From Rudy Gobert crossing state lines to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, to the myriad of trade rumors surrounding superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. It’s safe to say that this has been one of the most exhilarating offseasons in recent memory.
As for the Denver Nuggets, they too have dipped their toes in the free agency waters. Reeling in highly-touted swingman, Bruce Brown, as well as journeyman center, DeAndre Jordan. While also trading for experienced 3-and-D specialist, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and adding a few enticing young prospects from the 2022 NBA Draft.
With so many moving pieces on the Nuggets roster, we’re sure to see plenty of fresh rotations next season. As both old and new players look to acclimate to the current landscape in the Mile High City.
Now that the 2022 NBA Offseason is beginning to cool down, there feels like no better time to look at some winning and losing parties for the Denver Nuggets following the aftermath of free agency.
Nuggets winners and losers as free agency winds down
Winner: Nikola Jokic
Let’s be honest, almost every decision made by the Denver Nuggets this offseason impacted The Joker in a positive way.
Firstly, there’s the fact that Nikola Jokic just put pen to paper and signed a massive supermax contract extension worth up to $260 million over the next five years. Including a near $60 million player option in the final year of his contract. Making him the highest-paid player in NBA history.
Outside of that, he’s also coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, and is just the 13th player in league history to achieve such a feat. So, after adding his name to a list of all-time greats and becoming the richest player to ever hit the hardwood, he now has bragging rights over the entire league both from a financial and legacy standpoint.
Furthermore, to keep a crafty and versatile big man like Nikola Jokic happy, you need to surround him with efficient shooters and athletic two-way players, and that’s exactly what the Nuggets did.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is one of the more renowned three-point shooters in the association, and is coming off a year in which he finished with .435/.390/.890 shooting splits. While Bruce Brown is also an incredibly efficient and versatile scorer, shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line last season.
Essentially, Jokic now has two reliable scoring options he can depend on along the perimeter. Both of whom are athletic and talented enough to create their own shots, but won’t demand possession of the ball to make plays. They also carry the requisite skill set to act as secondary ball-handlers, which would take additional pressure off Jokic and Jamal Murray.
This isn’t even accounting for whatever Christian Braun and Peyton Watson can turn into next season. Each of which appear to play well off the ball and are capable of knocking down open shots when called upon. Meaning that Jokic now has even more teammates he can dish the ball out to, and ones that seem to complement his style of play.