Denver Nuggets: Who stays and who goes

The Denver Nuggets are coming off their first losing season in 11 years and its time to start the offseason process. The first thing is to look at players who’s contracts are up after this season. There are currently two players who will be unrestricted free agents and two others who have a player option for the 2014-15 season. Let’s see which players the Nuggets should keep and who they should let go.

Unrestricted Free Agents

1. Jan Vessley

Vessley was part of the trade that sent Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards. He played in 21 games for the Nuggets where he averaged just over 4 points and 3 rebounds a game. He is currently 24 and was the 6th overall pick of the 2011 draft.

He hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations averaging just 3 points in his early career and only seeing an average of 15 minutes. Vessley is still in the development stages of his game but does have the physical attributes that could attract coaches standing at 7-foot, 242 pounds. However, the Nuggets already have enough decent big men and don’t have the roster capacity or patience for Vessley. He will most likely being playing somewhere else next year

Verdict: Let Go

2. Aaron Brooks

Aaron  BrooksLike Vessley, Brooks was also acquired around the trade deadline for Jordan Hamilton from the Houston Rockets. Brooks filled in the point guard role very nicely once he arrived in Denver. He averaged 12 points and 5 assists in 29 games with the Nuggets.

There were times where Brooks looked like the best player the Nuggets had out on the floor at certain times during the second half of the season. The problem is the Nuggets already have Ty Lawson as the starting point guard and Nate Robinson has a player option for next year.

The Nuggets might and would be interested in bringing him back especially if Robinson doesn’t exercise his player option, but he might find a certain back up role and more money somewhere else.

Verdict: Stay (but will probably be let go)

Player Options

1. Nate Robinson 

Robinson is an interesting decision for the Nuggets. When healthy last year, he provided a spark off the bench in a way Nate Robinson has done everywhere he’s been. He had one of the highest 3 point percentages on the team and provided toughness and heart, something Coach Brian Shaw praised Robinson for.

The decision becomes Nate’s-  in reality it’s his choice whether to return to Denver or not. He has claimed he’s happy in Denver and made no hints that he won’t exercise his option. Unless he shocks Nuggets nation, expect to see Robinson back in a Nuggets jersey next year.

Verdict: Stay

[JaVale McGee’s time running out]

2. Darrell Arthur

Darrell Arthur was one of the more underrated moves GM Tim Connelly made last offseason. He traded Kosta Koufos for Arthur, who was a better fit than Koufos. He averaged just over 5 points and 3 rebounds and started to decline as far as production once the second half of the season hit.

Arthur is a decent post defender and brings a physical presence that coach Shaw likes his big men to have. He lacks a true post game offensively, but can extend a defense as he can hit an 18-footer the defense tends to give to him. Like Robinson, it’s up to Arthur whether he believes Denver is the right fit for him next season. The Nuggets will more than likely welcome Arthur back with open arms, however if the Nuggets draft a big man in the draft don’t be surprised to see Arthur traded this summer.

Verdict: Stay