Denver Nuggets: Who is the ideal third star?

The Denver Nuggets have plenty of firepower to go around between Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. But in an era famously led by “big threes”, who will be the Nuggets’ third fiddle?

No one player in the NBA is truly untouchable, as the Denver Nuggets should know. In only the last three years, Kristaps Porzingis, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis have been traded. Rumors are constantly swirling about the availability of various NBA superstars that have expiring contracts, or have publicly voiced displeasure in their current situations.

For many years, Denver’s roster was in complete disrepair. But years of drafting and developing netted them two of the top 25 players in basketball, one of which has unquestionably cracked the top ten. In the event the Nuggets pursue a third star, Bradley Beal is the first name that comes to mind.

Beal surprisingly agreed to a large extension that keeps him with the Wizards through the 2022-2023 season. The Wizards are a complete mess, are years away from even sniffing contention, and are getting absolutely killed by John Wall‘s absurd contract. It would be in the best interest of both the Nuggets and Wizards to make Beal a Nugget.

Beal was averaging 30 points per game when play stopped, which was good for second in the league behind James Harden. Denver’s leading scorer, Nikola Jokic, checks in just 29th in basketball, and Murray is next at 42nd. Denver’s perimeter scoring can be accomplished by committee between Will Barton, Gary Harris, and Michael Porter Jr., but a consistent star on the wing is needed in Denver.

The next logical name to consider is C.J. McCollum. The talented shooting guard is still stuck in a back-and-forth hamster wheel in Portland, as he and Damian Lillard have never quite been able to break through, despite barely sneaking into the western conference finals last year. McCollum is 18th in the league in scoring at 22.5 a game, and has to be plenty efficient to do so as Lillard usually gets more shots.

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McCollum shoots 38 percent from deep, which Denver could undeniably use. Between either Beal or McCollum, the Nuggets ought to be courting the best scoring wings the game has to offer in the hopes of upgrading just a little bit more from the very steady if unspectacular Gary Harris. Denver is operating in a clear championship window, and they ought to pursue every avenue to take advantage.

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