Anybody who follows the Denver Nuggets knows that free agency has not been kind to them. Other teams might chase luminaries - Denver tends to keep its sights much closer to the ground. HoopsHype made a list of the top 10 free agents in recent memory for the Nuggets, and let’s just say most of them are immensely forgettable.
The top Nugget free agent signings in recent history. pic.twitter.com/gOtrHSK7Fz— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) June 27, 2017
Any top-10 list that starts with J.J. Hickson has to be painful. Greg Buckner features prominently, as does Earl Boykins, two players that wouldn’t make the top-20 of other teams.
The list culminates with Andre Miller and Kenyon Martin (yes, Martin was a sign-and-trade but it was an acquisition when he was a free agent). I might have swapped the two on the list, as Miller racked up 33 winshares with Denver in two stints while Kenyon got 24 winshares in his time in the Mile High City, but both men collectively set the tone and the attitude for those Nuggets teams while Melo was on his rookie deal.
Denver’s paucity of success in free agency for its entire history is laughable, though. If the Nuggets were to sign Paul Millsap he would instantly be the best free agent they’ve ever landed, though he’s on the downside of his career. An Otto Porter sign-and-trade could blow this list out of the water.
The Nuggets are trying to do what they have struggled (and mostly failed) to do for decades: sign an impact free agent that can turn this team into a legitimate on-court force. While they work on that, enjoy this list and dream of better days ahead.