After the first two legs of the Nuggets summer of reckoning, the draft and the opt-in/out period, the Nuggets are poised for a breakout season.
We want to take a look at where Denver stands, position-by-position and how that will impact their upcoming season.
The national media has praised the Nuggets draft but still do not acknowledge Denver as a contender. Not for free agents, not for trades and not for any playoff success.
In the draft, Denver added Missouri stud Michael Porter, Jr. (MPJ) in the first round, got defensive in the second (via trade with Orlando) with the pickup of Jarred Vanderbilt and locked up a character/potential guy by making Thomas Welsh the 58th pick. Porter should be a lock for a decade of solid performance from the 3 spot. Vanderbilt has been touted as a Dennis Rodman-level defender and rebounder. Welsh is third in UCLA history in rebounds, trailing only unknown players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.
On the free-agent front, both Darrell Arthur and Wilson Chandler have, as expected, opted-in to their 2018 salaries. Among the free-agents, Denver has declined the team option on Nikola Jokic and signed him to a max extension (5 years, $148mil). They have extended a qualifying offer to Torrey Craig, making him a restricted free-agent. They have indicated no interest in re-signing Richard Jefferson or Devin Harris. They have shown interest in holding on to Will Barton. Barton has already declined the max that Denver can offer so it seems unlikely Barton returns.
Below we will look at the team position-by-position, starting with the presumptive starter at each spot: