5 Changes the Denver Nuggets Must Make This Offseason
5 Changes the Denver Nuggets Must Make This Offseason
The Denver Nuggets have had one of the busiest offseasons in the NBA.
After remodeling their front office, they traded starters Kosta Koufous and Andre Iguodala. The organization then made a move in free agency by signing J.J. Hickson to a three-year $15 million contract on July 7. They then agreed to a three-team sign-and-trade that landed Utah Jazz guard Randy Foye in the Mile High City a day later.
While the addition of Hickson and Foye is a step in the right direction for the Nuggets, they still need to address more issues on their roster.
For starters, Corey Brewer and Timofey Mozgov are still unsigned free agents. Mozgov has received an offer from his Russian home team, and Brewer has the interest of multiple NBA teams. The Nuggets need to decide if they are both worth re-signing.
Another issue lies at the shooting guard position. Second-year player Evan Fournier would start at the off-guard position in 2013-14. While Fournier has a lot of promise, he still doesn't have a ton of experience. The Nuggets need to go all-in with Fournier, or sign another player to start in his place.
The team also needs to think about what rookie free agents they want to sign. They have a roster loaded with young talent in Erick Green, O.D. Anosike, Richard Howell and Ramon Galloway. If coach Brian Shaw wants to build a franchise around a young team, the Nuggets need to make moves on some these players. Shaw also needs to decide if Veteran Andre Miller would fit into his new system.
Here are five moves they must make this offseason.
Have Timofey Mozgov Play In Russia During the 2013-14 Season
The Denver Nuggets have too many big men on their current roster. The current roster includes: Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson, Darrell Arthur and Anthony Randolph. They have to let free agent Timofey Mozgov accept the four-year offer from Lokomotiv Kuban. If Mozgov re-signed, he wouldn't see much playing time. Mozgov would have significant playing time in the Euroleague, and could develop much more quickly. The Nuggets would still retain the rights to Mozgov if he chooses to return to the NBA. He’s only 26 years old, they could pick him back up in a year or two as a much better player.
Re-Sign Corey Brewer
Corey Brewer was the biggest offensive threat off the bench for the Denver Nuggets during the 2012-13 NBA season. In his second year with the Nuggets, Brewer averaged 12 points, three rebounds, 1.5 assists and a steal in 24 minutes, according to NBA.com. Brewer played in all 82 games, and consistently provided depth for the Nuggets roster.
Multiple teams have expressed their interests in Brewer. ESPN’s Mark Stein reported that the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets. On top of that, the Sacramento Kings have also expressed interest in the 27-year-old forward. Jason Jones of the Sacramento bee reported that Brewer could reunite with former Nugget execute Pete D’Allesandro, who accepted a position as the Kings general manager this offseason.
Sign A Shooting Guard to Replace Andre Iguodala
The Denver Nuggets front office need to finding a shooting guard to replace Andre Iguodala. Iguodala, one of the elite wing defenders in the NBA, moved to the Golden State Warriors in a three-team sign-and-trade. At the end of the deal, the Nuggets got a $12 million trade exception and guard Randy Foye from the Utah Jazz. The Nuggets now have $9.1 mil to use on any player within the year. They can also go over the salary cap with this trade exception.
The Nuggets need to spend that money in free agency.
Foye’s a great shooter, but should come off the bench. Most of the top off-guard prospects have signed, but there is still talent in the free-agent pool. The team has aggressively pursued Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis, according to RealGM. Ellis, an offensive powerhouse, averaged 19 points, six assists and four assists in his first season on the Bucks, per ESPN.
Another free agent the Nuggets could pursue is San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal. The Spurs could let Neal go now that they have Marco Bellineli. Neal would compete for time with Bellineli, Danny Green and Manu Ginobli. Last season, Neal helped the Spurs reach the NBA Finals averaging 10 points, two assists and two rebounds in 11.59 minutes, via ESPN. He would add an offensive threat from beyond the perimeter, an area where the Nuggets struggled last season.
Sign Rookie Erick Green
Erick Green, the 2012-13 NCAA scoring champion, was drafted 46th by the Denver Nuggets in a deal with the Utah Jazz on draft night. Green has a ton of potential on this team. The Nuggets need to have a young, scoring guard that they can mold to share time with Ty Lawson. Both Lawson and new coach Brian Shaw could help develop Green into an elite sixth-man. The 22-year-old can thrive in the Nuggets up-tempo offense with his jump shooting. He could provide a real offensive spark off the bench. The former Virginia Tech Hokie will play in his first game for the Nuggets on Saturday in the 2013 NBA Summer League. If he produces, expect the Nuggets to offer him a contract.
Trade Andre Miller
Andre Miller doesn’t belong on the Denver Nuggets roster. Coach Brian Shaw inherited a young, athletic team. He got stuck with Miller. The biggest weakness Miller brings to this team is his defensive abilities. Miller can’t keep up with the faster paced guards in the Northwestern Conference like Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio. I think that the best move for the Nuggets would be to put Miler in a trade package for another guard.