With all the questions surrounding the team this off-season its certainly not going to be an easy task for new GM Masai Uriji to decide which direction he should go with the expiring contracts we have available.
A lot of things will factor his decision such as the team record at the trade deadline, Injuries and whether he thinks we have a legit chance at keeping Melo.
Last season expiring contracts were highly valuable as teams were in the hunt for the big name free agents. Unfortunately they wont be as valuable this season as the free agent market isn't as good so we wont be getting too much value in return for them. The main market for them will be teams not doing well in need of a rebuild (like Washington last year) which can prove beneficial to a team like the nuggets if we are in a good spot for competing
While trying to make up my mind as to what plan I think would be best for the team I thought of our options
- Trade the expirings for talent - Benefits of this would be a easy way to get talented role players and a chance to keep Melo happy without giving up too much. Disadvantages would be taking on long contracts which would surely backfire if Melo leaves
- Keep them - This would benefit us greatley if we were in need to rebuild (Meloleaves) and we could have a chance to pick up a decent free agent. we would be one of the front runners as we have probably the most money coming off next year
If Masai really wants to keep Melo he would likely have to take a big gamble and trade them to a team for locked up big contracts and hope that it turns out well and is enough to convince Melo to Sign the extension
If he is convinced we cant keep our superstar he would prepare us for a unexciting rebuild and likely trade Melo.
At the end of the day really the question is how bad does the FO want Melo as the face and leader of this team.
After some thought
Taking in consideration of teams likely to be performing badly this season and in need of cap space these are the players I think could be had this season with expiring contracts
- Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers - The sixers have a chance to be alright this season barring injury with the addition of Evan turner but in reality they know they wont do anything special untill Elton Brand is gone. The team was bad last year and one added rookie wont change too much. The team doesn't work together well especially when the best two players are the same position. They might as well rebuild over and with no expiring contracts of their own Iggy will almost certainly be gone better get in quick tough if you want him as other teams like us i.e jazz and hornets have expiring deals also and could use his scoring
- Andris Biedrins, Golden State warriors - Its no secret the Nuggets are in need of a true center and Biedrins would fit that role nicely Allowing Nene to slide to PF. But would he be enough to keep Melo and is he the best option we have with the expiring contracts? He would be a bit of a gamble as he has had injury issues and dropped performance last season also how would he fit in with the team and chemistry?
- Emeka Okafor, Hornets - New Orleans is in a similar situation to us trying to do enough to keep Chris Paul only they have two years to do it. Maybe they realise this current team isn't enough and ship Okafor out and use the cap space along with their own expirings to be big players next year letting Paul have his choice of team mates from Free agency. But if Okafor isn't good enough for CP3 why would Melo settle for him? I cant imagine it being the FO's first choice but may have to gamble and hope he works better for us
- Rip Hamilton, Detroit Pistons - everyone knows it wouldn't be hard to get Rip from 'wings r us' Detroit with his contract too large and his replacements in place already its a matter of first team to bite gets him. Rip could flourish on a winning team and would be everything we hoped J.R would be, at least for this year. but like the rest of these listings he comes with an unfriendly contract. His chemistry wouldn't be a problem as he is already good friends with chauncey plus anythings better than J.R really
- Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers - Cleveland was in our situation last year adding risky veterans with large contracts in hopes of keeping their star. It failed and the aftermath isn't pretty. they would gladly send Antawn out for expiring contracts but whether it would work for Denver is unsure. We need size and Jamison wouldn't be any bigger than what we have but he still works hard and averages more boards than Nene
In my ideal situation I would send Kmart to GS for Biedrins and either Gadzuric or Radmanovic then keep Beans and pair the other with J.R and a pick and send to Philly for iguodala.
*Picks may need to be involved for us to take back Biedrins depending how he/Kmart is performing at the deadline (i know that trade was discussed before not sure who didn't want to go through us or them?) but philly would need one if we would get Iggy
So what does everyone think please tell me what you think would the above deal work? how much value does iggy have these days I know he nearly went to Cleveland for big Z and JJ hickson last year so cant be that hard right?