With indications that the Denver Nuggets aren't exactly thrilled with Nets rookie forward Derrick Favors (via potential trade for forward Carmelo Anthony) anymore, maybe it's time to start thinking about other options as the season progresses.
This isn't an "Optimism" post, you say?!
Why, of course it is. Let me explain. I was never on the "we must get Derrick Favors" bandwagon. From all indications I read from scouts and prognosticators, he was a project guy. Someone you had to work with for an extensive and exhausting time to get him "right " for the NBA. Not that the Nuggets are disinterested in Favors. It's just my firm opinion that they don't want to give away their franchise player for a four-year project player and iffy draft picks.
You don't rebuild with a player who takes that long to develop. You need many other pieces in place. New Jersey seemed to want to do this deal BADLY before the season started. Maybe to get Favors out of New Jersey before the Nuggets saw just how much of a project Favors actually was? Or maybe they just wanted Carmelo Anthony that much? This is something only Nets GM Billy King can answer. Down the road, Derrick Favors will be a good player, but it seems that the Nuggets don't want to pay a high price for that eventuality. In the long run, this benefits the Nuggets. IF they aren't convinced that Favors is the right "centerpiece" then they need to concentrate on other avenues.
Like marveling at the team they have this year.
I have to say, ladies and gents, I like what I've seen from Shelden Williams. He's not a star by any means, but he plays hard and seems to be vastly superior to former back up center Johan Petro. Williams gives me hope that the Nuggets can survive this stretch of the season without Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen (although Bird will be back earlier than K-Mart) and win some games they otherwise wouldn't without their key big men.
Also, lets give it up for Gary Forbes. He has sufficiently bounced back from his sub-par first preseason game and has impressed more and more as the games roll on. It's nice to see a rookie step up because he wants to prove something. It gives me some hope going forward. As does the play of Renaldo Balkman. He still does the occasional boneheaded thing, but he's got that nose for the ball that's invaluable to a team trying to scrap.
Let's all sit back and imagine: starting five after Kenyon and Bird get back. Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Melo, Kenyon, Nene. Off the Bench Al Harrington, Ty Lawson, Shelden Williams, J.R. Smith, Bird, Renaldo Balkman, Gary Forbes. Not bad if I do say so myself.
There seems to be a fatalistic feeling to the Nuggets this year. As if they are really concentrating on a last hurrah before the end comes. There appears to be no divisions on the team, and the supposed "distraction" of Carmelo's uncertain future hasn't affected the team. Makes me realize how invaluable George Karl is to coaching this team. He as well is on a one year, now-or-never kind of track due to health reasons and his one year contract. I'm EXCITED to see this team in the regular season. I'm EXCITED to see the Nuggets perform a full game with Al Harrington. I'm EXCITED to see how our team rises above it all and says "screw it, lets just win this year".
No one on the Nuggets are clutching their chest and saying "Oh god, trade Melo now because our hearts can't take it". Absolutely not. The team knows better than anyone that if they are going to win it HAS to be this year. I for one look forward to it. I'm sick of being scared. I'm sick of worrying about the future. The future is NOW!
We are Denver. They are the Nuggets. Lets go out and kick some ass!!