Off-season Preview: Denver Nuggets

Denver is definitely one of the more interesting in terms of roster composition. They’re bursting at the seams with slightly above average talent and is full of players that can really help other teams but as a whole……….well I think their 40-42 mark from last season says it all. And if that isn’t bad enough they now have to make a very hard decision in regards to their best player (when he’s healthy). Add to that the fact that five of their rotation guys are up for extensions and we start to see that the decisions that they make this summer will have long-term implications.

Needs: Be honest about Danilo Gallinari’s value and act on it.

Wants: No matter how much cap space they have use it smartly and keep in mind what it will take to sign their several upcoming extension candidates.

Money Situation

Guaranteed                                   2017-18                                Insider info
Kenneth Faried                          $12,921,348                         Extension eligible
Wilson Chandler                        $12,016,854
Darrell Arthur                            $7,464,912
Jameer Nelson                           $4,736,050                          Extension eligible
Will Barton                                 $3,533,333                          Extension eligible
Emmanuel Mudiay                   $3,381,480
Jamal Murray                             $3,355,320
Juan Hernangomez                   $2,076,840
Gary Harris                                 $2,550,055                     Rookie extension eligible
Malik Beasley                             $1,700,640
Nikola Jokic                                 $1,471,382                           Extension eligible

Non/partial                                    2017-18                              Guarantee date
Mike Miller                                   $3,500,000                                   July 12

FA cap hold                                    2017-18                                  FA status
Danilo Gallinari                            $22,575,000                            Opting out
Roy Hibbert                                   $6,000,000                                Non-Bird
Mason Plumlee                             $5,821,325                            Restricted Bird

First-round cap hold                    2017-18
No. 13 selection                            $2,621,280



Denver is a very athletic team full of players with varied skill sets. They scored at a top 5 level last year (111.7 PPG) and play at a pace that suits them. It’s may seem crazy but with the uncertainty around Gallo it won’t hurt to bring someone in to best case serve as insurance or worse case try to plug the hole at least for now. This is why I have Dwayne Bacon out of Florida State. Bacon is kinda on the fringes of many draft boards. Mostly going in the 2nd round (admittedly he may be around for Denver’s first 2nd round pick at 44) but I don’t think they chance it because he’s probably the best natural scorer available. He has a great frame at 6’7″ and 220 and should fit in with what the Nuggets have going on and give them some flexibility.

It’s kinda hard gauging Denver’s free agency because of the 6’9″ and $22.5 million clog in their cap space. However, they already have $5.2 million in space and will probably add another $9.2 once they let Mike Miller and Roy Hibbert walk. So they should plan on using having about $20 million to use towards signing Gallo and Mason Plumlee. Now if Gallo bolts they will have space to use to fill that gap (a pretty damn hard gap to fill) and fill out the few roster needs they have. Thankfully, due to the way their roster is currently constructed they don’t have many holes to fill. But any moves they make should be to address a defense that had the second worse defensive rating in the league.


Names to watch: Tony Snell – SG/SF – Unrestricted, Michael Carter-Williams – PG – Restricted, Alan Williams – PF/C – Restricted, Luc Mbah a Moute – SF – Player Option, Patrick Patterson – PF – Unrestricted


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