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View Full Version : [Nuggets] Good read on the Nuggets



Bowie Man
04-05-2012, 05:45 PM
Found this article and though it was good

http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/shaun_powell/04/04/denver-nuggets-hope-for-future/index.html?ls=nbahpheadlines




When a team trades its two best players -- one of them about to be a three-time Olympian in his prime -- in the span of a year, can things possibly get better?

The Nuggets won't have anything to show right away for shipping out Carmelo Anthony and Nene, maybe not even later this month in the playoffs (that's assuming they make it that far).

There's a price to pay, obviously, for shaving off so many points, rebounds and late-game impact. So let's clarify: the Nuggets aren't better ... they're better off.

Three reasons:

Rookie forward Kenneth Faried.

A young roster overall.

Salary cap space.

"We're moving in the right direction," said coach George Karl.

When Karl says "I'm on board with this" then you know Denver's plan, while not perfect, is sound. Karl is very much a win-now kind of coach that is still chasing that elusive championship and knows the value of superstars. And now the Nuggets don't have any.

But they're being built with the immediate future in mind. They're grooming players for major roles and stocking up on assets just in case a chance to grab a star through a trade comes along. They're operating within a reasonable budget, keeping the team competitive while also keeping Karl hopeful that something big could happen while he's around.

The mistake the Nuggets and other teams often make is comparing themselves to Oklahoma City. As in: the Thunder kept getting the right young players and after a few years, look where they are.

What's forgotten is that the Thunder had lots of luck. They were blessed with the second pick in the Greg Oden Draft (2007). They also took a chance on a point guard prospect (Russell Westbrook) in the '08 Draft. Without getting a gift-wrapped Kevin Durant in '07 and having Westbrook pan out, do you know who Oklahoma City would be right now? The Nuggets.

All the Nuggets can do is prepare themselves for when luck strikes, then be ready to capitalize on it.

You start with Faried. He's a Nene clone, right down to the braided hairstyle, who's younger and much cheaper. That made Nene expendable at the trade deadline. The rookie from nowhere went from playing 60 minutes total in December and January to being a big part of the future by late February. His life changed that month when he came off the bench and got 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Grizzlies, then bested that two weeks ago with 18 and 16 against the Celtics.

"I'm not content," he said. "I want to get better."

Trading Nene and his $67 million deal to Washington allowed the Nuggets to not only get JaVale McGee in return, but to cleared room so they could re-sign Wilson Chandler to a 5-year, $37 million deal. It was a win-win-win because, although the Nuggets did give Nene that extension four months ago, things changed. And Nene, while a solid player, wasn't a star by any means.

The Nuggets are now on the clock with McGee, who was somewhat of an oddball in Washington and never completely reached his massive potential. McGee will wise up because his surroundings have changed. He's not a member of the Phi Delta Wizards anymore. The Nuggets, while young, are more professional. Besides, McGee -- a free agent in 2013-14 -- will be playing for money soon. The Nuggets -- or anyone else -- aren't willing to gamble millions, not in this new labor age, on a player who does nothing but tease. Money sometimes miraculously quickens the maturation process.

"It'll be an exciting process of watching these two young players, Kenneth and JaVale, growing up and getting better together," Karl said. "A lot of making the trade and bringing JaVale here was done with Kenneth Faried in mind. We believe he's that good and will help JaVale that much, and vice-versa."

It goes beyond those two. In the last year, the Nuggets gave extensions to Danilo Gallinari and Arron Afflalo, two players (like Chandler) who are solid, hard-working, reliable and just touching their prime. Al Harrington is signed through 2015 on a very reasonable ($7 million average) deal, and Chris Anderson is around for the next two seasons. Ty Lawson's deal doesn't come up for two seasons. The Nuggets' payroll will be below $50 million next season and there's no dead weight, meaning they could put together a package to get a potential star, if that's what it took.

As it stands, this is a 45 to 50-win team in a normal season and capable of reaching the second round of the playoffs if the matchups are right. Karl believes the Nuggets can do that this season, as they fight for one of the last two or three spots out West.

"We're certainly good enough to make the playoffs and once we get there we can shock the world," he said.

"Obviously, though, we're built with tomorrow in mind. And that's fine. When we made the trade there was the thought that it might be six months too early. It might be a year too early. But as a coach, you get excited about their enthusiasm for the game and willingness to learn and improve. We've just got to go out and fight and compete, and I think we will. I think we'll be better sooner than most people suspect."

You could argue the Knicks or Wizards aren't better with 'Melo and Nene than the Nuggets are without those two. Really, whose roster is in better shape fiscally, physically and in the standings?

The Nuggets aren't fooling themselves, though. They'll need a star before they can think about the next level. In the meantime, they've done everything to ensure that life without one isn't so bad.

BluenOrnge4Life
04-06-2012, 10:57 AM
Don't tell this to the people who want Karl out of here. Any team that dang near remakes their entire roster within 2 years should be much better, right? :laugh:

Yet, that's somehow Karls' fault.

Broncoholic3233
04-06-2012, 11:20 AM
Don't tell this to the people who want Karl out of here. Any team that dang near remakes their entire roster within 2 years should be much better, right? :laugh:

Yet, that's somehow Karls' fault.

Yeah, that's my general feeling on it.


Karl has been upsetting me lately, just based on our perceived lack of 'effort' on the defensive end, but I am with ya...can't blame it all on him, not even close.


I've been saying it in the game day threads and everywhere, with what we've gone through....remaking the entire roster and having key players injured so we can't start building team chemistry and we are still above .500


Sure, it's frustrating we are losing to these bad teams, but man, we've been through a ton and in a very deep West, are still in the playoffs and above .500


The future is bright.

BluenOrnge4Life
04-06-2012, 12:03 PM
Yeah, that's my general feeling on it.


Karl has been upsetting me lately, just based on our perceived lack of 'effort' on the defensive end, but I am with ya...can't blame it all on him, not even close.


I've been saying it in the game day threads and everywhere, with what we've gone through....remaking the entire roster and having key players injured so we can't start building team chemistry and we are still above .500


Sure, it's frustrating we are losing to these bad teams, but man, we've been through a ton and in a very deep West, are still in the playoffs and above .500


The future is bright.

100% agree on all accounts. Great post

InElwayWeTrust
04-06-2012, 12:09 PM
I think George Karl should be commended for this season, not looked down upon for it. Look at it this way, the Cavaliers, Raptors, Suns, Hornets, Jazz, and Nuggets were all playoff contenders (except maybe Toronto) and they lost their best player.

Cavs- Suck
Hornets- Suck
Raptors- Suck
Suns- Suck
Jazz- did a little better job

Nuggets- still in playoff chase every year.


We are no where near contending for a title but our FO and Coaching staff deserve credit for not completely falling apart like other teams did when they lost their star.

The Experience
04-06-2012, 02:47 PM
The problem I have is this team lacks effort on the defensive end of the floor. I'm not saying we need to replace GK, but we need to bring in a defensive coordinator. Melvin Hunt could be that guy, but something has to give with this team. Defense wins championships.