2009-10 NBA Season Preview: Denver Nuggets



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




Denver Nuggets (Last Year: 54-28)

Depth Chart:

C: Nene Hilario/Chris Andersen/Johan Petro

PF: Kenyon Martin/Malik Allen

SF: Carmelo Anthony/Renaldo Balkman/Joey Graham

SG: J.R. Smith/Aaron Afflalo

PG: Chauncey Billups/Ty Lawson/Anthony Carter

Head Coach: George Karl (6th year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $74.0 million

Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $74.65 million



Off-Season Grade: Passed

With their core pieces under contract for a couple more years and very little cap flexibility, Denver didn't have the opportunity to make any major moves. They rewarded everybody's favorite tattooed, mohawked NBA player, Chris Andersen with a 5-year contract extension. Andersen provides some great energy and defense off the bench so the new deal makes a lot of sense.

In losing last year's starting shooting guard Dahntay Jones via free agency, the Nuggets hoped to fill some of his void by acquiring Aaron Afflalo for next to nothing. Despite having no picks in the NBA Draft, Denver was nonetheless aggressive, acquiring the rights of Ty Lawson who could develop into the point guard of the future.



2009-2010 Outlook:

The acquisition of Chauncey Billups early last season helped vault the Nuggets to the top three in the Western Conference. This year we will find out if 2008-09 was a fluke or if Denver is the real deal.

The Nuggets will only go as far as Carmelo Anthony and Billups carry them. While there are some nice pieces around them - a healthy Nene and K-Mart, improving J.R. Smith - Denver is not a very deep team and will rely on their stars to lead the way. It is unlikely they will reach their win total from a year ago, but should still be major players in the middle of the conference race and battle Portland for the Northwest Division crown.

J.R. Smith is suspended for the first seven games of the season due to off-the-court issues.



Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Kenyon Martin has a $16.5 million player option for next season. If he doesn't exercise that option, I will shave a Manu Ginobli-like bald spot in my head. Most of Denver's roster is locked up for the 2010-11 season and they will have zero cap flexibility unless they make a move before the free agency period. The Nuggets are relying on their current core of players to carry them through the next seasons.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 9th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




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Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Kenyon Martin has a $16.5 million player option for next season. If he doesn't exercise that option, I will shave a Manu Ginobli-like bald spot in my head. Most of Denver's roster is locked up for the 2010-11 season and they will have zero cap flexibility unless they make a move before the free agency period. The Nuggets are relying on their current core of players to carry them through the next seasons.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 9th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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