Even though the Denver Nuggets are coming off of their first-ever NBA championship, there’s no guarantee that they’re able to replicate their title run in the 2023-24 season. In fact, it will likely be much more difficult to go back-to-back, especially after some tough losses this summer.
Denver saw key rotation pieces like Bruce Brown and Jeff Green leave in free agency, joining the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets, respectively. Plus, the Nuggets lost Vlakto Cancar as he tore his ACL playing for Slovenia in a FIBA World Cup preliminary game.
Losses like those listed above certainly play into Andy Bailey’s prediction in his recent Bleacher Report article. When listing off categories in which each NBA team will regress, Bailey pointed to “roster versatility” when talking about the Nuggets.
He put an emphasis on the lack of insurance that Denver has in case stars go down with injuries.
“Jamal Murray is a 6’4″ point guard who missed 17 regular-season games. Michael Porter Jr. is a 6’10” forward who missed 20,” Bailey wrote. “Having a single player who could fill in for both was huge.”
Will the Denver Nuggets suffer from a lack of ‘roster versatility?’
Bailey makes a pretty decent argument for it, that’s for sure. With that being said, the chance of the Nuggets feeling a bit thin this season hasn’t been much of a secret. Both Brown and Green will likely prove to be key losses, but the Nuggs still have some hope in young players like Christian Braun.
Braun is the most likely candidate to take on a bit more responsibility this year. He took on a small role in the playoffs last spring, logging about 13.0 minutes per game. In those short minutes, he averaged 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest. The 21-year-old proved that he can hang when the lights are bright and could be ready for more responsibility this season.
Will he be able to give the Nuggets as much of a boost a Brown did? That’s yet to be seen. With that being said, there’s still plenty of upside for Braun as he enters his second season as a pro.