These aren’t the most exciting or best players on the market, but they each bring something different to the team that the Nuggets need:
Second-tier Free Agents (Top 10)
- Louis Amundson ($855,000): Current Team: Suns, 27 years old- Nuggets fans meet this year’s Chris Andersen. The only different is Amundson is everything Birdman isn’t, Louis boxes out, plays tough defense and doesn’t fall for every pump fake. Not to mention, Amundson has a knack for upsetting the opposing opponents. Last season, he was punched by Zach Randolph and elbowed by Nene. He isn’t the sexiest pick, but he is currently playing on arguably the best benches in the league where he is a good defender and shotblocker and plays with energy. He is a Coloradoan by nature, attending high school in Boulder before going to college at UNLV. Defensively he can guard power forwards and Centers, and small forwards on switches. Lets just say Amundson is just a straight bad ass.
- Dorell Wright ($2.75 million): Current Team: Heat, 24 years old – If Nuggets fans though JR Smith had potential, meet Wright who is a month younger, just as athletic and is twice the defender. The difference between the two is Smith has numerous chances and Wright hasn’t even had one. He had career highs all along the boards, that were no where near Smith’s statistics. However, Wright affects the game on both sides of the ball. He is a smart defender with tremendous length and athletic ability and is just as explosive on offense. Smith is making $6 million next season, and Wright will be lucky to make half that. But don’t be surprised if Wright is more valuable to a squad than Smith.
- Joel Anthony ($825,000): Current Team: Heat, 28 years old – Is it weird to anybody else that former teammates Amundson and Anthony went undrafted and were each key bench players on playoff teams? The funny part is that both players are listed as 6-foot-9, but quite honestly they are both smaller than that. Anthony isn’t a strong rebounder, but he is following in the path of Ben Wallace with his shot-blocking. It is hard to imagine the Heat letting him go, especially if he costs less than $3 million.
- Amir Johnson ($3.667): Current Team: Raptors, 23 years old – If history repeats itself, Johnson will be wearing a Nuggets jersey next season. He is long, young, athletic and full of potential, just the ideal players that the Nuggets Front Office likes. It also doesn’t hurt that Johnson was teammates with Chauncey Billups in Detroit. Johnson is very skinny, and can’t shoot the ball, but versatility and length would help any squad.
- Bobby Simmons ($10.56): Current Team: Nets, 29 years old – For all the Nuggets fans that love Joey Graham, meet Grahamx2. Simmons is a stronger, better defender, better shooter, better ballhandler and much smarter. While Simmons has a history of injuries, he also is somebody that coach George Karl can depend on consistently (unlike Graham). Considering that Simmons is coming off of a massive deal and is slowly declining, he will be lucky to make $2 million next season which would be a steal for a team like the Nuggets.
- Roger Mason ($3.78): Current Team: Spurs, 29 years old – Mason is one of those players that is solid at everything, but not great. The only think that you can count on from him is his free throw shooting (.871 percent career free shooter). He will doubtfully return to the Spurs, especially with Keith Bogans taking his minutes in the playoffs. One thing that Mason will help the Nuggets with is shooting, something the Nuggets struggled with this last season.
- Matt Bonner ($3.24): Current Team: Spurs, 30 years old – And to continue with the Spurs theme. Bonner doesn’t bring a lot to the table, he isn’t a great scorer, not the best defender and certainly can’t defend a tree. However, he is one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Bonner shot .39 percent from behind the arc this last season and is .405 career 3-point shooter. While it is a long shot, Bonner would help spread the defense and free the lanes for Carmelo Anthony, Billups and Nene.
- Randy Foye ($3.575): Current Team: Wizards, 26 years old – Foye is a poor man’s Dwayne Wade, and by poor, he is really poor. That doesn’t mean Foye is a bad player, he has scored in double-digits in each of his first four seasons and he is a great free throw shooter (career .855 FT percent). It is tough to see Foye in a Nuggets uniform, partly due to his inconsistent outside shooting.
- Josh Boone ($2.057): Current Team: Nets, 25 years old – Boone is a poor man’s Anderson Varajeo, outside of the hustle and floppy hair. He runs the floor well and is a solid defender, but he just hasn’t understood the game enough to get consistent minutes. It is doubtful that the Nets are going to offer him a qualifying offer and while he could get offered a multi-year deal from somebody, but more than likely he is in line for a one year contract.
- Jon Brockman ($456,000): Current Team: Kings, 23 years old – Brockman is a brick wall under the paint and is tremendous rebounder. He just has a nose for the ball and tends to take opposing opponents out going for it. He is as tough as they come and killed the Nuggets, in the two contests against Denver he averaged 11 rebounds a game. Just imagine if he was on the other side of the ball in the first round of the playoffs.
Photos by Jonathan Maness