The Denver Nuggets have some options going into the 2014 draft, and they're apparently exploring them.
According to The Denver Post's Christopher Dempsey, "The Nuggets have already taken — and made — their fair share of trade phone calls concerning their draft pick weeks ahead of the NBA draft."
Per Dempsey, general manager Tim Connelly admitted, "We've had a lot of conversations about a ton of different things — picks, trades. We're pretty active right now."
Denver holds the No. 11 selection in this summer's draft, which stands to be very attractive to any number of teams looking to either move up in the draft or move down and secure an additional pick. The Nuggets could look acquire a veteran by trading with the former, or to move up in the draft by dealing with the latter.
"Trading the selection for a veteran and moving up in the draft are the two areas of most interest to the Nuggets," Dempsey suggests.
That makes a good deal of sense. The last thing the organization needs is another middling prospect; The roster is already stocked with plenty of young talent. At this point, it really needs either a difference-maker or some elder leadership.
According to some, just about everything should be on the table. The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla advocated a bold approach in March, writing:
Now, all Connelly has to do is acquire the talent that can return Denver to the playoffs. He has got to think big and take risks. No player on the Nuggets should be considered untouchable. And no deal, whether it's a trade for the top pick in this year's draft or disgruntled Minnesota star Kevin Love, should be considered too implausible to pursue.
Whether either of those deals is actually possible is a different question, but Kiszla's point is well-taken. The Nuggets are in danger of settling for a protracted era of mediocrity. The club finished the season with a 36-46 record, which certainly won't cut it in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Some continuity and continued player development will help. So will a healthy roster. But it's hard to see the Nuggets making big strides without making a big move.
Perhaps that move will include the No. 11 pick.