The Denver Nuggets Have More Answers than Questions Despite Missing Playoffs

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Let your mind drift forward three or four years and what that trio will be accomplishing.

The future is indeed bright but it was never now. This was never the season for the Nuggets.  Barring some sort of miracle intervention, nobody is going to challenge the Rockets.

I wrote over the summer that the Nuggets needed to stay the course.  That remains true now, more than ever.  Huge decisions loom with Jokic, the Nuggets have a team option that would retain the Joker for 2018-19 for 1.6 million but allow him to become unrestricted in 2019.  Darrell Arthur and Wilson Chandler have player options for next season.  Will Barton is unrestricted and turned down 4 years and 42 million from the Nuggets. Devin Harris and Richard Jefferson are also unrestricted.

Torrey Craig and Monte Morris deserve extended looks from the Nuggets.

There’s going to be some shakeup in the roster.  They can’t have another season of seven or eight-man rotations.  Jokic, Murray and Harris aren’t going to be under-25 forever, the extended minutes will take a toll.  The usual suspects will be rumored to be on-the-move.

It would be foolish to let Jokic hit the unrestricted market.  He wants to be here and he is that elusive, legitimate superstar that the Nuggets have never really had (with respect to Alex English and Carmelo Anthony). He is clearly a max contract guy.

The Nuggets are going to be seriously cash poor as the roster currently stands.  It’s unlikely they can afford Will Barton.  They do seem to like Craig and Morris, that could save some money at backup guard/small forward if they do lose Barton.  Devin Harris is likely done in Denver.  A shame, I thought he fit in well and was an important piece of the final push. Jefferson won’t return.  Chandler and Arthur will likely opt-in to final-year payouts.  Neither played well or often enough respectively to garner much interest as free-agents.  Further unlikely that a trade partner would take on the contracts of either.  Look for both Arthur and Chandler to be on the Nuggets roster next season.