The Denver Nuggets were movers and shakers during Thursday night’s 2013 NBA Draft, dealing out of the first round and swapping their starting center, Kosta Koufos, for Darrell Arthur and the 55th overall pick. Denver should continue to be active this summer after another first-round exit, this time with home court advantage. In fact, Nuggets GM Tim Connelly was quoted on Thursday night as saying that there were other deals they tried to pull the trigger on over the course of the night.
One rumored deal would have sent forward Kenneth Faried to the Orlando Magic for the number-two overall pick, Victor Oladipo. This rumor, coupled with the acquisition of Arthur, may indicate that Faried is not deemed untouchable by Nuggets management. It would appear that the front office is of the opinion that the only sacred players at this time are Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee. Faried is a tenacious rebounder, but is also an undersized power forward at 6-foot-7. Denver may look to package their diamond in the rough for a more traditionally sized power forward.
Another Nugget that looks to be on his way out of Denver is Andre Miller. The 37-year-old point guard has complained about playing time in the past in his role as Lawson’s backup. With the draft-night addition of Erick Green and the possible re-signing of Julyan Stone, it would appear that Miller’s second stint in Denver is up. Nuggets fans should expect to see Miller moved this summer, sticking with the youth movement that has taken over the team with the hiring of Connelly and Brian Shaw.
Connelly has stated that his top priority this summer is re-signing Andre Iguodala to a long-term deal to keep in in blue and gold. Iguodala has played the small forward position for much of his NBA career with the exception of his lone campaign in Denver. With Danilo Gallinari out with a knee injury to start the season, Iguodala could see minutes at his primary position. Wilson Chandler should take the bulk of those minutes as the starter. However, Chandler is injury prone and has been rumored to not be happy in Denver for some time now. Should the Nuggets choose to re-sign Iguodala, they could also look to move Chandler while he is still healthy and this would open up the opportunity for Iguodala to slide back into a comfortable position. In addition, it would allow Evan Fournier or Jordan Hamilton a chance to step into a starting role at shooting guard.
All of these possibilities may point to the Nuggets consolidating some of their depth for a superstar player to get them to that next level. One such package could have Denver sending Chandler, Miller and Faried to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love. This would solve many issues for the Nuggets including Faried’s lack of size as a power forward and at the same time expanding on his rebounding abilities. Love can also take the ball outside and shoot three pointers at a decent clip. Additionally, it is very easy to picture Love and McGee’s playing styles as being complimentary in the same frontcourt. The former UCLA standout has been long-rumored to be unhappy in Minnesota and trade rumors have already started to circle Love and the T’Wolves this offseason.
Love has two seasons left on his current deal with an option for a third. Minnesota would be wise to accept this deal as it is likely the best haul of talent that they could hope to get for Love, especially once draft picks are added to sweeten the pot. The Timberwolves have seen several teams held hostage by their superstar already and they should choose to remedy this situation before it turns into a distraction. For Connelly and the Nuggets, this should be a no-brainer and would be a great direction to take the team in to further their championship pursuit.