Most of you (all of you should be!) are familiar with the Colorado Sports Guys podcast that I record with fellow Stiff Jeff Morton and Ross "Hipster Glasses" Martin. We get to rambling about all sorts of topics and dive off topic, frequently. That's what podcasting is all about ... a natural conversation, unscripted.
When I lived in Casper, Wyoming I drove back to Denver a lot. On those trips I began to listen to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, my addition was born. Soon thereafter, I purchased an iTrip - it plugged into my auxiliary car outlet, into my phone, and streamed the podcast goodness over a radio frequency. After moving back to Denver and finding updated technology, I purchased a bluetooth capable car stereo and now stream podcasts in my car wireless! Thank you podcast Gods!
I rarely sit in silence, if I'm cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, working out, driving, falling asleep, I'm most likely doing so while listening to some type of podcast. They have consumed me. This morning I was listening to The Lowe Post on the Grantland network. It's Zach Lowe's excellent NBA podcast and this week he had Lee Jenkins on, from Sports Illustrated, to talk about LeBron James and all sorts of NBA odds and ends.
Things got really interesting when Lowe started pondering Cleveland's need for a true rim protector. He discussed the slight decline of (and oft injured) Anderson Varejao, the trading away of Tyler Zeller, and how the Cavs could use some help in the paint to anchor their defense ... enter Denver. Now, this is just Lowe shooting the breeze on his podcast, but he mentioned the possibility of the Nuggets getting in the mix if a deal for Kevin Love and the Cavs comes to fruition.
Lowe mentioned Timofey Mozgov, JaVale McGee, and J.J. Hickson being possibilities the Cavs might consider in some type deal involving the Timberwolves or perhaps separate. Denver could consider moving one of their big men to clear playing time and salary from their roster, while getting some type of asset(s) in return.
In the podcast, Lowe sort of brushed off the possibility of LeBron wanting to play with McGee (if James is truly getting to be a player/GM-lite), but did mention how the Cavs could see if Mozgov could play 18 minutes a night and help anchor that defense in Cleveland.
I would venture to guess that the Nuggets value Mozgov fairly high. Brian Shaw referred to him as a "diamond in the rough" more than a few times towards the end of the season and Mozzy is on one of the best deals in the league for a productive seven-footer (how many folks were upset about Mozgov's large contract at the time of the signing?).
Let's take a look at the remaining salary left on the Denver bigs' contracts ...
* Mozgov's final year is a team option.
There isn't a deal there that has long-term ramifications, unless you consider that the Nuggets are trying to sign power forward Kenneth Faried to a contract extension, that would kick into action starting during the 2015-16 season. It's likely that Faried's contract will increase from $2.2 million for the coming season (the last year of his rookie deal), to somewhere in the neighborhood of $9M-$12M for the 2015-16 season. But there is also a possibility that Faried and the Nuggets don't come to an extension agreement, and he plays out the last year of his deal, the qualifying offer, at $3.2 million and becomes a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) during the summer of 2016 (giving Denver the opportunity to match any offer sheet that Faried signs with another team).
The Nuggets don't need to be in a hurry to unload any contracts though, as Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson's deals come off the books after the coming season, and Arron Afflalo could opt out of the final year of his deal ($7.5 million) to seek another long-term contract (he'll likely get a slight pay increase).
It's no secret that the Nuggets want to make a playoff push next season and they also want to bring Jusuf Nurkic along slowly, so a deal involving a big man would have to bring back the right kind of assets to make it worth Denver's while. Mozgov, McGee, and Hickson all figure to factor into Denver's plans in a major way this coming season.