2015 Denver Nuggets

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Denver Nuggets (Last Year: 30-52)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Jusuf Nurkic/J.J. Hickson

PF: Kenneth Faried/Joffrey Lauvergne

SF: Wilson Chandler/Danilo Gallinari

SG: Randy Foye/*Will Barton/Gary Harris/*Ian Clark

PG: Ty Lawson/^Jameer Nelson/Erick Green

NBA Free Agents:

*SG-Will Barton (RFA)

G-Ian Clark (RFA)

^PG-Jameer Nelson (PO)

PF-Darrell Arthur (UFA)

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $60.4 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Blow up the Ship: Having very little cap space and a bunch of intriguing expiring contracts next summer, the Nuggets are stuck. They don’t have the talent to compete for a Western Conference playoff spot and are lacking the flexibility in free agency to go out and land the talent they need to make a move up the standings.

Rather than floating below-average basketball for the next year, I think Denver is best served to start the rebuilding project. The franchise kind of started doing so last season by dealing Aaron Afflalo and Timofey Movgov for future picks, and the next step would be finding a trade suitor for Ty Lawson. Denver could try to do the same with veterans like Chandler, Gallinari, Foye and Hickson, who are all in the final year of their respective contracts, and then have a ton of cap space and a stockpile of first-round picks to build for the future.

2. Shop Their Expiring Contracts: If the Nuggets decide not to begin a rebuilding effort, they have be aggressive on the trade front. Between Chandler, Gallinari, Foye and Hickson, Denver has $27.4 million in expiring contracts. Management could try to shop those expiring deals and the seventh-overall pick the franchise holds in the 2015 NBA Draft to a team looking to dump contracts in hopes of landing a star-caliber player. I don’t think the Nuggets have enough ammunition to land the type of player they would need to make a major move in the West though, which is why blowing up the ship seems to be the better option.

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