Ty Lawson. Is he the star of the Nuggets future?
In an article on SI.com by Zach Lowe, we find an analysis of the Nuggets' against the grain approach to team building started the day of the Carmelo Anthony trade. Rather than go for the traditional "be horrible/be lucky" approach taken by other teams (most notably the Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder) the Nuggets have chosen to acquire good players at every position, be deep at every position, and (supposedly) acquire assets for a later trade to improve the team.
It is assumed that the Nuggets are merely stockpiling movable assets in order to trade for a superior "star" to carry the team in the traditional way. However, it's an approach that is not without its own risk. The kinds of trades that get you star talent are contingent upon your "movable" assets being desirable to other teams. The kinds of assets the Nuggets have acquired may not be the kind of players a rebuilding team wants (expiring deals ... cheap, short contracts). Conversely, these assets may not be good enough for contending teams to unload comparative/upgraded talent to the Nuggets. Keep in mind all these contracts (aside from peripheral players such as Corey Brewer and Al Harrington's partially guaranteed contract) are four years or more ... with Ty Lawson pending.
A move of magnitude requires these so-called movable assets to at the very least perform up to, and in some cases (JaVale McGee) exceed their extended contracts. In that sense, if they do why would you want to move them? Which leads me to believe we must take Masai Ujiri at his word. We must see growth in these players, if not the gamble may not pay off in the way people are thinking. I tend to believe that these players (Danilo Gallinari, Lawson, McGee, and maybe Wilson Chandler) will take some large steps forward this season. Let's not assume that the grand plan is to unload at the slightest sign of under - performance. Maybe, just maybe, the goal is actual development rather than an over-glorified meat market?
It's something to think about. Will the Nuggets plan make them future contenders? Or be something completely different?