The puzzle pieces of NBA free agency have fallen into place during the past week and a half, and anyone that’s been on Twitter knows just how busy teams not named the Denver Nuggets have been inking those new contracts. Now that a majority of the free agents are signed, it appears the Nuggets roster will remain unchanged by free agency, but it’s not for a lack of effort from general manager Tim Connelly.
Mr. Connelly had the Nuggets’ name appearing in a bunch of rumors last week, and it shows Denver’s continued aggressiveness in reshaping the young roster. Most notably, ESPN reported last week that the Nuggets made a strong push for Miami Heat All-Star Chris Bosh before he decided to re-sign with the Heat. Also, Connelly’s push to sign wing Mike Miller was all over Twitter before he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers last Tuesday.
So even though no free agents are coming to Denver, it’s clear Connelly was exploring the options in front of him.
Report: Mike Miller choosing between Cavaliers, Mavericks, Rockets and Nuggets http://t.co/zHcaqsAmrX
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 15, 2014
That’s exactly what I want to see out of the second-year general manager. The Nuggets aren’t a championship team yet (sorry Arron Afflalo), and because they need improvement to get to the ultimate goal, it’s good that Connelly at least explored adding fresh talent to the roster. He also showed great management in not overextending his team’s financial resources to sign either of the high-profile players mentioned above.
Mike Miller wouldn’t have received the biggest reception from Nuggets fans if he picked Denver over the Cavs, but he still shot 46 percent from three-point range last year and proved to be consistent by playing in all 82 games. Connelly made a good move by trying to get the veteran, because the biggest benefit to signing him would have been the added experience a 14-year veteran can provide to a young team.
Signing Bosh would have benefited the Nuggets because it’s always good to add an All-Star power forward to a roster that hasn’t had an All-Star since Carmelo Anthony left. Bosh could have been the go-to guy on offense, and he would have fit well with coach Brian Shaw‘s desire to get more post play on the offensive end of the court. Plus, the lessons he would bring from his championship seasons would be valuable to the young Nuggets.
BUT I’m just wasting my breath. Tim Connelly came up empty-handed in his attempts to sign Bosh and Miller. The Nuggets’ offseason will be defined by Connelly’s moves on draft night, and it’s fairly certain the current roster will be what Brian Shaw has to work with when training camp starts.
However, Connelly has proven that Nuggets fans need to be ready for roster changes at ALL TIMES. Neither Bosh nor Miller would have been a true fit on the roster financially or personnel wise, and that shows that Connelly probably had some follow-up moves LINED UP if one of the players agreed to come to Denver.
The true test of a general manager is that he has his hands in multiple pockets in case the right opportunity comes along, and Connelly is passing that test with flying colors. The Nuggets will leave free agency empty-handed, but it’s hard to believe they end the season with the current roster given Connelly’s aggressiveness.