The Denver Nuggets finished the 2016-17 season with a 40-42 record and missed the playoffs, while the Golden State Warriors won their second title in two years. However, forward Darrell Arthur envisions a different situation in 2017-18.
"We can be a contender for sure, right up there with Golden State," he said Tuesday, per Harrison Wind of BSNDenver.com.
The Warriors are one of the best teams in league history and are coming off three straight trips to the Finals with a core that still includes Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
While Arthur's statement likely sounds like hyperbole to NBA fans, the offseason is a time of hope.
It would be a bigger story if an NBA player publicly said his team didn't have a chance to compete in the upcoming season at this point in the calendar.
Denver may have some catching up to do on paper with the Warriors, but they did add four-time All-Star Paul Millsap to a promising core that already featured talented youngsters Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic.
It is likely too soon to start talking championship for the Nuggets, but they finished a mere one game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs last season. The addition of Millsap, as well as the continued growth of some of their younger players, could push the Nuggets into the playoffs.
Then they will have a chance to prove they truly are contenders against the likes of Golden State and other Western Conference powerhouses.