With Nene and Afflalo locked in, the Nuggets will return four of five starters they ended last season with.
Ty Lawson has returned from his short stint in Lithuania and looks to continue his own improvement, while Danilo Gallinari will have a chance to start from the season tipoff and Denver diehards can really get a look at what they have in the could-be star small forward.
Head coach George Karl talked before the season of moving Nene back to his natural power forward position and starting youngster Timofey Mozgov at the 5. But is he ready? It's the biggest question surrounding the Nuggets starters and only time on the hardwood will tell.
Here's a quick look at Denver's young, athletic starting five:
PG - Ty Lawson - Lawson stepped into the starter role late last season. The third-year guard will be asked to lead his team on the court again this year. While his athleticism isn't in question, his maturity and leadership is. Karl has talked about wanting more leadership from Lawson in the past and it's likely the youngster will have to step up in that department this year or risk losing his starting spot to veteran Andre Miller.
Lawson is an awfully athletic point guard that utilizes his blazing speed to blow by would-be defenders as he gets to the hoop. The small (5'9") guard uses his speed to pace the offense as well, pushing teammates down the floor, fitting Karl's "go out and play" style.
And Lawson knows how to get his teammates the ball, upping his assist average to 4.7 per contest last year.
What else may bring special play out of Lawson is the fact that Andre Miller is pushing him to be at his best or lose his starting spot. Karl says the two best players in training camp have been Lawson and Miller, which is exciting from a fan standpoint.
SG - Arron Afflalo - Afflalo is a dynamic, versatile and valuable player at the 2 spot. The fifth-year pro will be starting his third season in Denver and Karl absolutely loves him for his defensive energy and intensity. Afflalo is given the tough task of guarding the opponents' best scorer on a nightly basis and he certainly holds his own.
Without Martin on the team this year, Afflalo has become the Nuggets' top defender.
Offensively, he's grown comfortable coming off screens and knocking down open jumpers and he's an extremely efficient scorer, shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from behind the arc last season.
His scoring numbers improved from 8.8 to 12.6 points per game last year; he will only continue to grow in that aspect.
SF - Danilo Gallinari - The next Dirk? OK, maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but Gallinari's game is strikingly similar to Nowitzki's.
At 6'10", Gallinari towers over opponents and his height advantage means a multitude of open looks at the rim. Leave him open and Gallinari is deadly shooting the ball in the mid-range and from downtown (35.2 percent).
Besides a sweet shooting stroke, this 23-year old Italian plays with a reckless abandon, crashing the hoop for rebounds (4.9 per) and attacking the iron on offense as well. The long-legged Gallinari gallops on the break and his aggression already draws him many fouls at only three years in the league.
And that size comes into play on the defensive end as well as Gallo's long arms change shot trajectories and block some attempts.
PF - Nene - After playing the last three years at center, Nene will be moving back to power forward. For the 6'11" beast, moving to power forward means playing against slightly smaller opponents on both ends of the floor.
While Nene's reached his peak, his production could improve due to the move.
Nene has enjoyed his best years the last three seasons, averaging 14.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Those numbers could grow as he uses his size and strength to his advantage on other 4's.
The transition back to power forward will be a boost to his defensive play, too, and Nuggets fans hope it does translate into more blocks for the big.
C - Timofey Mozgov - Mozgov, who will in all likelihood be the Nuggets' starting center, is a relative unknown for them. As a rookie last season, his numbers weren't great (3.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG), yet he possesses lots of potential.
This will be his first year as a starter in the NBA, and while Karl is completely sold on the Russian's potential, it's still up in the air whether or not he's ready to start now.
At 7'1" Mozgov gives Denver the size of a true center and he will be needed as a dominant defensive presence for the team.
One major positive for Mozzy is that he played at a high level in his native Russia this offseason, a sign he's possibly improving sooner rather than later.
Overall, the starters will have a height advantage over many teams, which will help with rebounding, a weakness of the team for years. They're also young and will be able to push the pace on teams, getting easy buckets on run-outs and fast breaks.
This will be an exciting unit to watch, and it could turn into something special over the course of the season.
Start of 2010-11 season: Lawson, Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Nene
Start of 2011-12 season: Lawson, Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Nene, Timofey Mozgov