The NBA trade deadline is 14 days away. Should the Nuggets make a move?
The Nuggets need nothing.
And yet they need everything.
At virtually every position, the Nuggets don't have a top-10 player. To their credit, they don't have a bottom-10 starting player, either. This scenario makes it very difficult to decide whether or not a pre-deadline trade is in order.
The Nuggets have a roster that - when healthy - is built for regular season success. Success that could translate as high as a four-seed perhaps. But I don't think anybody believes that this incarnation of the Nuggets will be the first All Star-less NBA team in league history to win a championship. Not this season, anyway.
So what's a team like our Nuggets to do with the March 15th trade deadline looming on the near horizon? Do they trade away a few solid players for one All-Star? Do they stand pat?
I'll let my fellow Stiffs debate that question, but other than moving Chris Andersen the Nuggets should stand stoically as the trade deadline comes and goes. The Nuggets had a pre-season strategy of using the truncated 66-game season to see exactly what assets they have. When healthy, those assets looked pretty damn good and had our Nuggets as high as second in the overall Western Conference standings. But when the injury bug (or should I say ankle bug?) struck the team, the Nuggets plummeted dramatically into ninth position.
In hindsight, the Nuggets were probably overachieving somewhat prior to February and greatly underachieving throughout February. So unless there's a home run, can't miss trade laying out there for Masai Ujiri to grab hold of, the Nuggets should ride out the remainder of the season with the roster as-is.
The Nuggets aren't a move away from becoming a conference finals or NBA Finals contender. They need one or two of their not-top 10 players to develop into top-10 players (Danilo Gallinari at small forward, Ty Lawson at point guard and Timofey Mozgov at center are the only three Nuggets who could become top-10 players at their respective positions), and then maybe they'll be a move away from climbing up the NBA playoff ladder.
But we won't know what they've got until the season plays out to its finality.
On to the links ...
Andrew Feinstein with Sandy Clough 3/1
I joined FM 104.3 The Fan's Sandy Clough to talk about criticizing Nuggets head coach George Karl.
George Karl is still a bad coach
Wages of Wins' Andres Alvarez argues that Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos and Chris Andersen are among the most underplayed big men in the NBA.
Kiszla: Nuggets should consider Faried to fill in more for Nene
Mark Kiszla is on the Kenneth Faried bandwagon.
George Karl sees healthy team on the horizon
Is Danilo Gallinari close to coming back?
South Stands Denver Fancast | - Stiff's Feinstein: don't point the finger at George Karl
Colin Daniels looks around and wonders who else could possibly coach the Nuggets better than Karl.