Portfolio Review: Where you value the Denver Nuggets assets and roster depends on how much value you place in superstars. On paper, the Nuggets are stocked two deep at every position and feature almost every desirable skill set a coach could want to plug into any given situation.
In Ty Lawson and Nene Hilario, the Nuggets have two offensive threats to occupy multiple defenders and a number of other players on the wings who can create off of their primary action. They have solid defenders and energetic athleticism. And yet, head coach George Karl is faced with the lingering question, “can you win without superstars?”
“There are only two or three superstars in the league anyways,” Karl said early in the season.
There is some truth to that. On any given night the Nuggets have everything Karl needs at his disposal to compete with the best teams in the NBA. The depth and versatility of the roster can in fact replicate most of the value of an elite player.
The issue is consistency and health. Over the course of a season there will be injuries (like the one Danilo Gallinari suffered) and inconsistent play, and the value of an elite player like LeBron James or Dwight Howard, is they have the ability to patch holes for stretches of time. Those players bring the same level of play every night and are able to take on more without losing efficiency.
Prime Assets: The Nuggets are in an interesting position. Because each player is above average to good, virtually everyone on the team is in play for the right price. And because their depth, the Nuggets have the luxury of upgrading talent at any position by combining multiple players without a drastic drop in quality.
Even in the era of point guards, possessing two starting quality point guards would seem superfluous. Andre Miller on his own would probably fetch a rotation player, but the Nuggets already have their fair share of those. Intrigue picks up, however, if the Nuggets were able to combine Miller with another starting quality player, a young prospect, and draft pick.
Worthless Stock: Ty Lawson. But only because the return on him would likely never exceed the value of his contract or the value of the player. So perhaps the word here shouldn’t be worthless, but priceless.
The Rest: The rest of the roster is simply intriguing filler to place a bigger trade. The Nuggets do not need to build around the fringes. Improvement will either come from within, or converting multiple assets into a blockbuster deal.