That is the question that I am sure is on everyone's mind, along with the rest of this year but where does this team direct itself? The Tradeline is looming and all is for certain that this team is not only cutting costs but looking for a young core to rebuild with, but who are these players? How do we attain them? That is something I will try my best to dissect in this article, but be warned, that while this may come off as a tad optimistic, the future of our Nuggets could be very dark and very bleak, such is the world. Prepare to meet familiar faces such as the dynamic (and sometimes not so dynamic) Ty Lawson, Nene and could it be? Yes, that is right.. the crime stopper himself, Balkman.
Look at the standings, our Denver Nuggets currently reside at 7th place in the Western conference division heading into the All-star break, and we have came from being possible Lakers slayers to mediocrity, even with Carmelo Anthony still on this team our chances of winning a championship are about as likely as Hell freezing over, the only possible playoff hopes we can realistically attain to is having a first round match up with the Dallas Mavericks who we match up with very well indeed, but it will all be futile once we face the likes of the Spurs. The very thought of keeping Carmelo Anthony just to drive into a gunfight with hardly enough gas to get us there, let alone do any sort of significant damage once Billups is too tired to carry on in the post-season, Melo is disinterested and mostly ticked off that he didn't get traded or got the money he was seeking for, when K-mart is a shadow of his former self because of injuries along with Chris Anderson, whom I will no longer refer to as Birdman seeing as that name should be reserved for people who can jump, and the rest of the team can't carry the load to win in the playoffs. We currently have the 5th highest payroll in the league, only 700,000 away from the Boston Celtics. We will not win with Carmelo Anthony and anyone who believes that it is better to keep Carmelo Anthony than to trade him for a pick and some young hopefuls should immediately wake up from their dream world.
Rebuilding is inevitable ladies and gentleman and so we will need to make sure that our rebuilding process is set for as much potential success as possible and not trading Carmelo would be the worst way to damage our rebuilding process. Below I will list which players who provide the strongest trading chip for us to have in return young assets and just as importantly, draft picks. Most players are not safe, and some of you might not like to hear that some of these players can be traded, but if we want to get back into contention as fast as possible we will need to trade some of the players we have become familar to and have in some cases been attached to. I will not mention the likes of Ely or Anthony Carter because they have no trade value and are cheap, so they are inconsequential whichever way you look at it.
Nene will undoubtedly, without a doubt be retired when he turns to the age of 33 according to his own words in this article- http://nba.fanhouse.com/2009/10/04/brazils-nene-vows-to-retire-by-2016-olympics-to-focus-on-religi/
So if we are hoping to rebuild then does it make sense to hold onto Nene? He is one of the best big men in the NBA when the amount of talent at the PF/C position is about as meatless as an Antelope carcass after the Lions, Hyenas, vultures and bears have scavenged off any little scraps they could get. If we were to receive the New York's trade offer for Carmelo Anthony, which would be a combination of either Gallo, Chandler, Curry, Fields,Mosgov, or more unlikely, Felton and 1 or 2 draft picks which would leave us with some young and hopeful talent in the future as most of those players are under 25 years of age then does it make more sense to keep Nene to be apart of a lineup of young players which would not reach their prime until Nene is just about to retire? Or does it make more sense to trade Nene before the trade deadline and receive even more possible young talent and draft picks? Even if Melo was to be traded to the Nets, no matter how unlikely that is at this point and we were to receive Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round draft picks it would still make sense to trade Nene for young talent and draft picks, just less so because the talent given and draft picks would give us a greater chance of success at a rebuild, so it would be more likely we wouldn't trade Nene but it still might be a better idea if we want more possible chances of a rebuilding success.
What can we get from Nene you ask? Well quite a lot, and his trade chip is more valuable to us than Melo because our options are much more diverse seeing as Nene does not want to play in one particular place if he was to be traded unlike Carmelo Anthony. I have pondered on some ideas,here, here and here just imagine 1 or 2 draft picks coming to us, or not depending on your bias, feel free to throw out your ideas as well. As much as I love Nene when he plays at his best, he is a player you want when you are contending for a title, not a player you build around in a rebuilding process, and since we are looking to get cheap young and promising talent and draft picks and not pieces to the contending puzzle which Nene is, it is only logical to trade him to a team that can offer us young talent so they can continue to contend while we receive young talent such as Batum possibly, who is only 22 and has shown promise in some games this year and plays pretty good defense for his age and he is going to be a very good SF in this league eventually. If you could argue that Nene should be kept in a rebuilding process then you would have to understand that by the time the young core aside of Nene hits their prime like I said, he will already be ready for retirement..
J.R Smith is playing pretty good this year, not his best mind you as some have said, he is regressing in some areas somewhat like he is getting better in other areas, which are things he used to be good at which he is bad at now, and things he was bad at that he is good at now. Confusing? Well that is J.R Smith, who is shooting a pretty awful 40% from the field yet his 37% from 3 point land is near his fg% all together. His personal problems are to a minimum this year even though he has had his run-ins with George Karl this year and has been put in the dog house. He is young, and if he is part of a rebuild, I still think he would retain his current position as a spark off the bench because Arron Afflalo is a legitimate starter. However, if we can trade him, there are some suitors who would possibly be willing to give up assets we need, teams that need shooting guards? The Chicago Bulls, they have a true Achilles Hills at the shooting guard position, Keith Bogans has been playing pretty bad basketball and we could get a couple assets from the Bulls for J.R Smith, mainly Taj Gibson, who is 26 and would be a solid cheap middling talent that would help in a rebuilding process while bring proven talent along with him. I would not advise this and rather keep J.R Smith, but he might not be the best for a rebuilding team, many contending teams could use a 6th man like J.R Smith as many good teams have a pretty mediocre bench. I would not be surprised though if the Nuggets would look to trade him before the deadline if they could get enough to pull the trigger despite the general manager saying on record he wants to keep him as apart of his future plans for the Nuggets.
So in summary, we need to get as many possible young assets as possible so our rebuilding success is as potentially as great as it can and that means possibly trading our most valuable chips while they still have value so we can get as many young and cheap talent with upswing so not only would we be under the cap of 58 million for the new CAA, but we would have a good load of young talent and draft picks which equals into more young talent, this does not mean that we would turn out like the Oklahoma Thunder, or the Portland Trailblazers could of been if it wasn't for those injuries the past few years (and trust me, they would of dominated for years with a healthy Oden, Aldridge, Camby, Pryz, Miller, Rudy, Batum, Roy team) but it is most important for the good of the team to get as many young assets and draft picks as possible to get to that point rather than keeping players like Nene and even Billups who from what I understand is welcomed to join the Nuggets front office whenever he wants too after he retires, Billups is always welcomed into this organization as far as I am concerned.
We can be this
Thank you for reading.
Part 1 of 2.