The Nuggets shopping list

So I have thought about what the Nuggets really need, and what they really need is a power forward, and let me tell you this,  that it is not Kenyon Martin.   The Nuggets weakness, and which has been for the past 5-6 years is rebounding, so take the jump with me as I examine who should be the Nuggets starting power forward next year, along with possibly the next starting center.

Welcome to the jump, where we examine who should be our next power forward, where tattoos and long arms are the norm, and where only people who dare enter the trenches may enter, so let us see what exactly the Nuggets will need in order to compete in the west next season, or the belayed next season,  but that is another story.   


1.  Kenyon Martin-  While he still has his fans,  he is still in my book a bit of an overrated piece,  I appreciate the attitude he brings, but I do not appreciate his inability to rebound, block or shoot,   and I cringe everytime I see him throw the ball at the rim like it was Corey Maggette.   To me, at this point in his career he should not be a starting power forward for any team, but I think his talent level right now is about where Taj Gibson is,  someone who can come off the bench and grab a few boards, play some tough defense and put in a few tip-ins, but nothing more substantial than that,  if he would come back to the Nuggets for under 3 mil, I think he would be a solid contributor off the bench, but anything more would be a waste in my opinion, he is just not a starting quality anymore.  Whenever he is paired with Nene, they fail to rebound well together as a front-court,  as they have carried the team to 19-25th in rebounds every year that they have been in the starting front court, which is a glaring weakness the Thunder took advantage of in the first round of this years playoffs.   For much of the season Melo was the leading rebounder of the Nuggets before he was traded, which just showed how bad of a rebounder Nene is, and how bad he always will be, and Kenyon has never been a good rebounder for all his athleticism.  


2.  Nene -  Is he really worth 12+ million a year?  His defense, while above average, in terms of on-man defense is great, but he never plays help defense, and he gets too finesse with his defense just like his offense, always trying to play a pretty game of basketball,  like Pau Gasol when he played for the Grizzlies,  and  it never works unless you can balance it with some cohesive aggressiveness, which Nene does show in glimpses, and benefits very much so, but he can never keep it up,  always coming back to earth to play his finesse form of basketball, which works in strides, but without any balance of aggressiveness, he just disappears  all too often.    Averaging 6.9 rebounds per game throughout his career, he has never had a desire for rebounding, even though he did well in the playoffs, he still has been disappointing in my opinion, can he really carry the load at the center position?  How many centers in the NBA have been successful while averaging below 8 rebounds a game?  For a guy with such physical tools, it surprises me that people like Kevin Love can average twice as much rebounds as Nene, despite being less athletic, smaller, and with less experience than him, and no matter how good of a defensive team we are with Nene, if we let the other team continue to grab offensive rebounds on us, than we won't ever have post-season success,  so something has to give, we can't continue to have a Kenyon-Nene front court.


3. George Karl-   Has been on the record of saying that size is not that important, because, and I paraphrase, that teams have been successful without having size on their team, citing teams like the Chicago Bulls (who had a player who could actually rebound well in Rodman)  and the last Detroit team to win a championship, (Who also had a very good rebounder in Ben Wallace)  even though those teams were the exceptions, not the norm, and for every team that has won the championship, I can name 3 who went to the finals, only to lose because they were overwhelmed by size, including the Nets  team who were dominated by the Lakers and Spurs in the finals, having only Kenyon Martin to anchor the front-court, facing off two of the best big men of this decade in Shaq and Tim Duncan.  Another example are the 76ers when Allen Iverson carried his team to the finals, who only had Mutumbo to anchor the frontcourt against Shaq.  George Karl does not understand that without someone who can actually rebound well, no matter how good his team is offensively, you will lose out eventually the deeper you get into the playoffs which surprises me for someone who has trouble getting deep into the playoffs.  Maybe he likes to be a good coach who can never achieve greatness, maybe he likes to waddle in his mediocrity because it is easy. 


Yea, that is the message to send to the team, "oh dearest me"


So Kenyon Martin is too aggressive and can't rebound, and Nene is too soft and can't rebound, solution? 


Get somebody who can rebound.


Now is that person Mozgov or Kostas Koufos?  No,  Kostas had one good game last year against a team trying to lose, that isn't a good sign if you ask me, and if Jerry Sloan couldn't develop him, I doubt George Karl can.  Mozgov just doesn't scream 10 points - 10 rebounds per game,  he is very clumsy and his post game needs a lot of work to develop, he is quite athletic though and has a knack for put backs, and I think he shows much more potential than Kostas, but he is a project I think, and he has never shown in his career if he could be a reliable rebounder except for a few games, one I think was against the Suns, which don't even have a frontcourt.


So, that leads us to the draft, now the real question is, do we get a center to play at center and move Nene to Power forward, or do we draft a power forward and kick Kenyon Martin out of town?  Well  if we can draft someone who has the potential to be a great rebounder, than I think we need to get a power forward who can rebound very well, and obviously many Nuggets fans have their eyes on..


Kenneth Faried-


Strengths: High energy post player who excels at doing the dirty work, in particular rebounding, defending and banging in the post ... Plays with exuberance and aggressiveness ... An above average, fluid athlete who is willing to sacrifice his body ... Huge hands help him to secure rebounds. Athletic body ... An excellent run/jump athlete with explosive leaping ability ... His long arms and explosiveness help to compensate for his lack of ideal size ... One of the most dominant interior forces on the college level, leads the nation in rebounds at 13.3 rpg ... A good shot blocker with timing and instincts ... Also extremely active defensively - leading the OVC in steals at 2.3 per game, very impressive for a bigman ... Offensive game has shown solid improvement ... His lack of versatility and offense actually makes him a stronger role player as he focuses most of his time and energy on improving his rebounding, defense and post play ... Has a great feel for positioning and using his length and quickness to gather rebounds ... An excellent out of area rebounder ... Competes hard, seems to have tireless energy ... Has a developing jump hook shot that he has added to his repertoire ...

Weaknesses: Undersized both in height (6'8) and weight (225 lbs) to play the 4 position at the NBA level ... Has to overcome the disadvantages of playing at Morehead, Kentucky in a smaller (Ohio Valley) Conference ... Scouts are less likely to give credence to standout stats against lesser opponents ... Needs to further develop his post skills. His moves are too predictable even against lesser competition ... Lacks any real face the basket skills. Touch and consistency are not great. Scores mostly on put backs and buckets where he gains deep position in the paint, or is able to outclass opponents with his athleticism ... A poor free throw shooter at below 60% throughout his college career. Doesn't have terrible form, but needs to focus and improve his routine some ... Passing and vision are limited. Needs to decrease turnovers. Gets far too many giveaways for someone that doesn't really use the bounce to set up baskets nor look to create offense for others ... Average at finishing non-dunks around the basket ...

Notes: Declared early but withdrew from the 2010 NBA draft ... Considered a possible late first round pick by scouts for the 2011 NBA draft ... The recent success of undersized power forwards (Millsap, Blair, Maxiell, etc) helps his cause ... Has drawn comparisons to Dennis Rodman and had a chance to speak with his idol who advised him to approach every rebound as if it were his ...

Demonte Harper provided the last second heroics as Morehead State toppled Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a little under a week ago, but it was Faried who denied the Cardinal's last second shot and carried his team as he so regularly has throughout his four year career as an Eagle. Tallying 17 rebounds in that game, and 13 in Morehead's subsequent loss to Richmond in the round of 32, Faried did the same thing he's done his entire career: hustle, play with toughness, and pursue absolutely every loose ball on both ends.

Though Faried has collected many of his NCAA modern-era record 1673 rebounds against less than elite competition in the OVC, his performance against Louisville was one of a number of eye-opening outings he's turned in against top competition. Going for 20 and 18 at Florida and 15 and 12 versus Ohio State back in November amongst a handful of other double-doubles against top-25 teams in previous years, Faried has proven that he can get the job done against comparably talented prospects. The question is where that places him heading into the 2011 NBA Draft.

At this juncture, NBA scouts have seen plenty of the New Jersey native, despite his small-school pedigree. They know he's going to pursue every loose ball, they expect to see him dive on the floor to make 50-50 plays, and they've grown used to his constant hustle. More than anything, they are familiar with the many quirks that characterize his game and NBA potential. While Faried offers clear value as a rebounder, the way the rest of his game translates to the NBA are a bit murkier as you can see in the following video we compiled illustrating both his strengths and weaknesses:

Even though I have my concerns for him, like why didn't he go to one of the bigger schools in the Big Ten or ACC, I still he think he is a very good athlete, not quite near Kenyon Martin status (Bearcat version anyway) I still think he can be a very good rebounder next to Nene, despite having yet another undersized frontcourt, that is exactly what George Karl wants anyways going back to the small Sonics team with athletic freaks like Shawn Kemp.   So if Kenneth is drafted, and called upon to be the starting power forward in training camp, could he produce points, let alone his bread and butter, rebounds?  It is too early to tell, but with Lawson driving the lane, I think he can get his points off slam dunks and put backs, I just hope he does not turn out like S. Williams, and I am sure most Nuggets fans are aware of how much of a offensive liability he was.




Tobias Harris-



Strengths: Tobias is a talented, combo forward with a skill-set suited for NBA play ... Has good versatility and a great feel for the game ... His ability to handle the ball makes him a tough match-up for opposing bigs, however he'll need to develop a consistent outside stroke to make him more of a threat off the dribble ... He uses a combination of strength and agility to either overpower or elude his defender ... He has broad shoulders solid upperbody with plenty of room to fill out ... Harris has the ability to put the ball on the floor, with a deceivingly quick first step that creates mismatch problems at the high post ... Shows timely slashing across the middle, where he can catch and score in the paint with either hand ... He has an excellent touch and feel around the basket, finding ways to convert on floaters and runners in the lane... Positions his body effectively for easy opportunities in the low post ... Solid leaper ... His long arms and upper-body strength should help him on the defensive side of the ball moving forward ... Has a lot of potential being one of the youngest players in the entire draft. Unlike many freshmen, he's an 18 year old ... A bright kid. A gymrat who works hard on his game and shows a mature "professional" mindset ...

Weaknesses: At 6'8, he's slightly undersized at the power forward position, and lacks the athleticism, explosiveness and foot speed to guard most NBA small forwards ... He also lacks a refined post game, missing a go-to back to the basket move - relies too much on his pure feel for the basket ... Inconsistent spot up shooter without threatening range. Shows good form but did not shoot with very good numbers ... Pull-up or step-back jumper not currently in his repertoire ... Lack of great footspeed inhibits his ability to attack the rim off the dribble despite having quality ball handling ability ... Body appears a little pudgy. He needs to shed the babyfat and tone his body some ...


I like Tobias, he seems like a really fluid player offensively, he just does not have the athletic ability of some players in the draft, but I think he can be a solid player if Hess bulked him up a bit,  he could be a Paul Millsap type of player, I have seen some highlights and he has a very nice touch and feel for the basket.



Lucas Nogueira-


Strengths: Brazil's next big basketball hope after Nene and Leandro Barbosa ... One of the most promising International players of the next generation ... At just 18 years of age, shows a great deal of potential ... An athletic specimen ... Shows tremendous length and great balance ... Runs the floor like a deer, makes quick moves. Can change directions quickly. Very springy ... A big time shot blocker using his length and leaping ability to be an eraser around the basket ... Excellent on the break where he uses his tremendous fluidity and speed to convert dunks ... Shows some offensive ability with a solid shooting touch and ability to knock down free throws ... Tremendous rebounder. Shows good hands.
Weaknesses: The big knock against Lucas "Bebe" is that he is lazy ... Sources around the team claim that he is a little bit difficult to deal with and already has a star's attitude ... Nothing can derail a promising career faster than a kid not willing to put the work in, so for Lucas, keeping his head on straight, continuing to work hard and focusing on his development is crucial if he's going to realize his vast potential ... Must continue to develop his upper body and overall strength ... Still extremely skinny. 200 lbs. Must bulk up, but shows wiry strength and should be able to add weight successfully without diminishing his agility ... Needs to keep developing his offensive game, prove himself against a high level of competition ...


He would be real interesting next to Nene.. but I don't know anything about him to be honest.


so, what do you think is this years biggest need for our team?  Do you think we should draft one of these guys?  Or do you think we shouldn't trade anyone, and keep the roster as it is, what do you think are the Nuggets biggest needs?

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