- The Denver Nuggets (54-28) finished second in the Western Conference in 2019
- Michael Porter Jr. is set to join the team after missing his entire first season due to injury
- Denver will have lots of cap space if they choose not to pick up Paul Millsap’s option which is worth more than $30 million next season
The Denver Nuggets garnered some buzz landing Bol Bol on draft night and they also saw their NBA Championship Odds improve. As interesting as the Oregon Ducks product is, it’s actually been a slow build that has the Nuggets trending in a very positive direction this offseason.
2020 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||2020 NBA Championship Odds|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+350|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+800|
|Golden State Warriors||+1000|
*Odds taken 06/21/19.
The Nuggets have legitimate business and are a great value play to win the NBA Championship for three reasons.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 21, 2019
Nuggets Roster Primed for Success
Nikola Jokic is one of the best players in the NBA and he proved that this season putting up 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. In addition to the All-Star center, Denver is about to add Michael Porter Jr who is finally healthy after missing his rookie season and could contribute in a big way. The 6’10” forward is a big addition and one to be taken seriously in the Western Conference.
Draft night is full of surprising gems ?
Nikola Jokic was the 41st pick in 2014, made All NBA First Team
2x-Finals MVP Kawhi was traded on draft night by the Pacers
The MVP race is between a No. 3 (Harden), No. 10 (PG) and No. 15 (Giannis) pick pic.twitter.com/hxe6040J2l
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 19, 2019
Jokic, Porter, and Jamal Murray give the team three legitimate scoring options. This is a team that finished last season 54-28 and was second in the Western Conference in the regular season before coming up one game shy of the Western Conference Finals. A team with that pedigree adding pieces is definitely a contender.
Cap Space Could Make Nuggets a Player in Free Agency
As it stands now, Denver is $12 million over the salary cap. Look deeper and you’ll see they are in a great situation and enter the offseason with financial flexibility. They likely won’t pick up the option on Paul Millsap, who would be due over $30 million in 2020. That would leave the Nuggets with $18 million to spend in free agency or in the trade market.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 15, 2019
With that number they won’t be able to afford a max contract, but they will absolutely be a player for second tier players like JJ Reddick, Danny Green, or Kevon Looney.
Other Contenders in Rough Shape
The Golden State Warriors won’t have Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson next season so let’s cross them off the list. The Los Angeles Lakers landed Anthony Davis, but forgot to carve out extra cap space and now find themselves with two stars and little else on the roster. The Houston Rockets are in turmoil and the Los Angeles Clippers may not land Kawhi Leonard after all. The West is wide open, which is good news for a team that won 54 games even when it was stacked.
Who should the Lakers go for? pic.twitter.com/tQPJKDQ2tE
— Lakers Empire (@LakersEmpire) June 21, 2019
Don’t overthink this, get money in on the Nuggets before the dust settles and the oddsmakers and betting public take notice that Denver is a true threat to win the title in 2020.
Pick: Denver Nuggets (+1400)