With so much excitement surrounding this year’s free agency class, the Denver Nuggets are feeling left out. Yesterday, sources began reporting they were willing to trade Carmelo Anthony so he doesn’t walk next year when he’s a free agent. Now, the Denver Post said the team could be positioning themselves to have a run at a couple of big names.
One name circling around the Nuggets is disgruntled Golden State center Andris Biedrins. Denver desperately wants to upgrade their inside game. Right now, they have only Nene, Kenyon Martin (who just had knee surgery) and Chris Andersen in the frontcourt. The Denver Post wrote:
The truth is the Nuggets are running out of options to improve the cast. Aside from Anthony, only Nene has significant value on the trade market, but trading the one healthy big man on a team looking to get bigger doesn’t really help.
By putting Anthony out there into the rumor slipstream as NBA free agency gets underway, the Nuggets position themselves as a potential white knight in the event of a sign-and-trade deal for one of this summer’s premium free agents. This is a very long shot because the only top-tier free agent for whom a sign-and-trade is even plausible is power forward Chris Bosh.
Biedrins would be a great fit in the Nuggets up-tempo system. While he may be very similar to Birdman’s game, Denver just needs more bodies at this point.
The Denver Post continued:
At 24, Biedrins has already played six years in the NBA. He averaged a double-double two years ago, but slumped to averages of 5.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in an injury-marred campaign last season.
That and his contract — he has four years left at $9 million per — have apparently made him expendable to the Warriors. But the Nuggets are struggling to come up with a package that will get a deal done.
The difficulty in acquiring Biedrins is one more sign of the trouble the Nuggets are having this summer trying to improve an aging team with a swollen payroll under an owner determined to stem the franchise’s financial losses. The best they can offer is J.R. Smith, who doesn’t have much trade value at the moment, or Kenyon Martin, who has only one year left on his contract, but a year with a hefty $16.5 million price tag.
The Nuggets are in danger of falling completely out of the picture with the best teams in the West and it sounds as if management is willing to make some big changes in order to keep them there.