Leon Powe is a type of player that would be a steal if the Nuggets could land him.

The Cheap seats

As the Summer of LeBron takes shape and teams start bargaining for the rights of the top free agents, the Nuggets will be thinking cheaper the better – especially considering that they are nearing the Luxury Tax. Denver has had a knack of getting the most out of players that have been overlooked and in need of getting a second chance. Players like Dahntay Jones, Chris Andersen and Anthony Carter fit the bill. The following is a list of the smaller end free agents that  may be the Nuggets steal.

  • Flip Murray ($1.99 million): Current team: Bulls, 30 years old – Flip has been all over the League, he has played for eight different teams in eight years. What is ironic is none of those teams have been the Nuggets, despite Coach George Karl drafting Murray and Flip also playing along side Chauncey Billups. Despite playing all over the league Murray is still an explosive player able to score at will and he has also improved his defense in recent years. While he is a true journeyman he also ends up playing wherever he goes. He was a key player off the Hawks bench last year and played a similar role with the Bobcats before they dealt him to the Bulls in order to get Tyrus Thomas.
  • James Singleton ($1.030): Current Team: Wizards, 28 years old - Singleton has had the rough road to the NBA. He played college at Murray State, than played in Italy for two years before signing with the Clippers in 2005. Singleton also played with the Mavericks, before being traded to the Wizards at the trade deadline. While he has struggled shooting this last season, he is versatile and athletic enough to play power forward or small forward. While his jump shot has developed and if he can hit a trey consistently he could potentially be another Bruce Bowen. And if the Nuggets give this athletic forward a chance they may have discovered themselves another Jones’ type player.
  • Trenton Hassell ($4.35): Current Team: Nets, 31 years old - Hassell’s days as a top of the line defensive stopper are long gone, but his team-first attitude isn’t. He is great in the locker room and he can still stop his fair share of players, but just not the quicker ones. He is still an above average rebounder and is a good passer. Hassell’s unselfish attitude is something the Nuggets missed this last season.
  • Leon Powe ($915,000): Current Team: Cavaliers, 26 years old - Just to think that just four years ago the Nuggets traded Powe on draft day to the Celtics. Powe rewarded Boston by pushing around Pau Gasol in the NBA Finals in 2007 to help the Celtics win. Powe is injury-prone but for less than a million dollars he is worth the gamble. Currently he has a team-option with the Cavaliers, but considering he has only played 20 games and Cleveland needs to resign LeBron James it would be hard to see them pick up his option. Powe’s low-post game and heart is something the Nuggets were clearly missing in the post this season.
  • Brian Skinner ($1.306): Current Team: Clippers, 34 years old - Skinner is another journeyman that somehow continues to find a role on teams. He is a poor man’s Ben Wallace, outside of Wallace’s attitude. But Skinner is a solid defender and rebounder, with absolutely ZERO offensive game. While he shouldn’t garner consistent playing time, he would be a nice 11th or 12th man.
  • Jonathan Bender ($889,000): Current Team: Knicks, 29 years old – Bender was Nikoloz Tskitishvili before Skita was even thought of. Bender was selected with the fifth pick in 1999 (which was originally the Nuggets pick that season) by Toronto, but he never accomplished anything as he dealt with injuries and lack of playing time. However, Bender’s length and outside shooting is valuable. Considering the Nuggets history of giving players second chance, he is an ideal pickup. He would be an ideal backup to Carmelo Anthony with his ability to score and his athleticism and length being an asset on defense.
  • Josh Powell ($959,000): Current Team: Lakers, 26 years old - Powell is the least talked about players on the Lakers bench, because he doesn’t play a lot. However, when he does he plays good defense and can hit the 20-foot jumper consistently. Powell wouldn’t be one of the main players on the bench, but he would provide depth to a position that lacked depth this last season.
  • Alando Tucker: FREE AGENT – Tucker’s scouting report is very similar to Dahntay Jones. Both are amazing athletes and are great rebounders. Neither are good shooters, but both work hard. Tucker never made it with the running-and-gunning Suns, but his hard work should help him find a role on a NBA team and if he is smart he will see what worked for D-Jones and mirror it.
  • Nathan Jawai ($736,000): Current Team: Timberwolves, 23 years old - Jawai would solve two needs for the Nuggets, he is young and can potentially be a low post threat – not to mention he should come cheap. While he has only scored over 10 points twice this last season, he has tons of potential and if the Nuggets can get him for under $1 million he would be worth it.
  • Ian Mahinmi ($1.079): Current Team: Spurs, 23 years old – Mahinmi is about as raw as they come, but his shot-blocking and rebounding should help him carve out a spot in the league. Just a few years ago the Spurs gave up on Beno Udrih and he proved it was a mistake, just imagine how good Mahinmi is after having to face Tim Duncan in practice for the last few years.
  • Joe Alexander ($2.583): Current Team: Bulls, 23 years old - Alexander is either really, really bad or is somebody that got written off too early. The Bucks decided not to pick up his option after his rookie year and than made him a throw-in in a trade for John Salmons. Alexander was injured for part of his first year and hasn’t had a chance to recover in his second. He only played eight games this last season, but with his work ethic, athleticism and improving offense, he could possibly be a steal for any team willing to give him a chance.
  • Acie Law ($2.216): Current Team: Bulls, 25 years old - Everything said about Alexander can be said about Law. He is either a bust, or somebody that hasn’t had a chance yet. Law career is very similar to Billups career during his early years. Not to mention the duo have similar games, now just imagine if Law can learn from Billups.

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Tags: Acie Law Alando Tucker Flip Murray Joe Alexander Nathan Jawai

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