Free agency is in full swing and with Andre Iguodala’s future currently uncertain with the team, the Denver Nuggets apparently have wasted no time in finding a potential replacement for him. According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Nuggets are one of five teams interested in signing free agent guard Monta Ellis. The Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are also reported to have interest in the eight year veteran. Ellis has played for the Golden State Warriors and most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks. For his career, Ellis has averaged 19.4 points, 4.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 46% from the field and 32% from the three point line. If Denver could acquire Ellis and team him up with point guard Ty Lawson, it would give the Nuggets one of the quickest and best scoring back-courts in the NBA. Ellis could take some of the scoring load off of Lawson and Gallinari, while opening up shots for others as well on the offensive end. There may be some concern with Ellis’ shot selection and defensive effort at times but, he could be the go-to scorer that Denver is looking for.
Another guard the Nuggets appear to be targeting is Memphis’ Tony Allen, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski tweeted earlier today, that Denver could become a “real threat” to obtain Allen, if Memphis can’t re-sign him. Allen is one of the premiere defenders in the NBA, being named to the NBA All-Defensive first team the past two seasons and making the All-Defensive second team in 2011. He also helped the Boston Celtics win a championship back in 2008 and played in 84 playoff games over the past six seasons. For his career Allen has averaged a respectable 8.0 points, 3.o rebounds and 1.3 steals per games, while shooting 47% from the field. In the 2011-12 NBA GM survey, Allen was ranked the best perimeter defender by executives across the league. Allen would be a great fit with Denver, his perimeter defense combined with his championship experience, toughness and athleticism would be welcome additions. If the Nuggets could find a way to retain Iguodala and add Allen, they would have two of the few elite perimeter defenders in the league and Allen’s energy, would make him an immediate fan favorite in my opinion. Plus, I think new Head Coach Brian Shaw would love to have a player of Allen’s skill-set, he fits right into Shaw’s philosophies and would provide an immediate impact on the defensive end. I also think Allen could become the heart and soul if you will, of a young team here in Denver and give the Nuggets another leader, especially on the defensive end as well.