2013 NBA Off Season Preview, Depth Charts, Trades and Transactions: Denver Nuggets

2012-2013 Record: 57-25, 2nd in Northwest
Stat Leaders: Ty Lawson, 16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg. Kenneth Faried, 9.2 rpg. Andre Iguodala, 1.7 spg. JaVale McGee, 2.0 bpg.

Current Projected Rotation (5/21/13)

C - Kosta Koufos, JaVale McGee
PF - Kenneth Faried, Anthony Randolph
SF - Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Quincy Miller
SG - Andre Iguodala (PO), Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton
PG - Ty Lawson, Andre Miller

Restricted Free Agents: G Julyan Stone

Unrestricted Free Agents: GF Corey Brewer. C Timofey Mozgov




The Good: The Nuggets once again led the NBA in points per game. 2012-2013 Coach of the Year George Karl was able to throw about 10 guys at the opposition every night, which really wore them down, especially at home, where the Nuggets were an NBA best 38-3. Denver won by scoring points, crashing the boards and generating steals. Andre Iguodala proved to be an excellent addition, as he was a welcome defensive presence and a solid rebounder and ball handler. Second year man Kenneth Faried averaged close to a double double.

The Bad: While Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Ty Lawson all had good seasons, none of the players really took that next step in 2012-2013. Lawson stepped up during the playoffs with averages of 22 and 9, and if he can approach those numbers during the entire season, he could be that finisher the Nuggets need so bad in the playoffs. Gallinari suffered a career ending injury late in the season, and really hurt the Nuggets playoff chances. With improved shot selection, he has 20 point per game potential. Once again, the Nuggets let down their fans by bowing out in the first round of the playoffs, this time to an underdog Warriors squad.

Rookie Report: It takes a lot for George Karl to trust rookies, but Evan Fournier played some solid minutes during the end of the season. He had a 24 point game late in the year and should be a solid part of the Nuggets rotation next year, especially if Iguodala moves on. Quincy Miller was drafted in the second round based on upside but he only played in 7 games. The Nuggets are too deep for Miller to get any minutes.

Free Agents: Andre Iguodala is obviously priority number one if he elects free agency as expected. His defense was extremely important to the Nuggets last season. Corey Brewer has quietly resurrected his career, as he was well on his way out of the league before becoming one of the better bench players in the NBA. Denver and Brewer will most likely come to an agreement, as he is much more valuable to the Nuggets then any other team. Timofey Mozgov is great size to have incase of injuries, but he is looking for a bigger role and a solid pay day. He will most likely move on.

Projected Cap Space: -$8,782,276. Almost 16 million will be freed up if Iguodala opts out of his contract. Denver would love to resign Iguodala and Brewer, and that will most likely tie up all of their salary cap.

Free Agent Possibilities: Denver would love to find a big man who can provide some low post offense, something that was severely lacking during the playoffs. Andrew Bogut was really able to control the paint without anyone to slow him down and make him play man to man defense. Big men with any type of pulse usually are in high demand and highly paid. The Nuggets will be two deep at every position, so anyone they sign will probably be for strictly depth.

Draft Possibilities: The Nuggets will pick 27th overall, and they have had success finding starters outside of the lottery. Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson come to mind. The Nuggets will be pretty deep and might be one of the many teams to go the overseas route as they save money and let their young player develop. Giannis Adetokoubo, Lucas Nogueira and Livio Jean-Charles are a few Euro prospects who could be available there. If the Nuggets do opt to draft someone to help this year, they could look to find a young point guard to eventually take over for Andre Miller as Ty Lawson's backup. Shane Larkin is lightning quick and would be a great fit with the Nuggets.

2013-2014 Outlook: The Nuggets won more games then they ever have before, but once the playoffs rolled around it was the same story. Denver was out in the first round once again, and the "can George Karl's system be successful in the playoffs" and "do the Nuggets have that superstar who can take over in the playoffs" questions were heard again. There will hardly be any changes on the roster, as all of Denver's key players are locked up long term. The Nuggets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and with another year of experience they should be even better, but it is all about the playoffs for this team. Lawson and Gallinari have the talent to lead the team deep in the playoffs, but someone will have to become the team leader.


2013 NBA Mock Draft: Denver Nuggets Selections

2013 NBA Mock Draft: v 5.0 (5/10/13)

Round 1, Pick 27: SG Alex Abrines, Spain

Like most young talented Euro prospects, Abrines received little burn during the regular season for one of the best teams in Europe, but he has produced much more now that the playoffs are here. He is only 20 and likely will not come over to the NBA for a couple years, but he is a good shooter and ball handler and has some Rudy Fernandez to his game. The Nuggets have ten players under contract for next year, and would not have a rotation spot for a rookie to step right into next year.


Jonathan Carrano

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