to continue as the starting PG. At worse Denver have Miller back there who played some good ball in his earlier spell at the club and can help Lawson in his development and give Coach Karl a quality PG option regardless of which PG is on court.
nuggets are a good team. they can beat anybody if they play they're cards rights, and not only a game. they can upset a team out of the playoffs. that arron afflalo contract is gonna come back and bite them in the ass.
Anyone can beat anyone if the have a good series just look at the Warriors when the upset the Mavs as a 8th seed but the Nuggets dont have NBA finals potential there not near as good enough to make it to the finals with that team even if they do play there cards right
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how gallo will respond to playing a bigger role this season. I expect him to be the leading scorer with affalo behind him. Hopefully nene can stay healthy and step up his game at least to justify his massive contract. Andre miller and Ty Lawson will be a nice duo at pg and it will be interesting to see jordon Hamilton and faired rookie season and see how they contribute.
All in all I see them as a 6-8 seed playoff team but don't think they go far because their front court is pretty thin
They will be playing team ball this year and anytime you have good ball movement and good shooting it'll keep you in some games...But Denver's lack of a go to scorer will hurt them come crunch time,when the game is close..