Denver Nuggets: Collecting Assets for Trade?

By Peter Sherwill
Timofey Mozgov
Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets re-signed Russian center Timofey Mozgov to a three-year contract worth $14 million while also adding diminutive point guard Nate Robinson on a two-year deal earlier this week. In addition to Mozgov and Robinson, Denver has managed to collect Darrell Arthur, JJ Hickson and Randy Foye this offseason, loading the team with an abundance of power forwards and guards. The only explanation for these moves is to pickup as many assets as possible for later deals.

A few players have been mentioned in trade rumors throughout the summer including Andre Miller and Kenneth Faried. The additions of Hickson and Robinson make Miller and Faried expendable to this Nuggets team. However, after signing Robinson, Denver’s General Manager Tim Connelly has indicated that the team plans to keep Miller. This is most likely just posturing on Connelly’s part to keep Miller’s trade value from plummeting, even though it is fairly obvious that he is on his way out of Denver.

Faried was arguably the biggest steal of the 2011 NBA Draft at 22 overall, and rival GM’s have taken notice of his talent and upside. Hickson and Faried have posted very similar numbers and play the same position. However, Hickson has a much more developed offensive game.

Denver has a larger financial commitment to Hickson, while Faried has just one more season on his rookie contract and will likely seek a large extension. The Nuggets have long-term, big money contracts committed to Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Ty Lawson. It is unlikely that Denver will want to overpay for what Faried brings to the team when they already have Hickson.

The Nuggets should offer a package built around Miller, Faried and Wilson Chandler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. This would net the Nuggets the superstar that they have been missing and would also provide them with a big that can play on the perimeter or on the inside.

Only one thing is certain: that move would make much more sense than some of the ones that have been seen this summer.

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