Extensions galore down at the Extension Depot, otherwise known as the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets extended both Gallo (4 years $42 million with additional incentives) and, surprisingly, Kosta Koufos (3 years $9 million) yesterday. This gives us pause to think about the direction the team is going in the next couple seasons. It's clear with the signing of Nene Hilario and Arron Afflalo that the Nuggets are committed to a core of talent centered around those three (including Gallo) but what does it mean for the rest of the roster. It goes without saying that Ty Lawson will be extended an offer soon (Ty still has one year of guaranteed salary, and a Qualifying offer the year after) and he is definitely part of the "core".
Decisions will need to be made about Rudy Fernandez, Andre Miller, Chris Andersen and Timofey Mozgov (who has a guaranteed salary for next season with no team or player option) in the next several months. The Nuggets must address their peripherals in to the next off season. So what should they do? Two things that are looking increasingly likely are the Birdman no longer being on the roster in the coming months (either through trade or amnesty) and letting Andre Miller go in free agency.
While some would argue that Bird's contract isn't prohibitive (which it isn't) and they might as well play him while he winds down his career with the Nuggets, it is clear that Bird no longer get's the minutes he used to and George Karl has lost a certain amount of trust in him (Bird has received a couple Did Not Play - Coaches Decision's this year). Couple that with the extension of Kosta Koufos and you increasingly have a marginalized Birdman. Unless Bird can miraculously escape father time and become the player he was 3 seasons ago I think the handwriting may be on the wall.
Andre Miller most likely will not re-sign. He has the desire to start, and the value of signing a aging vet only makes sense at a "team friendly" cost. If 'Dre won't agree to those terms them, I'm afraid, the Nuggets have to let him walk. This leaves us with Rudy and Moz. All signs point to Mozgov being retained after next season because the Nuggets love his upside (and his inclusion reportedly held up the Carmelo Anthony trade). Rudy will most likely be extended a qualifying offer next season, but it remains to be seen if he will accept. He could potentially get more money playing in Spain. The Nuggets like Rudy, and Rudy seems to enjoy playing in Denver. Hopefully something can be worked out.
All in all, Nuggets fans, the future is now. It seems that Gallo is determined to step it up this year, and played a fantastic game after he signed his new contract. It's starting look bright around here, be sure to bring your shades.
Spaceballs-When Will Then be Now? (via shadowclaw46)
On to the Links
Happy days are here again for Nuggets, minus Melo - Mark Kiszla, Denver Post
Ok folks, this is Kiszla so proceed at your own risk. However I believe he's pretty good in this particular article. Try to enjoy!
Denver Nuggets extend contracts of Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos - Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
Nuggets' beat writer Benjamin Hochman writes about the new extensions given to K2 and Gallo.
Nuggets' color announcer Scott Hastings answers fan man questions - Denver Post
Scott Hastings answers several questions in the Denver Posts' Fan Mail section. Topics include Gallo's new contract and Wilson Chandler.
Kroenke could be making a bid for the Dodgers - Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk.com
In the "hands in too many pies" portion of our program, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says that erstwhile Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke is making a bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Good for him - we will keep Josh and Masai thank you
The Association: Denver Nuggets - NBA.com
For those who missed the first episode last night. Here is the The Association: Denver Nuggets. Good Stuff
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