The Denver Nuggets remain among the league’s toughest teams, especially at home. But to get to the NBA finals, the team needs to find more consistent shooting in the offseason.
The Denver Nuggets have checked nearly every box. They have scoring, perimeter defense, post defense, adequate rim protection, and a true superstar who is a dark horse MVP candidate year after year.
But the team still needs another shooter or two to go along with their current depth chart. The Nuggets sit just 15th in the league in 3-pt percentage, at 35.8 percent. For a team as competitive as the Nuggets, that is not going to cut it deep into the playoffs. There are a number of players for them to keep tabs on as they look to add outside shooting.
One option could be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Los Angeles Lakers. Caldwell-Pope has been underrated his entire career, and has a player option this offseason. His still important role in a Lakers offense that prioritizes at least three others before him should earn him a larger contract in the offseason for a team willing to pay him like an everyday starting shooting guard.
In addition to his stout perimeter defense, Caldwell-Pope checks in at 39 percent from three throughout the season until play screeched to a halt. Adding a player like Caldwell-Pope would give the Nuggets incredible depth in their backcourt alongside Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Monte Morris.
It could also open the door for the Nuggets to pursue adding Bradley Beal or any other superstar talent to help Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray advance further in the playoffs, without selling the entire farm and becoming a thinned out roster in the process.
Another option could be Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson became so overrated in Los Angeles and Cleveland that he became underrated. After being traded from the Cavaliers to the Jazz, Clarkson torched defenses and continued on his way to having the best stretch of his career. Clarkson shot 37 percent from range during the season and averaged 15 points per game as the backup to Mike Conley.
While sneaky, Clarkson can get absurdly hot from the outside and would loosen up a Nuggets offense that became relatively stagnant at crucial points in games throughout last year’s playoffs. Relying on Harris and Barton to consistently drain the outside shots is not going to be entirely sustainable over the long run and adding a more proven shooter like Clarkson or Caldwell-Pope would put this team in title contention.