The Free Agency Profile for the Denver Nuggets
*Photo via AP
Denver Nuggets (30-52)- (4th Northwest Division, 12th Western Conference)
The Denver Nuggets missed the playoffs for the second year in a row and finished 12th in the highly competitive Western Conference. Their season was a disappointment to say the least. They had a coaching change midway through the season as they fired their head coach, Brian Shaw, on March 3. The Nuggets seemed to have lost their way during the season, as they lost so many games back to back and their offense seemed discombobulated. Their point guard, Ty Lawson, was the only bright spot for them as he averaged 15.2 points per game and 9.6 assists per game and managed to stay healthy. However, the Nuggets need to capitalize on free agents this offseason in order to get back to the playoffs next year.
The 2015-16 salary cap is projected to be 67.1 million dollars. The Denver Nuggets have 58 million dollars worth of contracts tied to the team, which means they have roughly nine million dollars to spend.
They have four free agents to take care of first:
Darrell Arthur (PF) UFA
Jameer Nelson (PG) UFA
Will Barton (SG) RFA
Ian Clark (SG) UFA
With nine million dollars in cap space, the Nuggets should let all these players go because they won't be any help to the team. What the Denver Nuggets need is three point shooting because their seventh pick in the draft, Emmanuel Mudiay, is going to need shooters to pass to off of penetration. Also, the Nuggets ranked 28th last year in three-point shooting at 32.5 percent, according to basketballreference.com.
The Nuggets also need more big men as their top rebounder, Kenneth Faried, grabbed 8.9 rebounds last year and Mozgov (who's on the Cleveland Cavaliers now) was the second highest. There are several free agents that can fill the void for the Denver Nuggets.
Tyson Chandler (C) UFA: Tyson Chandler was always considered a great rebounder, particularly offensive. As a former Defensive Player of the Year, he would be a great defensive presence for the Nuggets, who can improve on that end. Chandler would be a great center for Mudiay to begin his NBA journey with.At this stage of his career, he can come at a cheaper price over the other high quality free agent centers and he would be a great pickup for the Nuggets.
Robin Lopez (C) UFA: Another cheap pick up for the Nuggets could be former Blazers center, Robin Lopez. A defensive center as well, Lopez is not as flashy as Chandler, but is a great glue piece for any team in the league. He's a solid rebounder, great locker room presence, and is a great energy guy that can compliment Faried. Lopez won't cost as much as Chandler, so he's definitely worth a shot.
Greg Monroe (PF/C) (UFA): The Denver Nuggets should throw the bank at this guy. A traditional back to the basket, low post center that perfectly compliments Faried. Monroe would be a steal for the Nuggets. At only 25 years of age, he can form a dynamic duo with Mudiay, especially if they can get decent role players by trading away Ty Lawson. His offense would be crucial for the Nuggets as they would have an option for scoring when they are in the half court set, an area they struggled with this past season. Monroe averaged 16 points per game and 10 rebounds per game last season, so the Nuggets could definitely use him.
Anthony Morrow SG (UFA): Morrow is a three-point specialist that would be great for a young point guard such as Mudiay. He doesn't need the ball or even have to take a dribble as he's a great catch and shoot player. The Nuggets can get him for a cheap price as well.
Big men should be the Nuggets primary concern as Javale McGee and Timothy Mozgov are no longer on their team, and there are a lot of solid centers they can choose from. The team also needs three-point shooting too, however, with Mudiay on their team they are sure to improve. The Nuggets can be an exciting team to watch next season, we just have to wait and see what they do in the offseason.