Let us first start with the Nuggets grade for writing and arithmetic. Signing Nene and Carmelo Anthony to long and expensive contracts leaves me with a odd feeling. While it was nice to know that the only superstar that the Nuggets have had in the last ten years will be with us for awhile. The signing of Nene for $60 huge makes me wonder if the same team doctors that cleared Kenyon Martin’s knee were the same doctors that evaluated Nene. The Nuggets can not afford to have only two good knees at the power forward position between two good players. Also needing to be lumped into this grade is the acquisitions of Joe Smith, J.R. Smith, and Jamaal Sampson. I going to give the Nuggets a little bit of extra credit for going out on a limb and landing J.R. Smith because I believe that he can really establish himself in Denver and allow his athletic ability, which has never been in question, to mature into a sustainable NBA game. I also am favorable of the deal for Joe Smith. Joe Smith is a crafty veteran and at nothing else gives a MMR shot to the Nugget locker room. I’m impartial to Sampson. He is a big body that can bang and put some bruises on opposing centers, but I’m not expecting too many double-doubles. All of these moves were made without popping the NBA luxury tax, another gold star on the Nuggets chart.
Overall Grade in Writing, (signing), and Arithmetic: B & B+
Switching subjects now and taking an evaluation of the Nuggets history grade conjures up thoughts of Kiki Vandewedghe and the still vacant position of General Manager. The Nuggets have still not named or have released any information about who they have been interviewing for the position for General Manager. This puzzles me, not that Warkentien has done a poor job, but this grade is directly attributed to Stan Kroenke. With no news, no rumors, and little to document in this position. This grade is not going to be good.
Overall Grade for History: D
The grade for physical education is directly attributed to the one and only Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo has been nothing short of spectacular for Team USA and should be a shoe in for MVP in the FIBA Championships. He has stepped up his game amongst a team of his peers, and other superstars, and opened the eyes of everyone that thinks that the only two players in the 2003 draft were LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Maybe a little bit exaggerated, but the point is that Anthony has obviously been working on his game this off season and may have the best jab step in the league. His jumper is looking pure and his outside shot is improving. All snaps in this department.
Overall Grade for Physical Education: A-
The final subject for scrutiny, and I choose that word with meaning, is reading. The Nuggets may have the tightest lipped front office in the whole NBA. This makes for tough news leads and often times shocking headlines when things do happen. There has been little to no word about Marcus Camby or Andre Miller this off season. They could be in Fiji sipping fu-fu drinks with umbrellas in the fishbowls as well as in the sand and Nuggets fans would have no idea. I believe in privacy in athlete's lives, but sometimes the fan has to be thrown a bone. We care about this team and its players. A human interest story now and then on the Nuggets official web site wouldn’t kill anyone.
Overall Grade for Reading: C…barely!
So after taking a look at the Nuggets off season thus far there are some bright spots and some areas of question. The Nuggets do graduate from the 2005-06 season. Only because I think that they will improve on last season's record, but the dead moose on the table that no one wants to speak of is will the Nuggets graduate from the first round of the playoffs?