No team has been hurt more from the NBA Lockout than the Nuggets. Six players have already opted to play overseas, including three that will have a slim chance at playing the upcoming season.
Wilson Chandler, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin have all agreed to contracts to play in the China Basketball Association, which doesn’t provide clauses to opt out and return to the NBA before the end of the CBA season.
Other Nuggets that are currently playing overseas are Timofey Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson, and all can opt out when the lockout is lifted.
The good news, though, is Chandler, Smith and Martin were all free agents and of the three only Chandler (who was a restricted free agent) had a good shot at returning to the Nuggets because he is a restricted free agent.
Smith and Martin were very unlikely to return to the Nuggets and weren’t in the team’s game plan in the coming future, however, their decision to play in China forces the Nuggets hand. It just makes resigning Nene and Arron Afflalo all more important for the squad when they are able to resign free agents.
While Afflalo is pretty much a shoe-in to return to Denver, the issue remains can the Nuggets resign Nene? He doesn’t sound like a player that wants to return to Denver and the question is can the Nuggets sway the Brazilian big man. And if so, then what? A lineup of Mozgov, Nene, Gallinari, Afflalo and Lawson doesn’t really strike fear in their opponents especially if their bench consists of Al Harrington, Andre Miller, Kosta Koufos, Chris Andersen and the rookies Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton.
Some options that may help the Nuggets are free agents Rondey Stuckey, Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, Tracy McGrady, Jason Richardson, Andrei Kirilenko and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (restricted). Other options that the Nuggets could also trade for are Andre Igoudala, Danny Granger, Ben Gordon, Rip Hamilton, Brandon Roy or Monta Ellis.
While all is not lost for the Nuggets this offseason, despite how it looks right now. But it will take work for the team to get back to the playoffs.
Tags: Al Harrington Andre Igoudala Andre Iguodala Andre Miller Andrei Kirilenko Arron Afflalo Ben Gordon Birdman Brandon Roy Caron Butler Chris Andersen Danilo Gallinari Danny Granger Denver Nuggets Gary Forbes George Karl J.R. Smith Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jordan Hamilton JR Smith Kenneth Faried Kenyon Martin Kosta Koufos Luc Richard Mbah A Moute Nene Rip Hamilton Rondey Stuckey Timofey Mozgov Tracy McGrady Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler