Nuggets Superstar Signs a Big Contract Extension
Nikola Jokic just signed a five-year supermax contract extension for the Denver Nuggets shortly after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. This is symbolic of the current situation for the team. They realistically have five years to win an NBA championship. They played basically the whole 2021-2022 season without two of their top three players, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, despite this they ended up being the sixth seed in the competitive Western Conference. Nuggets fans will be eager to see what they can do next season with a hopefully healthy team.
The Time To Win Is Now
The Denver Nuggets are one of the few teams in the NBA who have never been to the Finals. There has been a lot of excitement behind the current version of the team over the past couple of years. They have been looked at as a young talented team with a lot of potential. They were able to draft a lot of overlooked players in the 2010s who have become very good NBA players such as Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and 2020-2021 MVP Nikola Jokic. This time has now passed, as Nikola Jokic will be twenty eight next February, and Jamal Murray will be twenty six. The Nuggets’ two best players are in their prime, this means the clock is ticking on their championship window. Their golden opportunity to make their first Finals appearance will not last much longer the way their team is currently constructed. That being said, they have a few years to make this happen. There’s no need to panic just yet, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly that it is time for the Nuggets to put their chips in the pot and go all in.
The Future of MPJ On the Nuggets
Michael Porter Jr. should be set to play next season. Still, the fact that his back has been bothering him is troubling. This injury has plagued him since his college days. But MPJ is still very young, and sometimes players are able to get past their major injuries as they get older and evolve their game. The Nuggets do not have time to wait for this, and will need MPJ to contribute as much as possible now. The Nuggets may have to evaluate him this offseason and next season to see if they should trade him if the injury persists. He would still be valuable to a team who has time to wait for his injury to really improve in a more permanent way. Also, the Nuggets should use all of their resources in general to acquire “win now” talent, as opposed to building up young players to be good in the future. The time for rebuilding is over for them.
Potential Nuggets Free-Agent Signings
There are a couple free agents this year that could really help the Nuggets’ cause this season. The best option would be Bulls wing player Zach Lavine. Lavine is a dynamic scorer, equally effective from outside and inside. This would be the perfect compliment offensively to Jokic and Murray. He has stated that he is open to playing for different teams. Another star caliber free-agent is the Wizards Bradley Beal, also an excellent scorer. The problem with signing these players is that they would be very expensive; Denver would have to give up a lot of talent to make cap room for either of them. A more affordable free agent would be Robert Covington. Covington would be a great signing, he is a strong defensive player which the Nuggets need, and he is also a good three-point shooter which fits perfectly with the passing of Jokic. Covington is a role player, so Denver could sign him without having to give up too much of what they have now. Whether it’s this year or not, free agent or not, the Nuggets will likely need to add more talent in order to win a Championship.
The Denver Nuggets are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA when they are fully healthy. Just like with any sports team, however, the Nuggets are only as good as their medical chart, especially when the playoffs come around. If the Nuggets have a clean bill of health next season, Denver could have its first championship as soon as next year.
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