Well....these last few games have sucked.
Without Ty, this team is terrible. There are no PGs, Foye is trying but he can't do it alone. Ill Will is not the scorer we need in Ty's absence. There is zero frontcourt defense even from Arthur and Mozgov at the moment, Hickson and Faried don't even need to be mentioned...
So what is the solution? We aren't winning a championship this year with the current group of players and even if we make a trade or two or three I'm still skeptical about the chances this year. So let's focus on the future:
This almost makes too much sense for both teams in my opinion. The Hawks are starting Demarre Carroll at the 3 and Gustavo Ayon at the 5. Chandler and Hickson are upgrades at those respective positions for a team that could win a playoff series and maybe steal one from the Pacers or Heat if they get lucky. They get Jordan Hamilton as well to provide some depth and enticement in this deal.
The Nuggets get Al Horford and Dennis Schroeder. It could be argued that Millsap has been better than Horford in their short time together before Horford got injured. He will be out for the season but could be a big upgrade for the Nuggets at either position (the 4 in my scenarios). Schroeder has underwhelmed in his time in a Hawks uni and is third on the depth chart behind Teague and Sheldon Mack. He gets a fresh start in Denver and will get a ton of playing time here to develop his game for the rest of the season.
There have been many guesses as to the future of Kenneth Faried in a Nuggets uni. I am of the opinion that his potential has topped out. He has shown a nice mid range shot on occasion but his defense is lacking due to lack of size and mental focus to accept the schemes. He has not improved as many thought he would, and is still going to look for that new 8-10 mil deal for four (possibly five) years! We can't give him that if we wanna be a championship team. Maybe six mil, but not ten. He goes to the Rockets to start next to D12 and many of their fans have pined for him in trade rumors. They get Asik off their backs and get Miller as well. Can you imagine Miller throwing lobs to Harden, Faried, D12, Terrence Jones and Chandler Parsons? He will succeed there in a limited role behind Lin, Brooks and Harden, especially with their propensity for small ball.
The Nuggets get back Asik and Cannon. While many Nuggets fans may not be happy with this trade return, Asik is exactly what the Nuggets need in a starting Center right now. A defensive anchor. JJ Hickson is a good offensive player but he doesn't need to be! Many fans have been pining for the Nuggets to start Mozgov, but because the spot is being given to McGee, that will never happen unless trades are made. Shaw needs his Hibbert, his Shaq, his defensive anchor, not an undersized offensive guy who is a window on defense. They get back Cannon as well to backup Schroeder at the PG position so he can get 15-20 minutes to develop as well. But this trade is about acquiring a defense for the future. Pairing Asik and Horford with Moz off the bench would allow Shaw to truly implement his defensive schemes and turn this team around next year.
Trade 3: Javale McGee for a bag of chips
This trade may rub people the wrong way, but they need to make this happen in the Nuggets were to actually make the first two trades. Asik, Horford and McGee on the same team with their current contracts would combine for about 32 mil out of the 60 mil salary cap. Combine that with the 12 mil of Lawson and 11 mil of Gallo and that's 55 mil to five players. Of those five players, Mcgee is the least useful and most volatile. Lawson is the engine, Asik is the anchor, Horford is the post scorer, Gallo is the glue guy and clutch scorer. McGee is the....head case and "potential" contributor? No thanks. Trade him to a team willing to take on his contract and try to get a back a valuable bench piece or two or a highish draft pick. The salary is the main thing though. A rebuilding team cannot deal with that...
So in review, the Nuggets lose Chandler, Faried, Hickson, McGee, Miller and Hamilton and get back Horford, Asik, a couple of developmental PGs and whatever a team wants to give up for McGee (I honestly don't care). How does this help this year? It doesn't, because in this scenario, I shut down Lawson, start Schroeder, Fours, Miller, Arthur, and Asik (have to start him if you trade for him), and hope for the highest possible pick between the Knicks and us. If all goes according to plan, Nuggets end the season with over 50 losses and a chance to improve an eastern conference team or two to ruin the Knicks sub .500 playoff chances.
The 2014 draft is obviously loaded, but I don't think Dante Exum will be available. After Marcus Smart's recent outburst, I'm not sure if I want him either. In the 6-10 range we should definitely target a SG that can stretch the defense out to 30 feet. Who better to do this than Tyler Ennis who just hit a 35 foot buzzer beater last night? He may be 6'2, but he's a developing star IMO. If we are just looking for upside, Zach Lavine from UCLA would be even better as he is 6'5, insane hops, and a developing shooter. This group would be competing as soon as next year in my opinion. A starting five of Lawson, Lavine (maybe Foye if he's not ready), Gallo, Horford, Asik is defensively improved and maintains the offensive capability to consistently put up 100 a night. With the recent onslaught of PFs that have killed the Nuggets, we see that interior defenders are truly underrated, especially since we currently have no one that is above average defensively right now.
PG: Lawson, Schroeder, Cannon
SG: Foye, Lavine, Fournier
SF: Gallo, Miller
PF: Horford, Arthur, Randolph
C: Asik, Mozgov
This rotation just looks cleaner and better than what we are currently using and provides defined roles for everyone. Anyone who has a better idea please tell me because the current group is hard to watch. I want to watch an exciting, competitive team again and this is the best idea I got!