Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Nuggets Still Gambling with Evans and DJ

(FortColllins-CO) The Denver Nuggets are still on the casino floor, but now they are using Reggie Evans as a bargaining chip. It has been reported that Reggie Evans is in negotiations with the Cleveland Cavaliers because the Nuggets have not been able to sign him to a contract thus far. The main reason that Evans hasn’t been locked up is the Nuggets are dangerously close to the NBA luxury tax of 65.4 million dollars. With 13 players signed for a total of 62.4 million, the Nuggets do not have many chips left before they leave the casino-ish free-agent/trade market. Plus, the Nuggets still have to decide what to do with DerMarr Johnson.

Also still to be dealt with is Kenyon Martin. It would appear right now, with the luxury situation as detailed, that Martin will be a Nugget next season. I know what your about to say… “Here comes the Nugg Doctor telling us how much he doesn’t like K-Mart,” but instead I have a different analysis for you. Yes, I still think that Kenyon Martin is a cancer, but here is why he will still be in a Nuggets jersey when the season starts. First, he needs to up his stock and trade value so the Nuggets can get someone in return for his departure. This is only going to happen if he comes back and proves that he can bite his tongue, contribute on both ends of the floor, and do so in a consistent fashion. If this can happen, and depending on what level it does, then the Nuggets will move him accordingly. Secondly, the Nuggets just do not have the money to bring anyone else in, ie Keith Van Horn or anyone else, while Kenyon is still on the roster. The bank roll just isn’t there.

The loss of Reggie Evans while the verdict on Kenyon Martin is still out would be devastating if Kenyon doesn’t get it together. Reggie is a cheap, effective insurance clause for if, and when, Kenyon isn’t able to get the job done. It is slightly unnerving right now as to what the Nuggets are going to do with all the loose strings.

DerMarr Johnson rounds out the list of things to be handled. DJ is another cheap insurance policy at the two guard spot. He plays good defense, but is extremely streaky on offense. If Johnson is not resigned, it is rumored that the Nuggets are still looking to acquire Tony Delk or Eddie House. Of the two, I like House because he plays solid defense and is a more reliable scorer night in and night out.

What still amazes me is that the Nuggets refuse to name a GM. What is the motivation to leave this team without a front man? One would have to assume that at some point soon the Nuggets will fill the spot or at least make Mark Warkentien change his title. Until then, the Nuggets franchise continues to be like a drunken Vegas night. For the most part enjoyable, but there is still a lot of questions to be answered when this off-season is over.


Tymes Rhymes said...

Although I don't want the Nuggets to reach that $65.4 tax, I want to see what K-Mart can do when he really tries. Get things mended with Karl. And then maybe we can get a good player and contract for him.

Nugg Doctor said...

I agree, obviously.

Underworld said...

I'm not sure I follow why we couldn't sign KVH with our MLE if Reggie goes elsewhere? He no longer has the market value that his now elapsed contract paid him. We could lose Reggie, sign Van Horn and be allright.