*All salary information taken from hoopshype.com.
(Fort Collins-CO) As the new General Manager for the Denver Nuggets, I will be banking on three things remaining constant and shuffling areas that are overdue in terms of attention to facilitate this franchise winning the NBA championship. Anthony being signed as our franchise player, Karl returning as coach, and the return of Nene are the pillars this team will be built on for next season. The shuffle will entail the trading of Andre Miller, Reggie Evans, DerMarr Johnson, and Kenyon Martin. If this franchise is to rise to championship levels it will take determination and pure team concept. With the changes I detail here, I believe that the Nuggets are capable of becoming the NBA champions as early as next season.
First article of business is to trade Andre Miller for Jason Terry from Dallas. Andre is a rock solid point guard who distributes the ball phenomenally, but doesn’t possess the three-point range the Nuggets need. Jason Terry shoots over 40% from behind the arch, scores more, but dishes fewer assists. This is a statistical trade off in the areas that the Nuggets are in dire need of because the same amount of points are potentially going to be scored. Andre Miller made 8.1 million for last season while Jason Terry made 7.5. This trade should be straight across the board because it addresses needs for both teams involved. The Mavericks need a steady point guard and the Nuggets need a three-point shooter. The Nuggets will be losing a stat line of 13.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.3 rebounds a night, but in return will be adding 17.1 points, 3.8 assists, and two rebounds per contest. Statistically similar, give and take some numbers, but their styles couldn’t be more different; we need that change in style!
Moving on, and addressing the big hairy clog the Nuggets have at forward, I will trade Reggie Evans and DerMarr Johnson. The aforementioned had a combined salary of 1.9 million for last season and both are free agents this next year. I will submit a trade for young forward Jared Jeffries of the Washington Wizards. Jeffries is a guy who can guard anyone but the point on defense, (think Tayshaun Prince, but younger), and is blossoming into a solid all-around performer. He is long, athletic, and coachable. He can play any of the three frontcourt spots. Jeffries brings in stats of 6.4 points, five rebounds, and two assists. It would take 2.7 million to acquire Jeffries and the Nuggets can afford the check in this situation. You’ll see why after I finish cleaning house.
Finally, and what the majority of Nuggets fans world-wide have been waiting to hear for quite some time, is how I will deal Kenyon Martin. Kenyon Martin has roughly 70 million dollars tied up on the Nuggets books. Keep in mind that Martin isn’t going to attract huge contributors because of his lack luster demeanor and numbers, but we still need to obtain someone of value who can contribute to what this team is lacking. I believe that the acquisition of Golden State power forward Troy Murphy is a perfect fit for the Denver Nuggets. Murphy has 58 million on his remaining contract with the Warriors. The Warriors already have Baron Davis and Jason Richardson filling up their scoring column and could use the defensive minded Martin. The Nuggets could use the finesse and shooting that Murphy’s game brings to the floor. In addition, let it not be forgotten that Murphy is 6’11” and averaged ten rebounds last season to compliment his 14 points per night.
If all of this can be orchestrated the Nuggets would have the starting five of the offensive minded Jason Terry at point guard, the defensive minded Greg Buckner at shooting guard, Marcus Camby at center, Carmelo Anthony at small forward, and Troy Murphy at the four. Coming off our bench would be Earl Boykins at point, Rueben Patterson at shooting guard, Jared Jeffries at small forward while Julius Hodge continues to improve, Nene slowly working his way back into rotation with Eduardo Najera at power forward, and Francisco Elson relieving Marcus Camby at center. This puts the Nuggets a solid ten deep as a team. Obviously, with the personnel the Nuggets would have with my new shuffle there is a plethora of line-ups George Karl could put out on the floor. This type of flexibility and change in personnel is just what the Nuggets need to become serious contenders for the NBA world championship.
With two brand new shooters around the three-point arch in Murphy and Terry, I believe that Nuggets will cease to be last in the NBA in three-point shooting next year. This also creates passing outlets for Carmelo Anthony when he is flashed with double-teams. Murphy and Jeffries will also fill the rebounding void left by the departure of Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin while adding two coachable players for George Karl to develop. The Denver Nuggets were ranked 24 of 30 in total team salary last year with 54.3 million dollars being paid to players. The Nuggets can afford to pay the small increase in overall salary to have players like Jeffries and Terry, while potentially giving Kenyon Martin some sort of severance compensation with his shipment to Golden State. This diagram for team success is worth every obstacle, concerning financial and in terms of team chemistry, the Nuggets will have to endure to become the NBA champions. With myself, The Nugg Doctor, as the GM of this great franchise I will accept nothing less.