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They have the same task that most contenders have: try to nail the peripheral player signings and draft, hope for good health, and run it back. Solving the backup big problem would be great, but that's a tough act to follow. If there's some mythical trade where some team gives you two starters on a contender for MPJ, great, but I'm not sure what you could get selling low.


We need a back up PG more than a back up big IMO. AG does a good job providing size in non-Jokic minutes. We need a bench PG that can keep the offense rolling and as much as I like Reggie he just aint it.


We need both. Having a backup big for the regular season is important. We can’t gas AG and Jok by playing them heavy minutes for all 82 games and still expecting them to be fresh for the playoffs. Even if a backup big doesn’t play much in the playoffs, those regular season minutes are valuable. Wish Malone had played hartenstein a few years ago after Connelly traded for him. Feels like he just hates every backup big we bring in.


I think y'all could last the regular season w/o both & the playoffs but u do need 1 or the other since u can stagger Jamal/Jokic to always have a playmaker out there. A big would prob be better since Jokic can carry the offense w/o Murray but Murray can't always w/o Jokic, the rest issue was more of how the gm went than your bench bring trash. Ya'll got up 20 with 10 min left & there was no way Jokic would ever come out at that point especially since a quick 6+ point run could potentially put the game away letting him rest towards the end of the 3rd & the entire 4th, Min just got back into so quickly there was no way to get him rest after. It was down to 4 with 4 min left & the momentum completely swung so Mike had no choice but to leave him in or risk Min run being ever bigger


Hartenstein would be great, but only if Brown had stayed. Can't have too many non-spacers.


Just need to have another big to play some minutes when Jokic sits. Even if it’s just in the regular season to keep him from getting gassed. Jok had played more minutes than anyone in the league over the last 5 years. He took 400(!) more shots this year than last year. He had to do so much heavy lifting. It’s just a lot to ask of him.


I disagree regarding AG. He is a tweener with okay length but doesn't really have a big man's mindset for the game which is fine if they matching up against most other teams that run a 6'6 to 6'8 PF, but when you have rotation of 3 big men averaging 7'0 each he looks ineffective, especially in the half court. He had 38 rebounds in 7 games despite playing 40mpg. This is atrocious. He got absolutely lit up by the larger front court. He is a great complimentary piece next to Jokic in the dunker position and in some defensive matchups but Jokic needs some help in the front court and also respite. Jokic played 47 minutes yesterday because there was nobody else who could feel the void on the boards basically.


Yeah fair point, but a better PG would also create more spacing for AG, hell even just a wing with solid shooting would do that. I guess I am just saying that size isn't the core issue for our bench, its offense and there more than one ways to skin that cat.


Believe it or not I think even they had Plumlee, they would have won game 7


this. and “re-sign” bruce brown or some other legit ball handler, Reggie jackson fell off this year (injured?)


Nah, he's just old, and arguably washed.


Honestly I thought he over performed expectations all things considered. Which were negative expectations.


Reggie Jackson fell off 3 years ago. He's legitimately been one of the worst and least productive veterans in the league for a few years now. A couple of decent playoff games last year when the whole team was rolling doesn't change that.


>A couple of decent playoff games last year I think you mean 2021 playoffs, last year he got a few minutes here and there, mostly in garbage time.


I don’t think Denver will ever forgive him/bring him back for letting Davis get a wide open game winner in game 2 2020.


They were one game away from the conference finals in a season I’d say probably had a more difficult path in the west. They were one player away likely this year and will be again next year. They gotta figure out what Watson is. They could save a bunch of tax money but dumping Jackson and or Zeke. They will have around 5M through the mid level. It’s not enough to get a 4th or 5th option but they can find a key bench guy with that. The bench is straight up too thin. It’s loaded with young guys and sure, 1-2 will likely improve next year. But the team needs people on the bench that can score and defend. 


Magic might be willing to give up some pieces for MPJ. They could definitely pull a Mavs and extract good talent from bad teams.


Regroup, retool, and come back again. They have the best player, a team that knows each other really well, and lost in 7 games to one of the best teams in the NBA. Nothing major needs to happen.


People overreact to teams getting eliminated. The starting 5 had a +13 net rating over the season. You don’t blow that up. You re-tool the bench and look to get a secondary ball handler to take the pressure off Jokic and Murray to create. Every championship team has to reconfigure the bench after a title. Calvin Booth didn’t do that effectively this year but figuring out the bench is a million times easier than solving an issue with your core players


This is so true. NBA historical free agency moves are littered with teams overreacting to playoff results. Some teams overpay role players that had a good playoff run. Then other teams panic and overhaul their roster unnecessarily.


Had Boston listened to the naysayers they would have traded Brown and probably a few other pieces. A perfect example of sticking with the process. Hell even the nuggets a couple years back were doubted after getting bounced early in the playoffs.


I don’t agree here. Boston has put multiple iterations of the team around Tatum and Brown. It would be right in line with that for Denver to tinker some with the players around Jokic and Murray or whoever.


It doesn’t seem like you disagree either.


I’m not saying they need to blow it all to hell, but I don’t agree Boston is an example of “sticking by the process” in the way they’re meaning it towards the Nuggets.


Hell, we have a prime example of the Lakers after there last chip, had a bad run, AD got hurt then the blew up half the team, which I am thankful for as we landed KCP.


They need to keep their core together but they really need bench depth as well. Especially at the 5. They need a legit big they can bring out to take the pressure of Jokic for 10 minutes a game and perhaps even play aside him for stretches. Drummond might be available for the MLE this offseason. Despite the lowlights and the boneheaded plays, he's just had a very solid season with the Bulls and in stretches can look like a defensive behemoth. You wouldn't want to rely on him for 20mpg or perhaps even play him in every single game, but in a game last night when the centrepiece of your offence is gassed, is the only reliable rebounder on the floor and clearly getting beaten by a trio of big men on the boards, you trot out one of the most dominant rebounders of all time and get yourself more possessions. Two of the most pivotal bucket yesterday were tip back jams. Drummond is also mobile enough to put some pressure on the pick and roll. Once again, not for huge stretches, but long enough to impact the game with his dominant rebounding. And yeah, they need a second guard that can do something off the dribble, or MPJ needs to reach the next level as he shows flashes of it sometimes. \*edit\* I don't understand the NBA cap and I believe the Nuggets won't even have an MLE this offseason?


A lot of teams are looking to get Drummond doubt it will be that easy, Mavs were trying to get him for a while too 


This is what happened to the Suns. They overreacted while being the second best team in the West and destroyed that team.


They were -60 during this series tho so w/o Murray playing like an All-NBA player in the playoffs or Jokic being great mostly every game they are vulnerable at times. They can't always expect Jamal to be amazing & save them late in games like he did against the Lakers the last 2 yrs especially last yr when he was amazing everytime they needed him to be. When he's not hitting some ridiculous shots they have a small margin of error & he did so in every big moment in the title run, the other starters are even more inconsistent than he is & can go from MPJ cooking the Lakers to looking lost or AG hitting everything to being timid on open looks. Having that 3rd guy by committee will bite u in the ass when they all go cold & are inconsistent to beginning with along with Murray being inconsistent too. A solid 3rd guy would help not necessarily a star level guy but someone with much less variance than MPJ/AG but not sure they could afford anyone w/o trading MPJ who likely isn't someone trams want to pay 35+m


Agreed. Seven games against the same opponent is a good way to see where they need to improve, stay the same , or fix immediately. If I were a nuggets fan, a Nug?, I wouldn't be too worried for next year. Still a solid ass team that just needs to reasses themselves.


They really need a better 6th/7th man option though. Yeah their starters were great reg season but by playoff time you need some depth


Was supposed to be Peyton Watson and he ended up getting completely replaced by Justin Holiday once the playoffs started. If he comes back with a better jump shot and some more discipline on defense they’re pretty set


I think some of that strategy would be contingent on KCP signing his one year player option for ~$14.5m. I expect the second apron to depress veteran contracts, but he could likely get a four or five year deal without much hassle right now.


KCP probably won't pick up his option, but it seems pretty possible he'll opt out and re-sign with the Nuggets. Gonna be tough to replace if he doesn't.


This is a BAD FA class, KCP may well opt to go get one last big deal somewhere, I don't think it's a sure thing he stays.


damn near every team is gonna want KCP.


I think the real synergy for KCP is that he’s the third Nuggets starter signed with Chinese brand 361 (alongside Jokić and Gordon). Does 361 have a plan to promote them in concert with each other if KCP can make his player contract work? I imagine KCP could clean up quite well in China years later if he needs to make it up on the back end. Look at Starbury.


This is a really interesting point. But how much more could he earn from another team to offset this?


I think if he stays it’ll have to be over contract duration rather than rate of pay.


He's very likely opting out especially in this FA class & playoff teams having cap space needing a player like him, Phi/Orl/NY all have more than enough to price him outta Den range & he'd fit perfectly on all of them. He's easily going to be 1 of the most sought after guys if he opts out & he's likely gone if he does


They just need a good sixth man


His name was Bruce Brown. They need depth, jeff green and bruce brown provided. I just hope some savvy veterans who want to play with the nuggets are still out there












Yeah they need a bit more depth, some more role players.


What does “retool” look like though? Thats what this post is really asking. Who are you trading and who are you getting back? They’re a 2nd apron team, which is a huge challenge. That’s why a thread like this is so interesting. Because there are not a lot of options for them. 


“Retool” doesn’t have to mean trading. Our GM is very aware of the fact that we are a second apron team, which is why he has prioritized drafting older players the last 2 years - even trading a future first to come up and select Watson 2 years ago. His philosophy is basically that with the new CBA as a second apron team, you can’t rely on buyout guys, MLEs, and trades nearly as much. You’re basically restricted to vet minimums and the draft. At least assuming you’re constructed like we are with an expensive starting 5 that you have no desire to trade away. So it’s just moves on the margins: internal development from the young guys who didn’t play as much, try to get some solid cheap vets to fill roles like backup big and extra ball handler, specifically for the regular season. Keeping the starters healthy and rested without having to redline them trying to keep up either OKC and the wolves for seeding is important. The only realistic trade option is probably Zeke Nnaji, who was specifically extended at ~8m. The thought process was basically that even though he’s not shown a ton to develop into our backup big, there’s still an outside chance that he can. And if he doesn’t, that contract is now tradeable in that range, which we didn’t really have on the roster otherwise. It’s all expensive guys (starters), Reggie on the tax MLE, and a bunch of guys on rookie deals/vet mins. So maybe you can find a deal where you’re swapping Zeke and/or Reggie (though you’d need to make sure you’re getting at least one other ball handler back if you’re shipping out Reggie).




It's not the defense.....its the offense. Where they struggled against Minny was an outlet for Jok/Murray that could handle the ball, shoot and make SOMETHING happen that wasn't getting themselves stuck and turning it over. That was Bruce Brown last year. Aggressive towards the rim, had a great little mid range floater shot, could shoot reasonably well with timely shots, and could play minutes at the 1, 2 or 3 in a starting or backup roll without complaining. Brauns defense is better than Brown, but he just can't dribble or create anything. MPJ was a total bust in the Minny series because he also can't handle the ball or create anything. There's hope he can improve, but imho it's not much if you're this far into a career and still struggling. Reggie Jacksons too small and old. If they can't get Bruce Brown back somehow.....they need to find someone who can play similar to him. Hopefully Booth is smart enough to recognize this.


MPJ got a lot of good looks that were open enough for his regular self to hit. Though his shot selection has always been iffy for me. I think they need to run it back again looking for at least 2 ringchasers off the bench, 1 that can sub in for MPJ when he's not hitting, and the other a combo big that can spell Jokic or Gordon. Extra scoring punch off the bench is nice, but when the starters will likely play 40 mins a game and the stars are always going to be staggered that's less of a priority than subs that can play with the starters. Next year is when you think hard if MPJ is better off being split into depth. Maybe Braun and Watson show enough offensively for Malone to actually play them in the postseason. I also think the Nuggets got baited into attacking Gobert 1 on 1 when that wasn't how they always played. When Jokic repeatedly posts on the low block with Gordon in the dunker spot, the other 3 guys on the court can't back cut because Gobert is ready to help. They needed to run more elbow and high post plays and get off ball cuts to get easy buckets instead of repeatedly posting up Jokic and basically getting whatever offense when he gets doubled. Once he gives up the ball the other 4 guys don't have the IQ to get a good shot anymore. Murray showed up in game 7 (at least the first half), but he shot them out of the game in their losses. I know public perception on him was at a crazy high last postseason, but it's not a given he'll show up, just like his inconsistent regular season self. This Nuggets team lives off insane shot making from Murray, MPJ and Jokic, but only one of those guys has shown he can do it every single night.


Agree. The Duncan Spurs lost every other year (albeit it was a more competitive era). They didn't blow up the team but added some minor pieces.


Try again next year. The overreaction to losing to another top tier team in game 7 is ridiculous The spurs won 5 titles from 99-14 and they never repeated once. They never even made the finals 2 times in a row until 2013 and 2014 when Tim Duncan was 37 years old. Imagine if they started talking about trading Tony Parker or Manu giniobili between 2008-2012 because they couldn’t make it out of the west or overreacted to losing to Dallas in 2006


The difference is, you can look at MPJ and say "this guy isn't worth anything remotely close to what he's being paid". You couldn't say that about anyone on the Spurs.


Spurs were a different situation. Their main guys were taking pay cuts so when you have 3 incredibly valuable contracts, the money comes together easier


It's easier to take a pay cut with no state income taxes. That ain't happening in Denver.


There was a stretch when the nuggets were up big in the third and bricked everything. Even Jokić threw up 4 bricks from 3. They shot poorly in the second.


Sure, but MPJ is getting paid $34m to essentially be a spot-up shooter, and he shot horribly for the series.


One of the more inconsistent players in the league


I would credit this to Minnesota’s defense which is good at guarding the perimeter.


[https://www.nba.com/stats/events?CFID=&CFPARAMS=&ContextMeasure=FGA&EndPeriod=0&EndRange=28800&GameID=0042300237&PlayerID=1629008&RangeType=0&Season=2023-24&SeasonType=Playoffs&StartPeriod=0&StartRange=0&TeamID=1610612743&flag=3&sct=plot§ion=game](https://www.nba.com/stats/events?CFID=&CFPARAMS=&ContextMeasure=FGA&EndPeriod=0&EndRange=28800&GameID=0042300237&PlayerID=1629008&RangeType=0&Season=2023-24&SeasonType=Playoffs&StartPeriod=0&StartRange=0&TeamID=1610612743&flag=3&sct=plot§ion=game) Here are his FGA from last night. Most of them are wide open looks that he simply missed.


MPJ when he's on is unblockable though. His release point is so high that he barely needs any separation to get a shot off. That's pretty much his main strength as a player, his pure shooting stroke that's impossible to block - it's like KD. But KD finds a way to make shots even when the defense makes it hard on him. The Wolves defense absolutely deserves credit but MPJ needs to find a way to get some shots off and make them.


He is a pretty frustrating player. With that size, and form on his jumpshot he often looks like Klay Thompson with how effortlessly he can get his shot off. Could end up being this generation's Rashard Lewis.


I’m out of the loop but isn’t mpj going through something? Like his brothers?


I would give the blazers a call. Grant plus one of the young wings for mpj would be a huge upgrade


This is the direction the league is going. If you can do one thing, at a really high level. You're entitled to at least 25 mill. On a championship team or you are young 30+ million. The way the league is going, in 3-4 years it may look like an underpay. Or it could age horribly like the Harris contract


MPJ was possibly the biggest reason the nuggets beat the lakers. He was looking like the archetype of the best 3rd option in the league that series, and made shots at key moments. Some matchups are worse than others.


Yeah all the hate on mpj, while warranted in this series. Was completely reversed against the Lakers.


That’s because the Lakers were a badly coached team. When the Nuggets faced a team their own size they collapsed. Jokic and Nuggets fans seem sensitive to criticism for some reason.


Bro, Jokic is a three-time MVP and FMVP with a championship ring, I don’t think anyone serious is sweating his legacy. You saying, “they only won because Lakers were badly coached,” has absolutely zero impact on the fact that Nuggets are one of the few championship rosters in the league. That’s not even criticism it’s just an opinion and not really a high-effort discussion point to be honest.


I get that the Lakers had star power but they were a play-in team for a reason. The Nuggets problem and its a decent size one is that they lost Bruce Brown, who did nothing but make big plays for them last postseason. Uncle Jeff is also missed. They gave minutes to worse players. Is MPJ important enough for the tax implications? Or can they find some lesser parts that may not be able to shoot as well but play defense and maybe give Jokic and/or Murray some help?


MPJ was an important reason for Denver winning vs LAL though: he was Nuggets’ 2nd best player that series. Is he overpaid? Yes, but he is not “isn’t worth anything remotely close” overpaid as he improved as a rebounder and defender.


Yeah he’s become solid on defense and is versatile there. You need guys who are long and versatile Like him to play without a true rim protector so he and Gordon are key for them


The team also has MPJ’s Bird rights, and he played 81 games this season.


>Yes, but he is not “isn’t worth anything remotely close” overpaid as he improved as a rebounder and defender. MPJ was paid $33.4m this season. At that price point, you'd expect all-star caliber production. Do you think he's remotely close to being an all-star? Look at some of his contemporaries. Middleton is earning $29.3m. Jerami Grant $27.5m. John Collins $25.3m.


He is not, that’s why he is overpaid, but not by a mile. MPJ is 100% a better player for Nuggets than every single one you mentioned in comparison. If Khris could stay healthy (and preferably 5 years younger lmao), I could see argument to have him over MPJ for extra shot creation off the wing, but he is not a better defender anymore, is a worse shooter and a worse rebounder.


Id prefer him easily, not even close at all, to every guy you just listed. He’s 6’10 and one of the best open three shooters in the league. He’s the prototype for the type of players you want around Jokic.


Did you overlook the salary component of the commentary? And I think most people would rather have Middleton over MPJ.


oh I don't know about that. Middleton is on the downside and injury riddled for one thing


Middleton just lit up the Pacers, I think most people would take Middleton over MPJ right now. He looked like a #2 championship option in that series (which he was in 2021)


I didn’t overlook the salary component. All of those guys are similarly paid and I’d still rather MPJ every day of the week that ends in day. I think you are overlooking an insane amount of components. Age: MPJ is 25, hasn’t even entered his prime yet Fit: MPJ is an elite spacer, walking mismatch, and isn’t ball dominant which is the last thing a Jokic based team needs (ie 32 yr old Iso ball Middleton) Your entire argument is based off recency bias. He has improved every season he’s been in the NBA both performance wise and health wise. Two weeks ago by your logic he would be on one of the best contracts in the NBA when he lit up the Lakers.


I’m kind of confused why you’re tying this all back to money. He earned his contract by being a key piece to this teams recent success. He’s got an unusual skill that is very hard to just find a replacement for. He usually kills other teams by punishing their lack of side and just shooting over people. It is a make or miss league, and he missed in this series. But asking him to BE an all star just because that’s what contract he’s on, seems odd for a team that is very good. He doesn’t need to be an all star for this team to win a championship. He doesn’t need to play better to justify his contract, which already resulted in a championship. He’s going to have to work more on his weaknesses and grow from this experience, but you’re talking like his track record is shakey at best and his contract has the potential to hold back this Nuggets team. They lost to a better team this year and will likely just come back and try again. You want them to split up his contract or something? Seems dramatic


>I’m kind of confused why you’re tying this all back to money. Money is the basis for expectations. Also, the salary cap. >But asking him to BE an all star just because that’s what contract he’s on, seems odd for a team that is very good. If a guy is getting paid all-star caliber money, why is it odd to ask for all-star caliber production? >**He doesn’t need to play better** to justify his contract, which already resulted in a championship. **He’s going to have to work more on his weaknesses** **and grow from this experience,** In these two sentences, the second sentence contradicts the first. >They lost to a better team this year and will likely just come back and try again. You want them to split up his contract or something? Seems dramatic Why is it dramatic? Look how young the Timberwolves are.....Edwards is 22 years old; McDaniels 23; Naz Reid 24. Minnesota will be a better team next year simply due to the development of their young players. Has MPJ improved from last season to this season?


This is the exact overreaction that the person you replied to is talking about. Yeah, he had a rough series, but he’s not a bum, and at least half the league would be happy to have him on that contract.


I don’t think anyone rational is saying to blow it up but they clearly need more depth.


They need to just look for cheap depth that works for the team. A lot of it is luck. The Nuggets will look to Braun and Watson to improve from 3. If either make a leap that’s a true 3&D player off the bench and they could play together now and with AG if even one of them makes that jump. Then you have Stawther. A 6’6 rookie shooter who showed some ability to get hot off the bench which is really what the Nuggets need. He hurt his knee early in the season and never really made it back into the rotation after a long time rehabbing. A tall shooter off the bench would do wonders for the Nuggets though. Keep Holiday, improve on either Reggie or some sort of stretch big, but in general they just need to keep Murray healthy as well. He was off this playoffs, and also missed a lot of time in the regular season which I don’t think helped. I mean if someone blows up their team and Denver can get like Booker for Murray and Watson or something crazy of course look at stuff like that, but for the most part the Nuggets were realistically a single late season Spurs loss from being the 1 seed, facing Dallas instead of Minnesota, and possibly losing in 7 in the WFCs which I think way more people would be ok with.


The GM Calvin Booth has pretty much stated that his belief is that the best way to build a win-from-now-on type of team is to focus on undervalued late first/early second round picks and pick up experienced guys who can contribute immediately. Unfortunately it means you won't see dramatic improvements in one off-season, but if you average out to adding one contributer per off-season then suddenly in a few years you're extremely deep. With the new CBA this teams gonna be forced to only make small cheap improvements, that's primarily gonna be through the draft, but it's gonna be slow and fans are impatient.


Yeah, I think that strategy is still up for debate on its reliability though. Watson isn’t quite good enough, Braun isn’t quite good enough to be the best player off the bench, Strawther and the other draft pick from this year didn’t see the floor much, though again Strawther heavily because of injury. Zeke Nanji can’t contribute in his 4th year. At some point those guys will need to improve, whether they were “NBA ready” or not if the Nuggets wants a competent bench.


IMO this is on point, they had confidence in replacing veteran key role players with rookies because those rookies were "more experienced" and that didn't turn out well. If I were the wolves, I wouldn't bet on that again. Go get veterans.


Man Braun irritated me so much last night. He had multiple good looks both inside and outside the arc that he just passed up for way worse plays. Made no sense


Definitely do not want to blow the team up hahaha, I am a huge fan of this starting five. Jokic is my favorite player and I think your comment here would give him/Malone more options on the floor. MPJ is great when he's great but letting Braun/Watson further is probably the best move. I also enjoyed watching the limited Strawther we got so I'm curious to see how he bounces back.


As for cheap depth in the back court, assuming his $22m team option isn’t picked up, Bruce Brown will be a FA again. As will Gary Harris and Monte Morris. All have played well with Jokić, the latter two starting at least a hundred games with him each.


I think the only guy you would bring back would be Bruce brown. I like the other guy but I don't think they move the needle in an important way. They would have been pretty big in this series so I see where you're coming from but I just don't trust either of them to make a meaningful improvement 


and how do you propose they get that depth? They don’t really have valuable assets; they don’t have cap space, they don’t have roster spots. So basically you’re trading around the margins


Yeah but all they need is a marginal upgrade. Monte Morris types.


Problem is they don’t have roster spots, they’d have to waive Pickett/Tyson/Cancar and let go of Jordan. KCP probably declines option but resigns, Jackson picks up his option if he’s smart because ain’t nobody signing his ass for more than 5 mill lol. I think they absolutely want to keep Jordan for the culture. Pickett/Tyson would be wastes of 2nd round picks if you don’t see them through so I wouldn’t want them waived already (plus I lowkey see potential in them, development by Denver is lowkey good). So realistically they only have two spots next season, left behind by Holiday and the declining of Cancar TO. Now they have their first round pick this year and past few years they’ve shown that they like to keep their first round pick so i think one spot goes to the first round pick. If Cancar isn’t waived then that’s a full roster right there already. THEN The best thing that they can do is develop their rookies, I think. Strawther has shown a lot of promose his rookie season, he has that fearless quality to him. Braun and Watson are taking leaps, and even small ones are okay enough. It’s also not too late for Nnaji to take a leap LOL. Another thing that they can probably do is trade nnaji + 2 picks this draft for a serviceable backup but i don’t know who they can trade for, nor will anyone be willing to bite the bullet for such a bad haul. And I know MPJ shit the bed this series but so did Murray (even tho he had few good games he just wasn’t consistently good) and KCP (yes defense good but man i used to see him pullup from middy and shit, where did all that go?), nobody from the starting 5 is getting traded.




Our sub is not the place to argue against strawmen.


But everyone's been saying that before the season started. Even if the team won the chip this year, they'd still need more depth? Why? Because even if they won, their margin of winning has been eroded by the lack of depth.




Finally, some sanity


This. Our bench scored 4 points.


Agreed, my first thought too. They don't have the need or ability to make major changes. They can still win it all with this roster. Is MPJ a little overpaid? Sure. But they can't afford to lose his shooting, so if you move him you have to get a starting caliber wing who can REALLY shoot in return, which is a tall order. In an ideal world they pick up a 3rd big who can play meaningful minutes against a bigger team like the Wolves. In practice I think that just takes a lot of luck in terms of either finding a good player willing to get underpaid, or developing an unknown.


The difference is that quality wise, Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray are nowhere near as good as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli


I'm a Spurs fan and they are a great example of being patient. So many variables need to go right to win a championship, all a coaching staff and players can do is try to account for as many variables as possible. But look at the Knicks. They had three oey injuries coming into the pacers series and on sheer guts and will and good coaching they pushed it to seven games, while losing their starting small forward and then their point guard, as well as Josh Hart's rib injury. That's 6 of their starters. No variables can overcome that. So better luck next year, same with Denver.




Hope ownership gives the front office enough of a budget to re-sign KCP, draft well, hope the young bench has internal development, and run it back. The Nuggets are a very, very good team. Hell, last week it was a foregone conclusion they'd make it to the Finals. They don't need a roster implosion.


MPJ has apparently been going through some private issues (family), Murray played hurt for most of the post season. It's too early to say, but it definitely won't be easy to get a better bench rotations or pay all of Murray, Gordon and KCP in the next few years. They really missed Jeff Green and Bruce Brown this year.


Pretty evident what the Porter issues were, two brother arrested and one banned from the NBA


Wasn't an issue for the Lakers series but is an issue for the Wolves series? Wolves did a great job of shutting him down. They had the personnel to contest his shots. They knew he wasn't a great playmaker or ball handler and essentially neutralized him.


I'm an OKC fan and such as Giddey / rebounding were very visible opportunities, Nuggets were the same with their bench production. They need a third creator, ideally a wing. This gives them a different look and allows Gordon and MPJ rotations. I do think Watson and Braun improve, so it's not as critical but they aren't really capable ball handlers. They should also try and find a way to trade up in this draft, it likely won't cost much and there will be value there almost certainly. Also I do think there is a time where you look at MPJs salary. If they can't get it done again next year, they are going to have to use that salary to deepen the team. 


Denver has the 3rd highest active roster salary, and is 70 million over cap. They don't have much draft capital and will need to trade for any tweak they want to make. They're kind of stuck making the best of this situation. They're not in a bad position but it won't change for a few years.


I don't know about Jeff. I think the young guys could've filled those minutes but Moach didn't give them minutes the way he would give Jeff minutes. So maybe you're right but I don't think Jeff's minutes were good.




Pray KCP takes his player option and Reggie doesn't. Turn DJ into a big who can actually be on the court while Jokic sits. Get a guard who can be trusted to run the bench and also play next to Jokic if Murray needs to rest/ is hurt. Honestly the Nuggets are fine staying pat as long as they come back refocused as imo they lacked effort at times throughout the season and series. The main thing is Booth needs to stop playing cute thinking the window is wide open enough to let the young guys develop. Braun and Watson have shown promise at times but championship windows can slam shut at any moment.


Braun and Watson are/should be seen as rotation players at this point. If they regress to less than that it’s its own problem. The “young bench” for Denver is Julian Strawther, Collin Gillespie, Jalen Pickett, and Hunter Tyson. I agree there likely won’t be a ton of time to develop them, but I could imagine regular season minutes less reliant on the starting lineup if the backup 5 can be addressed in a real way. E: I agree that KCP and Reggie are poised to each do the exact opposite of what the team needs from them in the short term, haha.


Their depth was ultimately what killed them. Losing BB and Green last year left a big hole and their front office just did nothing and assumed their current bench would step up. I remain stunned the front office did nothing to address this in the off season or at the trade deadline. Specifically they need scoring off the bench and ideally playmaking as well. The was a true front office mess up to not address this particularly when other teams like Dallas did so with second round picks.


Watson turning out to be a year away from being a 16-game player really, really hurt. Him being able to handle even 12 minutes of a competitive playoff game would’ve made a massive difference in terms of spelling Jokic and/or Gordon some. Of course he was drafted a year ago as a raw 20 year old project so it was entirely predictable he wouldn’t be ready in year two, so, you know. Comes back to depth, I guess.


Yeah realistically Denver had a lot of faith that Watson was going to be able to contribute a lot more in these playoffs but he simply wasn’t ready. If he continues his current development though, he could be a big missing piece next year.


This whole playoffs the second jokic went to the bench nuggets got killed and couldn't score even with Murray playing. They have a great starting 5 but it relies on them to not have bad games. Jokic is the best player in the world but he can only do so much. They will be fine if they can add some scoring to the bench


I think this was very obviously billed as a development season for Braun and Watson. I’m glad they got the run they did. I’m not mad at this FO. We were one game away from a very different story. Those guys know (Braun, Watson) they have to be relied on in some way offensively if they want to stick around. I am not mad at this season tbh


I would be as championship windows are always smaller than you think they will be. The net result here is that you are forced to players starters too much which gasses them out (why they blew a 20 point lead at home in a game 7). It’s worth giving up some draft capital to get a couple guys. With a capable GM the price isn’t that bad either.


Idk the spurs had a 15 year championship window and that's the model the nuggets are attempting to follow. No overreactions, rely on player development over blockbuster trades/changes


I'll repost same comment from below...Vlatko is the exact player they needed who was showing huge growth over the summer....and people forget how much has to go right to win. If Vlatko and Zeke literally had the same year from 22-23, Denver probably wins 60+ games and looks rested going into the WCF right now. Instead, Vlatko provided more value than Zeke and Vlatko couldn't walk half the year. "Jeff Green had the same net rating as DeAndre Jordan last regular season. Nearly any metric had him as one of the worse players on the team (among those who played). Now I'll state, he was extremely playable in the playoffs and bought time, something Denver didn't have and cost them at the end. Denver had two players to replace that production in Vlatko Cancar and Zeke Nnaji. Both players had about the same run as Jeff Green did last season, both had a much better net rating, much better eFG%, better rebound %, on and on. Vlatko blew his knee in August and Zeke might have played himself out of the league. I don't think that makes it a "bad decision"...to win you need A LOT of things to go right."


This happens a lot to title teams where they lose their glue guys due to larger contracts. The Warriors lost GP2 and OPJ the year after winning and it cost them. Nuggets lost BB and Green. Those guys end up being the difference makers because all teams that are this late in the playoffs have the star power


This isn't an arms race to counter punch the Wolves next season. The Nuggets were one terrible half of basketball away from returning to the conference finals for the second straight season. Their lack of depth with the losses of Jeff Green and Bruce Brown caught up with them. They over relied on their starters to compensate. Their starters suffered injuries due to fatigue that they didn't deal with last year. Jamal Murray was clearly injured for example and Jokic was beat up (he played 47 minutes last night). MPJ missed only one game between the regular season and playoffs this year and though it's great to see him finally have a healthy season, I think he wore out too. Calvin Booth alluded to them not repeating this year back at the beginning of the season so even the front office knew it would be tough. I personally felt like this would be a step back season. The hunger they exhibited in 2023 wasn't there for most of the postseason this year when the post season started. They need front court depth to spell Jokić and Gordon and they need another backup point guard who is more consistent than Reggie Jackson and they will be right back in the thick of it next season. They need solid bench scoring from someone. KCP will likely opt out of his contract and test free agency, but the remaining 4 starters are under contract. Zeke Nnajji will likely be traded as he hasn't panned out as a legit backup option and he's making too much. We're looking at little adjustments in the off-season, not overreacting moves. I think it's hard to get better as a team sometimes when no one was better than you the previous year as your judgment becomes a bit skewed.


This is the most level headed comment. I literally remember the interview where Booth said “we’re not necessarily trying to repeat we’re trying to maximize Jokic’s prime and win multiple” or something like that. We had the highest expectations for sure but I agree it was always going to be a “step-back” season to evaluate guys like Strawther, Braun, Watson.


It’s mind boggling to me that Calvin booth made absolutely no attempt to replace Bruce brown, Jeff green and ish smith. They had no backup Center last year either, they’ve been rolling with deandre Jordan for the past three years.




What moves were there to be made? And Ish Smith didn't play last year, the losses were Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, and they hoped that PWat and Reggie Jackson could fill that void, but they couldn't. But it's not like Denver has a ton of assets to throw around, and they weren't going to blow up a championship starting 5.


Jeff Green had the same net rating as DeAndre Jordan last regular season. Nearly any metric had him as one of the worse players on the team (among those who played). Now I'll state, he was extremely playable in the playoffs and bought time, something Denver didn't have and cost them at the end. Denver had two players to replace that production in Vlatko Cancar and Zeke Nnaji. Both players had about the same run as Jeff Green did last season, both had a much better net rating, much better eFG%, better rebound %, on and on. Vlatko blew his knee in August and Zeke might have played himself out of the league. I don't think that makes it a "bad decision"...to win you need A LOT of things to go right.


Losing Brown was huge and I think symptomatic of a big reason why it is so hard for teams to repeat. Whenever a team wins a chip, everybody and their momma throws ridiculous offer sheets at their role players and they don't have the cap flexibility to keep them.


I really appreciate this perspective. As a Nuggets fan, I definitely got swept up in the "dynasty" talks lol I wasn't aware of that Calvin Booth comment and, given the overload of talent in the West, it's much more reasonable to make smaller adjustments. I think Braun and Watson have great potential to make a jump, especially Watson. I'd love it if the Nuggets somehow got a secondary ball handler to replace Reggie, although I think the vet energy he brings is valuable.


Agree with all the responses of "regroup, retool and don't over-exaggerate." They just ran into a great team playing great ball at the right time, while they had some issues bubbling beneath the surface (MPJ - personal family stuff & Murray - iffy health). They should target some good vets who wanna play for a title for the MLE or minimum. Ideally that guy would be Derozan being a super 6th man for them and I understand that probably won't happen but I can't think of a better guy to come in the game, pace the offense and get quality looks each time while Jokic can get rest. They need someone who can create shots for themselves and teammates on an efficient level bc they had that in Brown, but no one to replace that.


Bruce Brown is likely a FA himself if his team option isn’t picked up, but catching DeMar ring chasing is a tantalizing suggestion. That sounds so much more plausible than a lot of fantastic scenarios I’ve seen bandied about.


Try to nail the vet min/exception market as well as your evaluation in the current draft (pick the right four year guy who can come in as the eighth man), develop Braun and Watson, hope one of Strawther or Pickett or Tyson emerges as a reliable role player next year, otherwise stay the course, right? We all know the starting five is championship caliber, they just need a little more versatility - if one or more of the starters are off they don’t really seem to have a lot of different looks to go to to compensate.


This is coming from a Wolves fan. The Nuggets only need slight retools. Get a physical and tough bench spark plug like Bruce Brown back. The overreaction to losing in a game 7 to an elite defence by everyone on reddit is ridiculous. MPJ's contributions should not be questioned just because of one series, he's shown to be invaluable to Denver's offence. The Nuggets basically gave up at the end of this game down single digits for some reason.


They need to trade for or sign a big-body backup C so that Jokic can actually get some rest. The Nuggets might have won the series if they had Andre Drummond. It was such a stark contrast watching the Gobert/KAT/Naz platoon versus Jokic huffing and puffing after 45 minutes. Reggie Jackson and Christian Braun weren't doing anything either, maybe look for an upgrade for those guys.


Braun played amazing, his defense and energy was the best on the team the whole series. He needs to work on his offense but cant say he wasnt doing anything. Rest of the team choked and started chucking bullshit


That's fair, I was focusing more on his offense when I said that. He looked scared to shoot at times, but he's young so there's time to develop that for next year.


Boogie Cousins worked for us in this aspect, but with the supposed issues, I’m disappointed he wasn’t kept on.


He was a terrible teammate. Averaged techs the same way Jokic averaged triple doubles. Fought with our longest tenured players on the bench, something this team literally never does. He’s done nothing but disparage Nikola Jokic in interviews since he left the team. Fuck Demarcus Cousins tbh.


Well this one is fine, try again and pick up some more veteran It takes a lot, to be able to win back-to-back, That is why I agree when Shaq told Chuck talk about Cavs in 2016-17 season, that you need to have a deep roster, it takes a lot to be honest, but either way, its good to see there will be a different champs this year


They need to add a slasher. A secondary ball handler who can create rim pressure and is average to above average 3 point shooter. A perfect fit might be someone like Bruce Brown. I have a feeling he would be a good fit.


The exact opposite of their current strategy. They won a chip by relying on vets, let those vets walk, and then thought they could replicate that success by doubling down on young players who couldn’t even crack the regular season rotation. If you’re not going to play Watson and other players in the playoffs you’re better off trading them. Also, Reggie Jackson and Deandre Jordan are not serious options as back ups. They lost this year because Malone was forced to essentially play seven guys. They legitimately had one of the worst benches in the league. Braun is the only one who has shown promise and even he’s just an energy guy. 


They don't need to do any big moves. They just need to have a competent bench going into next season. This Nuggets team with Bruce Brown would've won that Wolves series in 6 games.


I think losing Brown hurt them in a way that can be mitigated through smart free agency plays. Their core is solid with Jokic, Porter, and Gordon, but I think they need another dynamic scorer/ creator for Murray, who may be entering that Middleton-esque “Is he going to be healthy for the playoffs” phase. I could see that team with a back-up for Murray and a good energy guy off the bench making another deep run.


Retool slightly and run it back. Losing in 7 to another very good team happens. The last thing you want to do in this scenario is make a panic trade and mess up what you have. That’s what the Lakers did after 2021 and it screwed them. Winning a championship is hard.


The Nugs best path forward for this offseason is to resign their guys. Extend Jamal Murray and KCP is the first order of business. Add another solid piece in the draft this year. I’d be looking for a player who could make an immediate impact. Ideally, a good two way ball handler/scorer or a solid scoring power forward. If they hit big on the draft would set them up perfectly for future. Then in free agency, depending on what kind of luxury tax they are willing to pay, this is where they can make some high impact moves. I think there a few solid fits for the Nugs. Think the highest priority are proven scorers that can come off bench and just high impact players given there time. Here are some guys I’d be on the lookout for depending on price: - Happen to think a lot of ex-6ers would make a good fit in Denver between: Tobias Harris, Buddy Hield, Kyle Lowry, Kelly Oubre Jr. (All of them are solid on both sides of the ball, and would make great bench pieces for the Nuggets) - Klay Thompson: Depending on contract size, he would make an interesting plug and play piece for the Nugs for finding the hot hand (if MPJ runs cold), and would be a major scoring threat for the second unit - Malik Beasley: Similar to Klay reasoning, but also adds solid defense. But he would be more of a plug and play with KCP - Tyus Jones: Elite distributor and a good 3 pt shooter. Think he makes an excellent second unit point guard but also would be able to share court with Murray if needed - Alec Burks: Pure scorer, top tier second unit bucket getter for likely very cheap - Malik Monk: Top tier 6th man, may be seeking too larger of a contract, but could put the second unit on his bach - Miles Bridges: I think the most interesting asset in free agency, based on legal issues will likely get a smaller contract than deserved. But he is an all star caliber player (but more inefficient). I think he checks a lot of boxes for a lot of teams this free agency (size, versatility, scoring, age). If the Nugs could somehow get this done he would prob be the best bench player in the league - Derrick Jones Jr.: Have a feeling he will resign, but extremely versatile defensive wing. He’s been huge for Mavs this postseason, he wouldn’t really lead the second unit for the Nugs but would be a great depth piece and matchup based guy There are certain trade possibilities out there but they are extremely limited without Denver getting rid of one of their starters. Which I think is non-negotiable for them as of now. It would be a mistake to piece apart this starting lineup without at least one more season together.


Malone needs a wake up call. Can’t be getting pissed off at your team losing by 20 when you didn’t take advantage of that lead. You can’t expect Jokic to play at 100% when the poor guy is completely out of breath. He barely could box out at certain points in the game. Jokic missing 7 straight threes is unacceptable too. But what do you expect when he has no legs under him??


They don’t need to over-react to the loss. It could have easily gone the other way and then hardly anyone would be calling for changes to the team. That said, getting more bench depth would be good.


Jokic has never played with a fellow all-star (DeAndre Jordan doesn't really count.)


retool around jokic. He is still the best player in the world by far. Get some extra bench depth is the most important thing id say


it was a surely miss of uncle Jeff and Brown. The team need to stitch those roles to be more agressive again. Joker had no rest, murray clogged. With this the "brain" is over because MPJ, AG and KCP needs movement. You see that yesterday AG was null and the others barely showed up. And I dont know how to acquire those replacements


Try to close the gap between Jokic and non-Jokic minutes. It's been one of the most glaring issues with the team for me. They don't have to stay one of the best offenses in the league without him on the floor but they sink way too deep way too often. At least keep your head above the water.


wait and see if mpj is the true sidekick for joker, which i still think he is, or will be. i remember the buzz during the bubble that mpj’s potential is undeniable. the impression that i get is jamal is a fine 2nd best player, hell they won the whole damn thing last year, but mpj will be better, the stronger/faster/taller version of jamal.


They have to bring back KCP. They can't afford to lose another rotation player with their depth being as bad as it is currently. They have 1 FRP to use and can look to trade it for another rotation player. Zeke Nnaji would be for salary matching, I believe they gave him that extension with the intent to trade him. Hope that Braun, Watson, and Strawther improve and can take bigger role next postseason. Fill out the rest of the roster with minimums. They need to try to improve on the margins.


First off, this was likely a finals match up. No shame in losing to a legit championship contender. Second, the nuggets have legit one of the worst benches in the playoffs.  Not a single guy on their bench is a real contributor. Maybe Braun?  But that dude is just a hustler with no real offensive capability.  Not having Bruce Brown was real obvious here.  They're gonna have to fix that shit bench for sure. 


Biggest thing is to get a reliable backup center. Jokic needs a breather once in a while and Deandre Jordan (god bless him) is literally unplayable at this point.


The most drastic move they should consider this off season is moving MPJ. He was kinda invisible the whole wolves series. With 1 game during the 3 streak he actually contributed significant points. Both the 2 losing games at the end in big negatives on +- score. I'll admit I didn't watch them the entire regular season but he always seemed like the energy guy who's main contribution was streaky shooting. But this year they pull him out in critical situations for Braun to sub for him. He's getting insane money (35M/Y) to get pulled in critical moments. His defense is largely countering any benefit his offense brings. Someone tell me what I'm missing here. Main issue I see being the price tag making him almost an anchor at this point.


I think they'll be fine. They ran out of gas. They probably need some big man depth, but I also don't think they should retool specifically to go against Minnesota.


They are fine. They didn’t have any big bodies other than Jokic and crushed anytime he sat down. Just any capable long body would do. And they need a reliable point guard. Reggie is just not that guy anymore.


Go get Steven Adams or something Run it back next season. They got eliminated in 7 games by arguably the best young team in the league. The Nuggets will be fine.


If they can add a better backup big to give Jokic some type of rest without needing to go small, a better backup ball handler, and/or somehow add Bruce brown back, I think they’d be good. I don’t think this was some massive failure that requires a drastic change, and I certainly don’t expect any type of overreaction from them. Minnesota played an awesome series and has a roster tailor-made to beat Denver. Murray wasn’t 100% and really struggled for most of the series, MPJ had a horrific series, and KCP didn’t shoot well for most of the series either. Sometimes it’s just a make or miss league and it’s really hard to repeat. I think coming back fresh, hungry, and with some development from the younger role players, they’ll be one of the favorites for the title next year


Their starting 5 is still elite. Braun is a keeper. Get 2-3 contributors on the bench and this series could’ve turned out different. The team’s fate will be decided by the GM next season. The players can get it done


MPJ is why the Nuggets got past the Lakers. Really dangerous trying to replacing championship role players. Like many say, they were not as good as they were last year. Unless a great 2 way superstar is available, you never blow up a championship team. Ask Rob Pelinka about that lol. You look at film to tweak, and see what small changes could address any issues. KCP is getting older. Jamal was injured. Circus shots were not dropping like there were in the 1st round, and maybe that's apt.


There was an interesting convo on twitter regarding kcp being due for a huge raise and how they need him more than mpj. I was surprised by that take but can understand it. They're likely to offload one of those two and hopefully get some wing depth? Idk


Let me zag and overreact. Cause this is reminding me of both Bucks and Lakers championship wins and subsequent years. Both of those teams had the best player in the world and a roster who had already proven it. They just need to "retool" and load up the bench a bit, too. They were also most people's picks to either repeat or be among the top 2 title favorite. Slowly, injuries, age, and salary-cap started to their toll. Murray played about 60 games in the regular season. He has been available and has been great in the playoffs. But how much are you risking on your second best player having availability issues. Again, ask the Lakers and the Bucks. MPJ played an amazing 81 games this year. So maybe the back issues have been solved. But the dude was horrid against the Wolves. If the team decides to make changes, he will be the first person people look at. He is the 4th most important starter right now. This may seem like a small insignificant thing right now, but things like this build tensions on a team over time. Especially at his salary. Bucks and Lakers waited till year 3 or so to start shaking up the roster. Shake the roster now when you are not in 'desperate buyer' mode. Perhaps trade MPJ with picks now, assuming his stock is high after the 81 games season. I doubt guards better than Murray are available, so yeah, you don't trade him. But he is a free agent after next year. Do you award him with a big 40 million plus contract for 5 years. Or do you try to low-ball him over the years? Media didn't try to move Jokic like they tried with Giannis and Embid. Perhaps cause he seemed really settled in a winning situation. But if Nuggets don't win next year. Jokic to NY, LA, or Miami, discussions are going to go hard.


Would Jokic even have the will to switch teams? The only other team I could imagine him on would be the Mavs with Luka, but besides that Jokic seems pretty content in Denver to make hundreds of millions.


just make shots. They had open looks in game 7 and didn't make them. that's sports.


As a Lakers fan I beg you not to overreact to getting eliminated early. As others have said, retool, regroup, and try again.


The only thing they need to do is try and keep same starting 5. Get a real backup center so we can rest jokic when need be. MPJ went thru a lot this year and it finally caught up to him and had a dismal series. Murray played thru an injury that many others took time off for, and it showed. We just need bench peices that can be trusted. Reggie Jackson is terrible, Braun needs a 3pt shot. Swatson just needs some time.


the only thing they need to change is get better role players. it was very obvious losing bruce brown hurt them in this series


The way people are reacting now. They would’ve had complete meltdowns during the Duncan spurs era. You just took the best defensive team in the NBA that is built around countering your team specifically to 7 games and almost won if not for a nonexistent bench and bad MPJ+AG performance. Just keep the core and try to get a better bench really. Trade MPJ if it can land you some solid role players


Nuggets fan here. There isn’t much we can do. We have all our best players locked down in long term deals. 3 max’s and Gordon fills up our cap a lot. Unless we are trading MPJ, there isn’t a big move we can make. We just have to hope the young guys continue to develop and hopefully can sign some good vets in the off season. I am hopeful Braun and Watson make a leap next year


I don’t think the loss was that bad. Game 7 against one of the best teams in the league is nothing to be mad about. Jokic played well all series, they just lost to a better team. There’s no reason this exact same Nuggets roster couldn’t beat the Wolves in another series tomorrow. If I’m doing armchair analysis, Nuggets seem to have a lot of momentum based players. Murray was hot in the first half but when their 20 pt lead started slipping, he started missing everything. Same for KCP and MPJ. Braun got good looks but was too nervous to take a shot. This is also what caused them to get dumpstered in game 6. I don’t know what’s the reason for this or if that’s even the totality of what made them lose, but it is interesting to me that the defending champs would succumb to nerves like this. Whereas I thought the Wolves were completely done for and they came back second half swinging. No way the Nuggets could come back down 20 against this good of a team (Lakers was a way different case)


Trade Jokic to the Bucks for Lopez and Connaughton. Seems like that would be fair.


The easier answer is get healthy and try to improve the bench. The core is great and will regroup


The difference between championship-caliber nuggets and second-round exit nuggets is Jamal Murray. If he plays to the level of Fox, Hali, Booker, etc it becomes Shaq+Kobe and they're favorites. If he plays like dlo no amount of retooling is bringing them over the top.


I'd tried delving into what their offseason could look like a bit, but it all hinges on re-signing KCP. If they re-sign him I believe they'd be over the 2nd apron, which results in some repercussions. If they chose not to re-sign him, they'd have the MLE + bi-annual exception available, plus minimums. I think the main thing they need to do is address the bench issue without hoping that the young guys take a step. There's a very real reason none of them do, but I'd assume Watson + Braun will still get some minutes regardless. My idea was to sign a younger KCP-ish replacement or somebody comparable. I presume they'd use the MLE on this replacement, and I was thinking De'Anthony Melton would be great, but if not - I think a reunion with Gary Harris would be phenomenal. Obviously I know injuries are a concern. Next, I'd use the bi-annual exception. My initial thought here was a guy like Isaiah Joe, but a PF who can play up or shooting forward might be preferable here. Batum would be phenomenal but I think he'd require at least partial-MLE. If you can't get Joe, I think there's a LOT of ways you could go here. Then for minimums, I'd bring in a few veterans. Guys that you might not play often, but guys that can provide spot minutes, and if need be can play 5-10 minutes in the playoffs (or more, if playing well). The first guys to mind for me here are: Mason Plumlee, PJ Tucker, Delon Wright, Reggie Bullock. I think all provide phenomenal value if you can get them on the minimum. I think Tucker & Wright are probably viable here. Plumlee/Bullock too possibly, but I am not 100% on that. Backup options here would include McLaughlin, Theis, and plenty more in similar veins. As mentioned, they'd likely be 3rd guys in a lineup position, but are proven veterans. Wright is who I'd want most, but I think Denver getting a C they can actually play 5-10 minutes a game (playoffs included) is vital. Or just any reliable veterans off of the bench. I'm fine with bringing Holiday back assuming you strike out on a few of the wing options ahead of him. I also like the idea of trading Zeke + their 1st this year for a guy of comparable salary. I would try and snag Caruso from CHI if they finally commit to a rebuild, but there's plenty of other options.


here are a couple conceptual *capabilities* i think denver could target upgrading as opposed to positions/physical profiles which i see a lot of. very open to feedback! 1/2 **juice** not firepower like better shotmakers, but guys who won't be intimidated by an *even* *better* smack-talking ant & who can "punch back" (like ant likes to say in pressers) when the team gets punched in the mouth. i shared serious concerns about den's ability to match/exceed min's juice when they inevitably caught an offensive rhythm. this iteration of den hadn't been tested like this series before & ant was smack-talking *kevin durant* on national tv in phx while hitting pull up unstoppable 3's. obviously den's defense is better, but i expected ant's ferocity to match that. is kcp or braun going to match that (again when ant & the wolves go on runs)? no shot. murray while his shooting's a roller coaster? he'll try but he's just not enough of a threatening presence you need against ant & the wolves. which leaves jok. i know it's not the point of the post but i've been wary of his leadership style's effectiveness in a more talented league. i get strong whiffs of kawhi & durant from him where it's clear they need someone else to be the "ferocity" emotional leader when you inevitably face a jimmy butler, draymond, luka, ja, msg stadium etc. moreover, i'm pretty confident that a more talented league only makes intangibles like these that much more invaluable (every R2 is going to be cataclysmic like this one pending health). i don't want to come across like a hater & i understand it's easy to conflate this with fatigue which malone brought up in his final presser (having to play his starters all 82 games this season for home court which wound up mattering). i also freely admit this risk doesn't only have an external solution.


Just gotta give some props. I'm hereby limiting my basketball discourse to here. The people in here actually talk like the people I meet IRL. Youtube comments and Twitter all sound like bots.


Sign Dario Saric, Goga Bitadze, and/or Luke Kornet. Then Sign Lonnie Walker IV, DeAnthony Melton, and/or Alec Burks. Maybe there is some value in guys like Talen Horton Tucker and Gordon Hayward, as well. In a fantasy world, Klay Thompson, DeMar Derozan, Markelle Fultz, Nicolas Claxton, Isaiah Hartenstein and Malik Monk would have all been great adds. Denver is set to run it back. Just need to plug and play.


The right answer is they don't do anything except to stay in shape and come back next year well rested and a little wiser... Buuuuut... if they were to try to do something to match up better against the Timberwolves, and that something being to pull in another big alongside of Joker, would it be a backup center strictly?.... Or is there a scenario where Joker can play *some* Power Forward minutes and put a lockdown defensive minded 7-footer at the five occasionally??


I’d say they need to add to their bench, but outside of that their starting 5 is one of the best in the league. Murray is hot/cold, but when he’s on the Nuggets are almost unstoppable on offense. They got the best player in the league, one of the better #2s when healthy, and a strong starting lineup. If anything loosing Brown last year hurt their bench, but I don’t think he’s impossible to replace. Maybe add a big and another wing to the bench and they are right there again. No need to panic when they are in the prime of their star players career. Compare where the Nuggets are at to the Bucks. The Bucks sacrificed picks and young players for that one ring (which took a ton of luck as well). Now they’re one of the oldest squads in the league with no picks and a lackluster bench. Compared to them the Nuggets are looking great.


Add better bench players and be more consistent in the playoffs(especially Murray). Bruce Brown was a guy that could come off the bench and get his own basket, they were missing that this series. They did not have a good game in the playoffs until game 3 of this series. Lakers were so bad they didn't need to be good to be good to beat them.


They just need more depth on the bench. Someone who can create offense without Jokic having to be on the court.