The Denver Nuggets are one of the young and upcoming teams in the NBA. With young stars like Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Gary Harris, the Denver Nuggets are built for long-term success. The Nuggets have done almost everything right, here’s why.
We need to start with Arturas Karnisovas, the general manager for the Nuggets has done a marvelous job with this franchise making all the right moves, such as drafting Jamal Murray, drafting Gary Harris, drafting the second round steal that eventually lead to their franchise centerpiece in Nikola Jokic, and then drafting Michael Porter Jr. in last years draft. The young guns for the Nuggets are locked and ready to go. For Murray, the sky is the limit, a young athletic guard that has the capability to average 20 PPG. Easily. The most interesting out of all of these players is Michael Porter Jr. He was the number one high school player in the country coming into the college season last year. He was injured his entire career at Missouri, resulting in only a handful of games being played. Porter stands at a stunning 6’10 with the ability to score anywhere on the floor. Porter’s game has the ability to replicate what Kevin Durant is able to do, a big body that can handle the ball and shoot from anywhere. I think Karnisovas has done one of the best jobs as a general manager in all of the NBA.
The Nuggets this offseason goes out and signs former NBA scoring king Isaiah Thomas. The 5’9 Mr. Irrelevant point guard had a rough stretch last year. Getting traded to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving deal and was held out the first half of last years season. Once getting healthy, he only had a solid month of time before being dealt to the Lakers, where they were out of contention and the interest level didn’t seem to be there. Thomas now has another chance, however, with a young athletic high scoring Nuggets team. Leading the second group with solid pieces such as Willie Herangomez, and Will Barton, Thomas will have more than just an opportunity to produce. To be able to grab a scorer with the potential of averaging 30.0 PPG for less than 3 Million dollars is nothing less than a steal.
The other major move that Karnisovas made was bringing in one of the better big men in the NBA in Paul Milsap. The stretch four with the ability to post up, handle the ball and rebound is a valuable asset to the Nuggets roster. He will help mentor Porter Jr. as he gets healthy Milsap will show Porter the ropes and is very important to mentoring these young players.
I am just going to get this trade out of the way because I am sure all Nuggets fans know about this one. The Nuggets traded the rights to Donovan Mitchell to the Jazz in exchange for Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon. Lyles is a solid piece — and don’t think for a minute that he’s a bum. He’s not. A solid stretch four that can rebound and hit the three. Obviously, I assume they would rather have Mitchell but, that’s how it unfolded and the Nuggets are still in good shape.
The Nuggets then would dump the contracts of Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler freeing up nearly 25 Million Dollars! More than enough to sign a valuable asset for this team in the long run. Especially with a loaded free agency up and coming.
Last year the Nuggets without Thomas, and without Porter finished 46-36 and lost in the play-in game to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who would eventually go on and lose to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in 5 games. Honestly, I believe that would have probably been the fate of the Nuggets as well, but adding two solid pieces was very important for the Nuggets.
Overall, I think the Nuggets are going to be a tough out in the west. Finishing 31-10 at home with the altitude on their side, beating the Nuggets in a 7 game series is not going to be easy by any means. With a team that’s 8-9 players deep, loads of star power that love to share the ball. Everyone needs to jump on the Nuggets bandwagon BEFORE its too late.Download the Free GoingFor2 App by Clicking Here...