Denver Nuggets Offseason Moves & Analysis

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nuggets small logoUNDER CONTRACT: F Danilo Gallinari, C JaVale McGee, G-F Andre Iguodala, F Wilson Chandler, G Andre Miller, G-F Corey Brewer, C Kosta Koufos, C Timofey Mozgov, F Anthony Randolph, G Ty Lawson, F Kenneth Faried, F Jordan Hamilton

DRAFT PICKS: G Evan Fournier, F Quincy Miller

FREE AGENTS: F-C Chris Andersen

MOVES:  It was a somewhat expected offseason for the Nuggets until GM Masai Ujiri shoehorned his way into the Dwight Howard deal, landing do-it-all swingman Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia while sending Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a 2013 second-round pick and a 2014 first-round pick to Orlando. Ujiri dumped nearly $50 million in salaries and got back an All-Star whose athleticism and versatility fits well with Denver’s roster. He also held onto the $13 million trade exception he netted in the Nene trade. Before landing Iguodala, the Nuggets did some maintenance. They had just one unrestricted free agent in Andre Miller and brought him back with a three-year, $14.6 million deal that will allow him to continue backing up waterbug Ty Lawson and providing a change of pace with his lobs, post-ups and under-control play. However, their restricted free agent was more important to retain. Denver was very fortunate that JaVale McGee did not receive a max offer sheet a la Roy Hibbert or a poison pill contract a la Omer Asik. Instead, the negotiations remained in-house and McGee ultimately received a four-year, $44 million deal. That’s a chunk of money for someone who has shown knucklehead tendencies, but the tandem of Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov was simply not enough to keep Denver relevant in the middle. Ujiri also used the amnesty provision on Chris Andersen, who has fallen as far as any player over the last three years. They also took a step toward replacing him by signing Anthony Randolph to a two-year, $6 million deal. The draft selection of Evan Fournier gives Denver a French version of Rudy Fernandez, who left to play in Spain.

TO-DO LIST: Unlike most teams, the Nuggets were very active at the in-season extension deadline, locking up both Danilo Gallinari and Kosta Koufos with multi-year deals. They later did the same with Wilson Chandler, shortening their offseason punchlist. Although the Iguodala trade created a roster spot, Denver appears to be set to start training camp with this group, which is two deep at every position. The Nuggets have to save some money to lock up Lawson with an extension, which is already being discussed.

PROJECTION: The Nuggets are a playoff team but don’t have a championship roster. Their future flexibility will be somewhat limited by the multiple long-term deals they have given out over the last several months. But they have a deep nucleus of young, good players, most of whom are paid at market value. That will enable them to improve their roster via trades – and perhaps pop for the stud they need to truly contend.

(RELATED: What grade did the Nuggets get?)

For offseason analysis of every team, click here.

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  1. The raps have been interested in WC for sometime. Do you see a scenario where he gets traded to the Raps?

    • Chris Bernucca says:

      Given that Toronto just gave Landry Fields $19 million for 3 years, I would think not. And I think Chandler is going to be difficult to trade anywhere given how much he has left on his contract. Thanks for reading.

  2. pg.lawson
    sg.igoudala
    sf.galinari
    pf.faried
    c.nuggets
    wow balanace offence defence

  3. Buffalo soldier says:

    Masai indicated on the radio, they were looking at Miller going to Europe.

    I would not be surprised by a trade.

  4. Your count is off, the Nuggets roster is at 15, but that does NOT include Quincy Miller.

    Lawson/DreMiller/Stone
    Afflalo/Hamilton/Fournier
    Gallo/Chandler/Brewer
    Manimal/Harrington/Randolph
    Mcgee/Mozgov/Koufos

    At the moment, Quincy Miller is the odd man out.

    • Chris Bernucca says:

      From what I see, Julyan Stone option not picked up yet and has labral tear and out 5 months. Could mean option doesn’t get picked up. But you are right, it’s Miller or Stone. Thanks for reading

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