Now that the draft is over and we lost a good opportunity to get a Malik Allen replacement
for cheap and unguarranteed (Whiteside, Orton, Brackins, Alabi, Jordan and most of the rookies will
be as good as Petro)
This is how we should approach free agency. First of all I'd like to point out that Tyrus Thomas is impossible to get without a sign and trade now (unless we sign him to a frontloaded full MLE deal, but i dont think you could that) so lets look at some of the remaining options at PF or C.
Brendan Haywood- He's worth a full MLE deal IMO, but with the all the with cap space he might actually get more. Then he will be extremely overpaid.
Tyson Chandler- Even though it;s looking like he won't become a FA afterall. He is probably better than Haywood due to his size. I think he's also younger (not sure tho). Again I would offer him a full MLE deal for 5 years, but his injury history might scare off a lot of GMs lowering his value (hence I don't think he ends up opting out).
Brad Miller- I personally love his game. He's a 7 footer that can shoot. He wouldn't cost much and at this point in his career he just wants a ring. But with Sheed retiring, he seems like the ideal replacement for him in Boston. But he'd be just as good in Denver. Also if Warkentein stays, I've read that he really loves Miller.
Jermaine O'neal- I wouldn't want this guy on the Nugget unless its for a something like a 2 year 4 million dollar contract. Being that I live in Miami, I watch a lot of Heat games (not as many as Nuggets games, which is like 95%of them) and he actually did seem like he'd have a bounceback year in first 1/3 of the season. After that he just seemed like a taller Tracy McGrady. The good news is, I think he is continuing to work out with the off season conditioning group that helped Wade, Arenas and McGrady recover. Overall, I'd like him as a last option 4th big.
Joel Anthony- He recently opted out and will most likely return to Miami after they sign their new Free Agents, but he's worth considering... I remember watching him play a lot on the Heat team that won 15 games two years ago, he does have potential and I like him. He's kind of like a better version of DJ Mbenga. I'd like him if Petro leaves considering, I think they're about equal talent and skill wise. But Joel seemed to be smarter and more athletic, where Petro is a lot tallter.
Hakim Warrick- I said it last year, and I'll say it agian, this guy is a perfect fit for the Nuggets. He is actually very similar to Tyrus Thomas in the way that they're both extremely athletic, skinny and inconsistent. The difference is Warrick could probably be had for a 2 year 6 million dollar contract where as Tyrus is a lot more expensive and restricted. I highly advocate him because if Kroenke wants to go WalMart on us, at least pay a lil big of money to get a player that could really be a missing piece of the bench. Also the idea of putting him with Ty, JR and Bird on the fast break really excites me.
Shaquille O'neil- I think he's this years Allen Iverson, meaning he will be one of the last free agents to sign. The only way he isn't is if he just ends up following LeBron, which could happen. He's a pretty bad fit for this team considering we run a lot, but the idea of bringing him off the bench next to Birdman is enticing. Also I would love for him to go off agianst the Lakers in the playoffs. At this point, I would barely play him during the season and just save him for the post season, but that could ruin chemistry. Also how funny would it be if he won a ring with Melo, so that Shaq won a ring with Kobe, Melo and Wade but not LeBron.
Ben Wallace- Like Shaq some would assume he's strongly considering retirement (except Shaq won't retire), I think if he plays as well as he did this past year on Detroit then he could really help this team. But at the same time, he showed in Cleveland and Chicago that he has zero offense and is undersized. Still I think Chauncey and Afflalo would advocate for him and he's a viable option. Also doesn't hurt that he'd most likely only get the minimum.
Udonis Haslem- Like JO and Joel Anthony, I've watched UD play a lot, especially since he's been with Miami for a couple of years. I have never seen a guy work harder than him and I doubt he leaves Wade. This guy is so loyal and just the perfect teammate. I think that he loves Miami so much that he might re sign even if it means taking the minimum and getting a larger deal the next year. Just thought I'd mention him, but I don't think he leaves Miami
Drew Gooden- For some reason, despite his ability to rebound and score Gooden has been on like seven teams in seven years. I think he is also a good compliment to Chris Andersen because of scoring ability. He's surprisingly young and I thought he had a great year. But his major problem is consistency and that is why he will never be more than a good bench big. Also I'm not sure his current market value, but if he'd sign for what he did last year with Dallas (4.5 mil only 1 guaranteed) then I would sign him instantly (b/c if he doesn't work out that's a great trading chip. He's like the JR Smith of big man actually. On day he'll get 20 and 10, the next 3 and 5.
Josh Powell- Might be a good option as fifth big man for the minimum. Nothing more than a younger Malik Allen.
Kurt Thomas- I don't know if he's planning on retiring but, he could definately help us still. He is a good defender and rebounder and is probably at the same point as Ben Wallace right now. The only difference is Kurt isn't as athletic yet taller and can hit a jumper.
Aaron Gray- He's been linked to the Nuggets a couple of times and his huge body could be good to have on the bench. At this point though, I think he might be worse then Petro, but he's still young, so worth the minimum.
Channing Frye- Kind of pisses me off, because he came exteremly close to being a Nugget this past summer, then blew up on the scene as one of the better bench bigs in the league. While he did get over-rated by many towards the end of the year, he is still a really good fit to this Nuggets team. A big that can shoot the three is a rare comodity and would open up the paint for Nene, Melo and Ty. Then again he is pretty soft on defense and not a good rebounder. Something tells me that the FO will look into him strongly.
Luis Admunson- He's an undersized big man, that to me is a poor man's Anderson Varajao. Meaning he flops and gets under the opponents skin (ask Nene and Zach Randolph). He'd be nice to have, but I don't think he should ever be on the court the same time as Andersen.
Matt Bonner- I'm hearing the Celtics might want to get him, which doesn't surprise me, but he's worth a look at because he tries hard to make up for his complete lack of athleticism. Also like Frye, his 3 point shooting could really open up the floor for penetration.
Amir Johnson-Now I always thought he was restricted, but according to ESPN he isn't. I can't see Toronto letting him go, but if they do he's a great fit on the Nuggets. He's in the same mold as Tyrus Thomas and HAkim Warrick, and I would probably consider him to not be that expensive. Maybe 4 years 18 millions dollars. Similar to Brandon Bass' contract last year b/c they're similar players.
Brian Zoubek- Just because he's a giant white guy who could rebound. I'm pretty sure the Nuggets will invite him to summer league but so will a couple of other teams I guess. I could see him becoming like Krylo Fesenko of Utah and wouldn't be bad to have as the 13th player. Pretty much, I would like to replace Brian Butch with Zoubek.
Now I just threw out almost all the big men in free agency that the Nuggets have a realistic chance of getting. Now just because we have the full MLE doesn't mean Stan will spend it. Also potential trades (Kenyon for Biedrins, filler) could alter the need of more of a Center, to a power forward.
So like with this current team, IMO the ideal players to get would be Chandler or Haywood or Miller; where as with Biedrins potentially replacing Kenyon, I'd think either an athletic PF like Warrick or Johnson would be nice or a shooting PF like Frye or Gooden would be best next to Biedrins.