Nuggets Nonsense: The Future For Denver

Posted by Sean Stancill | Friday, September 05, 2008 | 0 comments »

After a much-anticipated offseason for the Nuggets, they once again disappointed loyal fans across the country.An uneventful summer is heading toward a conclusion, and a beginning to the 2008-09 season is rapidly drawing near.Unlike in my previous articles, I won't make any predictions and simply relax and watch the events occur.Here is what I expect from the Nuggets in the upcoming months.My projection of the 2008-09 Nuggets roster looks like this:

Starting Lineup
PG—Allen IversonSG—J.R. SmithSF—Carmelo AnthonyPF—Kenyon MartinC—Nene
BenchPG—Anthony CarterSG—Dahntay JonesSG—Sonny WeemsSG/SF—Linas KleizaPF—Chris AndersenC—Stephen Hunter

The re-signing of JR Smith should play a role in a number of decisions over the next couple years. Let's take a look at the three major areas impacted.

1. Linas Kleiza will soon be traded or let go..........

Three of the five shooting guards on the Nuggets roster signed new deals this offseason, leaving Kleiza and Allen Iverson the only two guards on the team with expiring contracts after this season.
Sonny Weems, Iverson, Dahntay Jones, Kleiza, and JR Smith are the fearsome five Denver shooting guards.The chances the Nuggets resign both Kleiza and A.I. are non-existent, with the loaded free-agent core coming up in 2009.

That free-agent class includes Lamar Odom, Rasheed Wallace, Carlos Boozer, Shawn Marion, Richard Hamilton, and Kobe Bryant. Additionally, role players Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, Jamario Moon, Jamal Crawford, Charlie Villanueva, Quentin Richardson and Brandon Bass will be available.

Not to mention Josh Childress’s possible return from Greece.If Denver allows Iverson and Kleiza to walk, they will have more than $22 million open to entertain with.Bittersweet with the loss of Kleiza, but a consolation of prize of perhaps Mike Bibby will smooth things out.

2. The Nuggets will draft a...
With the 2 and 3 spots in the lineup locked for the next three years (Smith three years, Carmelo Anthony four years), the primary focus of the Nuggets front office will be to shop for a point guard, whether through the 2009 NBA Draft or through next year’s free-agent pool.

Initially, many thought that was the goal of this offseason, but, after presumed point guard of the future Ty Lawson withdrew from the draft, the plan was deemed a failure.Denver has two first-round draft picks next season via the Bobcats and the team's own selection.

Stephan Curry, Ty Lawson, Jeremy Pargo, Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio, Edgar Sosa, Levance Fields, Lester Hudson, Ronald Steele, and Darren Collison are the premier point guards that will be available in the draft, and all would be welcomed in Denver.

Or perhaps the Nuggets will go another route and select a big man in the draft. Hasheem Thabeet, Blake Griffin, Al-Faroq Aminu, Tyler Hansbrough, Jarvis Varnado, BJ Mullens, Patrick Patterson, and Jordan Hill are the headliners in this category.

However, only about two of the possible selections will most likely still be on the board when the Nuggets make their selection.

The odds are heavily in favor of the ball-handlers.

Or the Nuggets could easily take both positions.

3. The center position remains a question mark Because the Nuggets failed to sign an effective big man to compensate for Marcus Camby's departure, they will suffer greatly inside.

Nene will finally be placed on center stage, and one more injury could mean the end of his tour.

The Brazilian averaged 5.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game in 16 contests for the Nuggets before missing 62 games due to a testicular tumor.

If there is any indication of talent, Nene has career averages of 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.

It's safe to say that the no-identity Nuggets developments will be an enjoyable bunch to watch in the future.