Without a doubt, the Nuggets were one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA last season. Perhaps it’s because Chris “Birdman” Andersen could potentially be my favorite player, or the fact that on any given night J.R. Smith could drop 50. But after they lost Linas Kleiza for nothing yesterday, Nuggets fans should start to get worried.
Since last season, the Nuggets have parted ways with Dahntay Jones, Steven Hunter, Sonny Weems, Johan Petro and Jason Hart. While none of these guys other than maybe Dahntay were valuable contributors, they did make up the roster of one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
But even with the additions of Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo and Malik Allen, the Nuggets have a problem: they only have 10 guys on the roster and a payroll at about $69 million. If everyone can stay healthy, a starting five of Chauncey Billups, Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Nene is as good as any in the League. But if any of those guys get hurt, the depth just simply isn’t there.
Losing Jones means that Smith will most likely start for the Nuggets, with Birdman and Renaldo Balkman coming off the bench, so Denver will have to make sure that they keep everyone healthy.
As for those last five roster spots, Wally Szczerbiak‘s name has been thrown around for the veteran’s minimum, as has bringing back Anthony Carter. I know that when I talked to Lawson on Sunday at the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot, he said that George Karl has basically given him the back-up spot, so I don’t see A.C. re-signing if he’s not going to play.
How do you see the Nuggets doing this season?
Source: Denver Post