Questions Surrounding the Denver Nuggets

The NBA Lockout is officially over, but now the questions surrounding the Denver Nuggets are just beginning as they try to piece together their team for the shortened 2011-12 season. But this is what we do know:
  • Training camp is tentatively scheduled to open Dec. 9, and that is also the day teams can start signing free agents.
  • The NBA’s abbreviated season begins Christmas Day (Dec. 25) with a 66-game schedule. The Nuggets were scheduled to face Utah Jazz in Utah on Dec. 26, but that will likely change.
  • The Nuggets currently have seven players under contract, not including rookies Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton).
  • The team’s current salary is around $28 million, which one of the lowest in the NBA.
  • The rookie scale shouldn’t change from last year, so Faried will make around $1.3 million and Hamilton will make nearly $1.1 million.
  • Of the seven players under contract, there are three currently playing overseas (Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and Ty Lawson) that will return to the Nuggets.
  • The Nuggets top priorities in house will be Arron Afflalo, Nene and to a far lesser extent Gary Forbes.
  • The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are targeting Nene as their main target.
  • Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith are not expected back. All three are in China and there are some questions of when they can play in the NBA.
Here is where it gets tricky and the questions start pouring in?
  • What will the Nuggets do if Nene leaves?  Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman hinted that if the Nuggets can’t resign Nene they will go with the big men they have, which includes young (Mozgov, Faried, Kosta Koufos) and old (Chris Andersen and Al Harrington).
  • If Nene decides to sign somewhere else could the Nuggets use a sign-and-trade on him? With the old CBA that was possible, but there is no guarantee with the new one.
  • Harrington could be an amnesty causality, but the question is will the Nuggets use it this year or next? It wouldn’t benefit the team too much to use it this year since they aren’t close to the luxury tax and it wouldn’t hurt to have the added scoring.
  • What other free agents would the Nuggets be interested in? Chris Dempsey tweeted that the Nuggets may also be looking for a backup shooting guard as well. Michael Redd, Jamal Crawford, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Jason Richardson, Caron Butler, Rodney Stuckey (restricted), Shannon Brown and Nick Young (restricted) are all free agents.

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Tags: Al Harrington Arron Afflalo Birdman Caron Butler Chris Andersen Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Gary Forbes George Karl Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets J.R. Smith Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jordan Hamilton JR Smith Kenneth Faried Kenyon Martin Kosta Koufos Michael Redd NBA Lockout Nick Young Rodney Stuckey Shannon Brown Timofey Mozgov Tracy McGrady Ty Lawson Utah Jazz Vince Carter Wilson Chandler

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