Nuggets Flexibility: a trade away from Contenders

So the Nuggets amnestied Birdman and signed Anthony Randolph at a very good price. With this move we have freed up the slightest amount of cap space, hopefully enough to sign Mcgee. So hopefully this would be our team in a few weeks.

Lawson/ Miller/ Stone

Afflalo/ Hamilton/ Fournier

Gallinari/ Wilson Chandler/ Brewer/ **Q.Miller

Faried/ Randolph/ Harrington

*Mcgee/ Mozgov/ Koufus

Is it possible to be 'too deep'? I have a feeling that the Denver Management is seeing this and is working to make a master trade. Out of our roster we have the following who are expendable:

Miller, Brewer, Chandler, Harrington, Moz, & KK

Actually, the only players that I believe are untouchable are Ty Lawson, Gallinari, Faried, and Mcgee. Now the debatable players would be Andre Miller who is loved by Karl but is wanted gone by many fans to let Ty flourish as the leading pg and Afflalo who was given a recent contract.

We Nuggets fans have all fallen in love with out up-tempo, unselfish, fastbreak team. But wouldn't it be nice to have that go-to guy? That one reliable scorer who can score in the half-court and give us 20 every night consistently is the missing piece to making the Nuggets a true competitor in the West.

I've been reading articles and posts and from 3 different prediction lists the Nuggets have been listed around the 8-10th best team next year. More specifically 5/6 in the West.

I decided to compare and rank the starting 5 of the 6 top teams in the West to see where exactly the Nuggets were and what they could improve on. By the way the 6 teams are the Spurs, Clippers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, and Nuggets.

PG: CP3, Parker, Nash, Lawson, Rubio, Conley

SG: Kobe, Ginobili, Afflalo, Crawford, Allen, Johnson

SF: Gay, Gallinari, Butler, Budinger, World-Peace, Jackson

PF: Love, Griffin, P. Gasol, Randolf, Faried, Blair

C: Bynum, M. Gasol, Duncan, Mcgee, Pekovic, Jordan

The Nugget's starters seem to fall somewhere in the middle of each of these positions. But we all know that we have the best bench by far out of these 6 teams.

You don't need me to remind you of how the Nuggets traded away Melo and what the Knicks gave. But taking that same approach is how the Nuggets need to trade to get their star player. With a young nucleus the Nuggets need to continue that approach and find a rising young star who can take the pressure of being that guy NOW.

So here's my proposal:

To Denver

Eric Gordon ($58mil.), Aminu ($8.3mil.), Smith ($7.5mil.)

To New Horleans

Chandler ($37mil.), Afflalo ($43mil.), A. Miller ($9mil.), Randolph ($6mil.), 2014 1st round pick (NYK)

If you do the math, New Orleans takes 21mil. extra in contract with this trade. However, the Hornets current salary is at around $40mil. for next year however, the league's floor/ minimum salary cap is set at about $50mil. So by adding another 21 mil. the Hornets would be at around 61mil. in salary next year. This gives them a comfortable $10 million under the luxury tax cap of $71 mil. SO, it all adds up.

Post trade line ups:

Nuggets: Lawson/ Stone

Gordon/ Hamilton/ Fournier

Gallinari/ Brewer/ Aminu

Faried/ Harrington/ Q.Miller

Mcgee/ Mozgov/ KK

*Jason Smith would be waived by the Nuggets


Miller/ Vasquez

Afflalo/ Rivers/ Henry

Chandler/ D.Miller

Davis/ Randolph

Anderson/ Zeller

Why would New Orleans benefit from this?

Eric Gordon made it pretty clear that he felt like his time was up with the Hornets and believed that the drafting of Rivers meant that the organization had plans for him. Also, by originally signing with the Phoenix Suns it can be implied that Gordon was ready to move to a team that hadn't established a star player yet and could build around him. So Gordon was already not thrilled to be stuck in New Orleans for another few seasons.

Also, after the trade the Hornets are a much more balanced team that adds great perimeter defence(to make up for River's lack of) along with some shooting and slashing on the wings. They also gain a veteran point guard who can help Anthony Davis' development as well as mentor Austin Rivers to learn the point guard position. Just to make the deal sweater the Hornets shed off Jason Smith's contract and replace him with a cheaper and 3 year younger player who has decent potential, as well as gaining a future 1st round pick that will likely be in the 20's.

With the Hornets cap before the trade they would have needed to sign at least $11mil. to meet the minimum salary cap required for every NBA team. $11mil. for one player would have been too much considering the talent left in the FA pool and signing a couple of players who were left in the FA pool wouldn't have been good additions.

Finally, this trade keeps New Orleans a young core that is locked in contract for at least 3 years so they can build chemistry and learn off one and other. This team is clearly stronger and more ready to compete than before this trade.

How does Denver benefit from this?

Ty Lawson, Eric Gordon, Danilo Gallinari, Faried, and Mcgee are all under 25 and still developing as players. After this trade each of them will be given more minutes and relied heavier which is great especially for Lawson and Gallo's development.

This new Denver team will complement Gordon well. Gordon will be the go-to scorer in the half-court game and can penetrate and shoot the 3 very well. Although similar to Lawson's offence, Gordon has more creativity in the half court and is 5 inches bigger which helps. Gallo is a fairly dependable scorer but doesn't demand the ball which will allow the two guards to completely run the offence and have the ball in their hands. Something the Nuggets missed was the reliability to keep the ball in Afflalo's hands to run some offence through him.

Despite the departure of Chandler and Afflalo's perimeter defence the Nuggets won't suffer too much. We never played with Chandler so his defence will not effect us negatively. While Afflalo played good defence will be missed, Eric Gordon is not a bad defender and Chandler's absence give Corey Brewer more playing time; a rugged wing defender with high energy who also saw his playoff time in front of Kobe.

With any concerns regarding the more shallow bench, I must admit something must be done. I don't believe Stone can handle being a full-time back up and I'm not sure how proven Hamilton is to give 10-12 minutes off the bench. However, this trade does give the Nuggets $21mil. more to spend in free agency to sign a back up point guard and/ or a more reliable back up 2 guard. Some suggestions could be Randy Foye for pg and Courtney Lee for an athletic 2 guard that fits the up tempo offence.

Let me know what you guys think about this proposal. I hope it's logical to and not too crazy.

Write respectfully of your SB Nation community and yourself.

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