Denver Nuggets: 3 Things to do if they Lose to Portland

Denver Nuggets (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 2019 Free Agent list is absurd.

A quick look at the list of 2019 NBA free agents is like a who’s-who of all-star level talent.  It includes, in no particular order: Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris and Al Horford.

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Of those players, can you name one that significantly improves the Denver Nuggets as-constructed?

The only player Denver could squeeze value out of is Horford and that would require the release of Paul Millsap and the likely commitment of at least the money Millsap is paid. If the money is a concern, it’s not a given that Horford is enough of an upgrade to justify that salary outlay, even though Denver has trouble at the 4 spot.

If you try to splash big with a Durant or Leonard, be prepared for a transition that does not favor the Nuggets current system. That stat they keep showing where Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is destroying the rest of the league in playoff touches? Say goodbye to that idea, KD, Kawhi and Kyrie are iso players that demand the ball. They would not coexist well with Jokic who is already considered the best center in the NBA and possibly the Nuggets best historical player. It’s not worth damaging that balance. So much of Gary Harris‘ and Jamal Murray‘s games are dependent on Jokic that a disruption would change the makeup of the entire team.

Say it with me loudly, it is not worth it.

Regardless, I’d keep Gary at his salary over Klay, I’ll wait out MPJ’s development rather than look at KD or Kawhi, we saw firsthand how a head-to-head Murray vs. Kyrie worked out, Butler isn’t a fit for Denver’s locker room, Kemba couldn’t displace Murray or Monte Morris.

So, even though it feels contrary to logic, the Nuggets can not gain significantly by adding a big-name. Let’s not forget that they are the second seed and are in game seven of the second round of the playoffs. There’s a narrow window for improvement as-is.

Speaking of that small forward spot: