As the 2012 offseason remains in full swing, the Denver Nuggets have stood idly by as they made the first move and no others.
Steve Nash to the Lakers? No problem. A super team being built in Brooklyn? Bottom-up building is our strategy. However, many will agree that the Nuggets still need a blockbuster move to re-enter the conversation among the NBA elite.
The signing of Andre Miller was a done deal before free agency even hit. He's a Karl favorite and a fairly suitable backup to Ty Lawson for the next few years.
However, Miller is not going to win Denver any championships. As the strong get stronger and inter-division rivals shore up (Portland might land Hibbert), the Nuggets need to make a move that will send them to the upper echelon of the Western Conference with a shot at the NBA title.
As reported by Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Love hinted that he wants to be traded if the T-Wolves don't make the playoffs. This could be a golden opportunity for the Denver brass of Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke to land that coveted "superstar"—seemingly a necessity in today's NBA.
And there's little doubt that Love is a bona fide superstar. Averaging a double-double each of the last three seasons with a 20 and 13 season the last two, few stars can hold a candle to the impact that Love has on the the league today.
Sure there are questions about his defense, but he also shoots nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. So he can be an impact player on both the front line and the perimeter on the offensive end.
Few teams in the NBA hold more legitimate assets than Denver does—with a plethora of young talent (Gallo, Chandler and Mosgov), three first round and three second round picks in the next two drafts and the $13 million trade exception acquired in the Nene for McGee trade.
The first order of business for the front office is to lock down JaVale McGee. The asking price may enter eight digits, but it is important to have one of the few legitimate centers in the league.
By January, the T-Wolves will most likely prove that they are still a few years away from a playoff chance. If they are down and out of the mix, Denver needs to take a swing.
By then, the only untouchable players on the Nuggets should be McGee, Lawson and probably Faried. Although Love is a power forward, given his range, he can easily transition to the 3 on offense while surrendering those defensive responsibilities to Faried.
Giving up a piece like Gallo and trading Chandler for an additional pick will allow the Nuggets all of the elements to swing a trade of this magnitude.
Imagine the Nuggets fielding a starting lineup of McGee, Faried, Love, Afflalo and Lawson, with Miller and Al Harrington remaining there first two options off the bench. They would pose a formidable challenge to any team in both length and athleticism. Plus a core of this magnitude would be able to gel, as most of these players are or will be locked into long-term deals.
Players of Love's caliber do not hit the trading block often, and with an attractive package to offer in return, the Nuggets need to jump at the chance to make a move like this and stop treading water.
It is time for the Nuggets to reemerge to basketball relevance.
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