Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly pushed the Nuggets into many players heads during July, but ultimately came up short as free agency wraps up. The big names have signed, most of which didn’t even think about Denver as a destination, but the players that were in the conversation decided for other locations. The most notable of which was Chris Bosh, who decided to return to Miami after Lebron James left, and Mike Miller, who decided to follow James to Cleveland. It also sounds like the Nuggets will come short in the race for Timberwolves Kevin Love.
The mentions were there, the ink was not. Love would have made a difference, but the free agents seemed like they were big names that were only being chased because Connelly wanted to make a big move this off season. Bosh is an all star power forward, but we already have on of the best upcoming power forwards in Kenneth Faried. We also have good outside shooters in Afflalo, Randy Foye, and Danilo Gallinari. Miller and Bosh both have championship rings, and people that would bring championship experience to a team that has never had a glimpse of the Larry O’brien trophy.
Although there are no new names coming to Denver via free agency, there are a couple from the draft and from trades. Two more shooting guards have been added in Arron Afflalo and Gary Harris, which adds needed defense to the position. Afflalo brings more shooting to the team that were dire for it last year with Galo being injured, and Harris will hopefully develop into a great defensive shooting guard.
Unfortunately, these additions won’t be the additions that the Nuggets needed to push them to be a great team. This wont make the fans happy, who have yet to experience the thrill of a Finals run, but its a base that Shaw wasn’t able to work with last year. If everyone stays healthy, Shaw will be able to have the feel out season that he didn’t get last year, the year to immerse himself in the teams current potential and work with Connelly to build around it in the future.
The thing to take away from this off season is that Connelly isn’t afraid to make big moves, and will throw any player into a trade. The names of Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and Javale McGee have been seen in trade rumors all around the league. He seems to be always on the hunt for that trade that will help Shaw, and the current target for him is Roy Hibbert. Shaw has coached Hibbert while he was in Indiana, and will be able to revive his defensive presence that disappeared last year.
The team picked up nobody off free agency, added only a couple of pieces at the shooting guard position, and will walk onto the court with essentially the same lineup. But be prepared, because when a player wants to be traded the Nuggets name will likely be in the mix to get them.