I’ve said many times this summer that the Nuggets have a deep roster, one that will make it hard for a free agent to come in to compete, and even harder for the team to pay him. So when the Nuggets are reported to be close to a deal with free agent Mike Miller, it makes me ponder what Tim Connelly is up to behind his office doors.
Miller averaged 7.1 points and 1.6 assists with 20.8 minutes coming off the bench for Memphis Grizzlies. He shot 46 percent from three, something that the Nuggets lacked last year with the absence of Danilo Gallinari last season. Miller has battled injury since joining the Grizzlies, but played all 82 games for them last year. Before that Miller won two rings while part of the Miami Heat, and developed a relationship that might keep him from closing a deal with Denver.
After Lebron James decision yesterday, he reportedly started talks with Mike Miller and is trying to bring him along to Cleveland. Because of this, Miller has put talks with Denver to a halt until he see’s what Cleveland is all about.
The Nuggets do have a strong wing player in Galo, but they are still waiting to make the aggressive push Connelly was talking about at the end of last season. The only move that can be considered big would be the trade for Arron Afflalo, but it wasn’t the big move that fans are waiting for. The team is deep, but need a player with a star presence that can elevate the team to another level.
That player will hopefully be Kevin Love, but that might be a distant dream by now. The Nuggets have fallen to third in the pursuit of Love after Lebron moved to Cleveland. Love would be able to bring so much to Denver, but it seems irrelevant at this point as he decides between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. This leaves the Nuggets back at square one, looking for a centerpiece.
It might already be too late for that mainstay to be found this off season. The big names already have their choices narrowed to a couple of teams, and the best free agent after that is Lance Stephenson, who the Nuggets will not pay him what he wants. There are no more big names left in free agency this year, so it looks like the notable move for Connelly this year will be to push a trade of one of his big contracts (JaVale McGee, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari) and bring in Indiana center Roy Hibbert. Brian Shaw coached Hibbert as an assistant under Frank Vogel and would love to bring in the defensive center. Connelly also needs to work to resign Kenneth Faried. Faried has become the look at the future of the Denver Nuggets as he exploded the second half of the season and emerged as one of the best power forwards in the league. This is as close to a big deal that the Nuggets will make this off season, just resigning Faried would make it a successful off season, a trade for Hibbert would be a huge plus, but with the team healthy the season ahead looks promising.