Andre Miller still hasn’t returned for the Nuggets, and it’s starting to look like he never will.

As much as I hoped that somehow Brian Shaw and ‘Dre would find a way to mend fences, it appears more and more that their differences are irreconcilable. With Ty Lawson dealing with a rotator cuff injury and the extent of the knee injury suffered by Nate Robinson last night against the Bobcats still unknown, ironically, the one thing the Nuggets could use right now is the services of a veteran point guard. Though it certainly seemed like ‘Dre was on his way out with the offseason signing of Robinson, he still provided some decent contributions at the point early in the season. At the very least, he’s decent injury insurance for this team for situations exactly like this.

So what do the Nuggets do with the Professor? While his name has been bandied about by the front office for more than three weeks, Tim Connelly has seemingly turned up his nose at the trade offers to this point. However, both the Kings and the Timberwolves continue to pursue Miller's services. ESPN commentator Darren Wolfson [h/t Sactown Royalty] seems positive that Miller is going to the Kings.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p><a href=””>@Soibel</a> I think Andre Miller surely goes somewhere. The Kings would be my bet. I think the Pistons will also do some stuff. Maybe Monroe.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href=”″>January 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

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So who – or what – would the Nuggets target on each team?

Sacramento Kings

There has apparently been one overture from the Kings for Andre Miller already:

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Kings offered “Marcus Thornton and a future second-round pick as the framework of a deal for Miller, and have presented a package including Jimmer Fredette and a future second as an alternative.”

Yuck. I’m not a fan of either Thornton or Fredette and really don’t see roles for either of them on this Nuggets team. The Kings also don’t own a second round pick until 2018, which makes any potential benefit from a pick far into the future. I don’t blame Connelly for holding out on that pupu platter from old friend (and now Kings GM) Pete D’Alessandro. I think that if anything, Connelly has countered with a larger package – perhaps for DeMarcus Cousins? – and been rebuffed. Otherwise, not much else makes sense for the Nuggets to target, and the Kings certainly aren’t giving up Isaiah Thomas. The Nuggets could also involve another team in a deal – perhaps the Knicks – to try and pry a more favorable asset, though multi-team deal are always extremely difficult to make work.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Less clear is what the Timberwolves may come up with. With a smattering of average to bad point guards in J.J. Barea, Ricky Rubio, Alexey Shved, and A.J. Price, I don’t see how the Timberwolves could be interested unless they’re sending a guard back along with some other filler. There are definitely some intriguing options the Wolves could be amenable to in a trade for Andre Miller, though the Nuggets would likely need to send out additional players to make the salaries work. If the Nuggets could somehow divest themselves of, say, Andre Miller and J.J. Hickson simultaneously while bringing back Alexey Shved and the slowly recovering Chase Budinger, I would consider that a fair deal (that also saves the Nuggets money) though not an ideal one.

The Nuggets are in a difficult position. With Andre Miller having essentially forced the Nuggets to trade him or get nothing from his roster spot for the remainder of the season, he's hurt a lot of the potential leverage the front office holds. Sadly, the potential serious knee injury to Nate Robinson (to add vinegar to the open wound of the Nuggets current roster situation) could make Andre Miller just the thing this team needs right now.


If only they could figure out how to get him back on the court.

Right now, the Denver Nuggets roster looks more like a stitched together corpse than an NBA roster.

Just when they’re getting back Darrell Arthur from a long absence due to a groin injury, they lose Nate Robinson to a potentially serious knee injury. This after they are already down Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Andre Miller. The Nuggets technically don’t even have a point guard available to play against the Raptors at this point. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the last time the Nuggets played (and beat) the Raptors in Toronto, it was largely on the back of Nate Rob’s 23 points on 9-14 shooting (5-8 from 3) off the bench.

After Robinson went out with his injury against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night, Brian Shaw was forced to split time at the point between Randy Foye and Evan Fournier. While both Foye and Fournier excelled – scoring 52 points and racking up 13 assists, 8 rebounds and 5 steals – both players are not natural points, and the Nuggets offense suffered. With the game close down the stretch, the Nuggets ultimately succumbed as the Bobcats – the 20-27 Bobcats – tightened up their defense and locked them up on their home court, as no Nuggets player could make a play or get a stop. While now is certainly the opportunity for Evan Fournier to finally show that he should be the starter going forward, I'm not sure I wanted his revelation to come under such drastic circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Raptors have continued to roll along in the Eastern Conference following the trade of Rudy Gay, and currently hold the 3rd seed over the Atlanta Hawks. Since Gay's trade, the Raptors have relied heavily on the contributions of Eastern Conference All-Star DeMar DeRozan at the small forward position, where he has posted an impressive 21.8 points per game on 43% shooting. Backing up DeRozan is the sprightly Kyle Lowry at the point, one of the only guards in the NBA that I would say could stick with Ty Lawson. Lowry's speed and finishing ability has always impressed me, and he would be a tough cover for this team even at full strength. Jonas Valanciunas is having a strong season as he continues to develop, and it seems Masai Ujiri has positioned the Raptors well going into the future.

Having no true point to run the offense hurts a team that still thrives largely off a gameplan of pushing the tempo and getting easy looks before the defense has time to get set. They'll need another big game from Fournier and Foye to stay competitive with a nearly-full strength Raptors squad. I'm hopeful that J.J. Hickson and Kenneth Faried won't completely embarrass themselves against a more than competent Raptors frontcourt, and that perhaps Brian Shaw will finally see that it's finally time for Timofey Mozgov to make the jump to the starting lineup. Perhaps we'll see some additional development from Jordan Hamilton and Quincy Miller tonight.

Make no mistake about it, this is going to be some brutal basketball tonight as the Nuggets search for answers in young players, asked to take over in a transition year with many stabilizing veterans out and injured.