Denver Nuggets: Isaiah Thomas, Kawhi Leonard and the West

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

As offseason activity winds down, the hyperbole gets hot and heavy.

Coming into the week, the Nuggets had 14 of their 15 roster spots locked-down.  The 15th spot held for most of the week, we presume because Connelly and Karnisovas were exploring the possibility of one more move to complete their A+ summer.  This is where the Nuggets world goes foolish.  Daily long-piece articles about the Nuggets getting via trade or free-agency.

Ultimately, as it should have, that last spot went to guard Monte Morris, the Nuggets late second-round pick last year and back-to-back summer league darling.

We are fortunate in Denver these days.  Watching Masai Ujiri destroy that trust we value so highly in Toronto bolstered Tim Connelly’s esteem.  Connelly, Josh Kroenke and Arturus Karnisovas have it figured out.  At least for now.  They’ve done two really important things with this offseason:  They’ve kept Denver from paying the luxury tax while greatly improving the Nuggets depth.  They have also resisted the lunacy that’s going on, particularly in the West.

To put it in a nutshell this team, as constituted, will be ready to challenge for NBA supremacy at precisely the time the Warriors end their run.

If we don’t add a 2019 free agent, acquire someone in trade or draft one more player, the odds of the above statement change little.

Lost in all the “could we get LeBron or Kawhi” fervor was whether Denver wanted LBJ or Leonard.  Of course you kick the tires on opportunities like these but at the end of the day, Denver doesn’t have room for established superstars without doing great damage to the current roster.  The Spurs were rumored to have asked for Murray, Harris and multiple picks for Leonard.  From a Nuggets fan point-of-view, I wouldn’t give up Murray and Harris for anyone.  They are stars-in-waiting and more importantly they are ours.

While it is possible, it’s hard to imagine LeBron molding his game from the SF spot to fit the Nuggets (Jokic’s) offensive style. Bron may think he can settle into a 3-and-D role but it’s hard to imagine his personality will allow him to take a secondary role and the Nuggets should have no interest in taking the ball out of Jokic’s hands.

What Kroenke, Connelly, Karnisovas, Malone and all the administrators of the Nuggets team have built is special.  It is populated by special players and coaches.  The ceiling for this undertaking is not apparent, this season will go a long way toward defining that.

It takes special players.  Connelly finally has his team in Denver and it looks like the group is indeed, special. They say one bad apple spoils the bunch, kudos to Nuggets brass for staying the course.