After losing to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, the Nuggets- are trying to improve this offseason. They have many great players already under contract, but are looking to complete their roster.
One big move was using the amnesty clause on Chris Anderson. Known for his energy, tattoos, and spiked hair, “Birdman” was a fan favorite in Denver. He was the team's longest tenured player and was the only one left from their 2009 Western Conference Finals appearance. His talent, however, has dwindled in the past few years and he did not play a single minute in the playoffs last season.
After letting go of Anderson, the Nuggets signed Anthony Randolph to a three-year, $6 million deal. The 23-year-old is extremely athletic for a 6-foot-11 player, but many feel he has underachieved in the NBA. He is a great rebounder and shot blocker and averaged 7.4 points last season. He will provide good energy off the bench at both forward positions and will fit nicely into Denver's up-tempo style, as he can run the floor and is a good finisher.
The Nuggets in general are a young, athletic team and are pursing deals to keep it that way. Ty Lawson, the former UNC standout, is close to reaching a contract extension. He averaged a career-high 16.4 points and 6.6 assists as a full-time starter last season and is becoming one of the better guards in the West. He adds a lot of energy to the lineup and carried the team in the playoffs with 19 points per game. He has increased his leadership capabilities and is expected to become the team's highest-paid player. The deal should end up around 5-years, $65 million.
Another player the team is pursuing is JaVale McGee. Although he was probably the most laughed at player last season, the young 7-footer has some serious potential. He averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds last year and is showing signs of improvement. His athleticism seems to have no limit, although he sometimes uses it for the wrong reasons, and he is turning into a dominant player. He averaged 2.16 blocks last season (No.2 in the NBA) and can run the floor better than almost any center in the game. Since the Nuggets were the number 1 fast-break team last season, McGee’s athleticism is essential. Denver also allowed 101.2 points per game last season, and could seriously use his defensive abilities.
Denver’s young players will grow together and have the ability to out-hustle and tire teams out.
Aside from new contracts, the Nuggets already have a strong, young nucleus. Danilo Gallinari is a solid small forward, providing the team with consistent scoring and is a hard cover at 6'10. Timofey Mozgov does not show as much potential as McGee, but the 7'1" center can give solid support off the bench, especially on defense.
Also, Wilson Chandler has shown a lot of promise and should be healthy to play next season. He averaged a career-high 16 points and 6 rebounds for the Knicks in 2010-2011 but played only 8 games last year due to injury. 19-year-old Evan Fournier might also provide help to the lineup. The first-rounder in this year’s draft recently signed a multi-year contract.
The fast, athletic Denver team is turning into a true force in the West. Their young players will grow together and have the ability to out-hustle and tire teams out. With many players already under contract, they have the needed depth at every position and are close to completing their team. Although they were eliminated in round one of last season’s playoffs, they forced a 7-game series and proved they were a tough team to beat. With a core of young players, they should only improve from last season. Many will be focused on the Lakers and Thunder next year, but the Nuggets should be right up there as contenders.
Fan Hub Action
Marcy Kelly June 12th
Wow! I must have listened to a completely differnt press conference. Oh, wait- you convinently left off all of the good things they just got…
Nathan Devine June 5th
The dude is nasty. The fastball is REAL heavy at 97-100. Steady improvement every year.
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
June 18th, 2013 3:14 PM
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