With the All-Star break upon us, it is time for the Nuggets to seriously think about how they want to approach the remainder of the season. It is clear that in the powerful Western Conference, the Nuggets simply don’t have the firepower required to be a playoff team. This comes from a combination of our awful luck with injuries this year, the core of young players that make up our bench unit, and our overall inability to play consistently good basketball. Often times the Nuggets youth hurts us with poor decisions on the court and inexperience in playing extended minutes in NBA games. Ty Lawson has been our rock this year, and his nagging injuries are not only scary, but leave the team in an awkward situation without a true point guard. Fournier and Foye have filled in fairly well in his absence, but it is imperative that the Nuggets get a true back up point guard to finish the year with.
I have heard names such as Ramon Sessions and Jimmer Fredette come up in conversation in regards to players the Nuggets could look to acquire to fill this void. In my opinion, Sessions would be a great get by the Nuggets. Faried’s name has been mentioned again, and with the way he’s been playing defensively its not hard to understand why. Tim Connelly is stuck with a roster full of young players with potential and he needs to decide if the current roster will fit in to the system coach Shaw has tried to install in Denver. With the trade deadline so close, it is time for Tim Connelly to make some big decisions about the future of the Nuggets.
Despite their horrific start, the Knicks have made themselves semi-relevant in the abysmal Eastern Conference, and could make a run at a play-off spot after the All-Star break, potentially leaving the Nuggets with no lottery picks in a loaded draft. Connelly needs to decide if he wants to give up on this season and play for a lottery pick or if he wants to build around the core we already have while adding players through free agency and mid-round draft picks. He also has to take our terrible salary cap situation in to consideration when making these decisions. While Lawson’s contract is great, McGee’s contract seems to get worse by the day, and Gallinari losing an entire season makes me nervous as to how he is going to come back. It might be time to blow up our current situation for a big expiring contract or a contract that expires after next year. I would love to see JaVale, Andre, and someone else (hopefully not Wilson but it might be a necessary evil) go to the Lakers for Pau Gasol. This creates a ton of cap room after this year and turns the Nuggets in to contenders for the 8th seed. Or we could go the other way and trade away Faried, Andre, and Hamilton for Dion Waiters and hope he can work well with Ty in the backcourt. I do not know what is going to happen in the next nine days, but if the Nuggets don’t make moves there is a good chance we will be stuck in NBA purgatory for the next 3 or 4 years.