The Denver Nuggets have been a dark horse in several of the big NBA trade rumors this summer, but as of yet, nothing has come into being. With the Kevin Love deal becoming less likely, they are now in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a potential deal involving Ricky Rubio.
It certainly appears that Nuggets GM Tim Connelly is desperately seeking a trade partner, and has been for the past month. Maybe the Nuggets front office agrees with me after all; this team is chock full of mediocre talent that needs to be distributed.
This is a drum I have been beating since the Nuggets acquired Arron Afflalo and drafted Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic, making them quite possibly the deepest team in the NBA. As constituted, their second team is just as good as their first, and that isn’t a good thing in this instance.
Afflalo was quoted as saying that he believes this is a championship roster, but that’s like an overzealous parent saying their child deserves to play shortstop in little-league; deep down I doubt they really believe it.
The current Nuggets roster would probably be competitive in a murderous Western Conference, perhaps making a push for the sixth or seventh seed, but they are not built for the playoffs. The playoffs require someone to step up into a leadership role and be willing to take a shot when nobody else does.
This has been a problem for the Nuggets the past two years, and unless they shake up the core of this roster, it will continue to be an issue. Nobody knows who is going to take a clutch shot, nor does anyone appear interested in volunteering.
What good is being the deepest team in the league, when more than half of the team’s across league have a better starting five and a clear-cut leader?
I am a firm believer that sometimes change for change sake is healthy for a franchise. I wasn’t opposed to the firing of George Karl for this reason, but that can’t be the only thing that changes.
I have heard people argue that we need to give Brian Shaw another year with this roster to see what he can do. Why? Even if he gets the most out of this current group of players, what is their ceiling? Maybe they could secure the sixth seed, and get ousted in the first round again.
I don’t need to see that again. That’s not a rerun I am interested in watching. Make a trade. Make any trade at this point. Let’s get a different group of players in here and see what they can accomplish. Even if they get worse, it doesn’t matter. They will get a better draft pick, and maybe they will get lucky and land a franchise-changing player, which as we all know is the only way this team, in this market will ever compete for a championship.
I think we will see a trade happen in the next month, and I can already hand out a grade no matter who the Nuggets lose or gain: A-plus. Because really, what do they have to lose?