Denver Nuggets Offseason Plans

Sep 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly answers questions during a press conference during the media day at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly answers questions during a press conference during the media day at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

The ides of March have sunk in, so it is about time to look into the offseason at the potential moves that the Nuggets could make this year.

The Nuggets head into this offseason with few free agents and none that really are seen as player they have to retain. D.J. Augustin who Denver stole from the Oklahoma City Thunder, has played incredibly well since coming over, averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 assists in only 24 minutes per game while shooting a cool 44 percent from the field, by far the highest of his career. Augustin should be considered for resigning if they can ship Jameer Nelson out in a potential trade. Augustin is six years younger than Nelson and his contract would potentially be a little nicer than Nelson’s. Somehow, the Nuggets should definitely ship out Nelson if they have the opportunity to resign Augustin.

The other free agent for Denver has seen little playing time and will most likely retire at the end of this year. Mike Miller hasn’t made a big contribution on the court, but the work that he has done with Emmanuel Mudiay has been apparent on the court. When Mudiay first got into the league this year, his jump shot looked about as broken as they come. His legs flailed and there was an awkward hitch in his shot, but the work that Miller has put in with him has really helped. Mudiay’s shooting percentage has gone up 10 percent from the month of February to March. Going from a Brandon Jennings type shooter to a much more efficient guard.

Darrell Arthur also has the potential to be a free agent with a player option for next year, but all signs seem to be pointing towards a resigning with Denver. Arthur has shown interest in the Los Angeles Clippers and vice versa, which would be the only major suitor for Arthur to waive his no trade clause. Arthur is one of the better backup big men in the league and can fill in at either the four or the five. Much maligned coach Brian Shaw foolishly tried Arthur at the three, but that was one of the many things that got him fired. Arthur is perfectly suited to run the pick and pop with Nelson or Augustin in the second unit.

Now to look at the Nuggets salary cap situation for next year. Of course the cap for next year is completely questionable since it is all speculative, but the cap is projected to sky-rocket to $89 million. If Arthur resigns, the Nuggets will have only $61 million on the books going into free agency. Watch for them to potentially make a move that allows them even more financial flexibility.

A potential trade that could happen is something involving Wilson Chandler and Jameer Nelson. A team like the Clippers that don’t necessarily have all that much cap space, could add a couple of veteran bench guys to help their odd situation. I might be the biggest Wilson Chandler fan in the world but his contract and injury history is way too much for my stomach. Chandler has shown flashes for Denver but paying him more than 10 million a year for the next four years isn’t necessarily the best situation.

The Nuggets could spend money on Ryan Anderson who is having a career year. Anderson would be the perfect pick and pop mate with Mudiay and Augustin, also giving the Nuggets bench one of the better stretch four’s in the league. Anderson has thrived in New Orleans this year with Anthony Davis and the garbage that they have amassed. The question about Anderson though, is the asking price. If he has the same asking price as say Gordon Hayward, I would not spend on him. But if you can pretty much replace Chandler with Anderson, you’ve got to take it.

Honestly, outside of Kevin Durant and Al Horford, there really isn’t any big name free agents available. Nicolas Batum and Al Jefferson could leave Charlotte but they would be better suited on teams that are budding playoff contenders like Portland or Detroit. Just hope that he-who-must-not-be-named (Dwight Howard) isn’t lured to Denver. That would literally be the worst circumstance ever.