PG- Ty Lawson Andre Miller Evan Fournier
SG- Andre Iguodala Corey Brewer Timofey Mozgov
SF- Danilo Gallinari Wilson Chandler Jordan Hamilton
PF- Kenneth Faried Anthony Randolph
C- Javale McGee Kostas Koufas
#1 Need-Scorer off the Bench/Solid Interior Defense
* Denver has the system and players to be as good as the OKC Thunder or atleast a poor man’s version.
* Lawson can get pass most defenders-like Russell Westbrook-but lacks the athleticism to take contact and finish strong.
* No one in the league has Kevin Durant’s skill-set but Danilo Gallinari has the potential to become Denver’s KD on offense.
* These teams also have similiar defensive stoppers-Serge Ibaka(OKC) and Javale McGee(DEN) finished 1st and 2nd respectively in block shots last season.
* Team defense is where the disparity occurs between OKC-ranked 17th and allowed 96.9 pts/game-and Denver-ranked 29th and allowed 101.2 pts/game)-nevertheless Denver has the right players to emulate the Thunder’s success.
Golden prediction-The Nuggets will strike it rich in 2013 and reach the 2nd round of the playoffs.
Nuggets receive Andre Iguodala
Magic receive Al Harrington+Arron Afflalo+Moe Harkless+Nikola Vucevic+3 draft picks from each team
76ers receive Andrew Bynum+Jason Richardson
Lakers recieve Dwight Howard+Chris Duhon+Earl Clark
1) The Nuggets will be a good team in 2013 but by 2014 they can be elite-Harrington and Afflalo’s contracts were worth roughly $44 million over the next 3 years-shedding that amount for Iguodala’s expiring contract will provide cap space to land a free agent who can help them become championship contenders.
2) Iguodala is the league’s swiss army knife, he can rebound, play defense, pass the ball and is an improved 3 point shooter, he should assimilate well to Denver’s run and gun style.
3) The Nuggets lost some offensive firepower but they addressed a glaring weakness-perimeter defense-Iguodala will be able to guard superstars like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant which will pay dividends come playoff time.
* I will assess this monumental trade further in a separate article.
Draft # 20 Pick
*Evan Fournier SG (France)
1) Reverting back to the Nugs and Thunder comparison this kid has the skills to become a Harden-esque contributor off the bench.
2) Fournier is not insanely quick but dribbles well and gets to the rim, when on the move he struggles with his shot, his efficiency rises when his feet are set.
3) The Nuggets picked Fournier at 20 because of his size at 6’7″ and currently Fournier fits their system with his ability to convert in transition, but he could easily evolve into an all around player in a few years.
Current NBA Comparison- Shaun Livingston
Run and Gunless
1) This team will surprise many in 2013-but what will restrain them is that they still possess inconsistent 3 point shooters.
2) The roster hardly changed from a year ago-Iguodala and Afflalo who were swapped in the aforementioned trade both shot 39% from the perimeter-that number led the team. So there’s no upgrade from deep at the 2 spot.
3) The Nuggets finished 24th in 3pt percentage last year and since no major deep threats were added, expect them to be near the basement again-especially since Iguodala and Chandler will be getting more attempts than accustomed to.
4) Danilo Gallinari is a shooter but in 2012 his shot selection destroyed his efficiency, he finished shooting 41% from the field. If Gallo can recover from last year’s shooting woes, the Nuggets’ transition offense will excel greatly.
2013 Prediction: 51-31 Playoff bound
By: Kareem Arnold