3 moves Nuggets still must make after first weekend of 2022 NBA free agency

The Denver Nuggets are looking to round out their roster via 2022 NBA free agency.

Nuggets GM Calvin Booth has now given head coach Michael Malone a pretty good squad. Denver has a variety of options to mix and match, especially with the acquisition of Bruce Brown. This was an important coup for the Nuggets. While the Brooklyn Nets concentrated on figuring out how to get beyond the Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant brouhaha, Booth took some fruit from the Nets’ free agent tree by signing the 6’4″ Brown for a deal of two years and $13 million.

He joins recent trade arrivals Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith from Washington, free agency DeAndre Jordan, first-round picks Christian Braun from Kansas and Peyton Watson from UCLA, along with Villanova’s Collin Gillespie on a two-way deal. With a roster that supports generational talent like Nikola Jokic and experienced scorers like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., Denver has a fresh look and renewed optimism.

Ownership is upbeat, too. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment teams have won big lately. The Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Mammoths have all won league titles, and the Nuggets certainly want to add their own to that trophy case.

It will be fascinating to watch how Malone tries to do this. How will he structure the rotation come playoff time? He does have more depth now with both Brown and Bones Hyland providing hybrid alternatives to integrate with the starting lineup as well as additional support off the bench. Truth be told, barring injury, this roster is almost complete.

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Still, Denver can make more moves to completely round out the roster.

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Nuggets: Three Moves Denver Must Make

3. Re-sign Austin Rivers

With Jamal Murray taking over the starting role, Will Barton (or anyone he’s traded for) playing alongside him, and Monte Morris and Hyland coming off the bench, the backcourt will be packed next season. Despite this, Rivers can still be re-signed as someone who can have a situational role as the third guard off the bench.

If the Nuggets manage to stay healthy this season, the 29-year-old would be a good filler player. On the plus side, he will probably only receive offers around the veteran’s minimum, which means he will be extremely affordable. He and Facundo Campazzo are both unrestricted free agents this summer, and Austin Rivers is the more likely to be retained.

2. Sign Caleb Martin

The Hornets allegedly were able to keep Cody on a four-year, $32 million contract, making one Martin twin already inked. Caleb, however, is still available even after a successful season with Miami. The 26-year-old scored 9.2 points in 22.9 minutes per game during what was technically his first NBA season without playing with his brother. He also shot 50.7 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc on 2.6 attempts per game.

Signing Martin would be a good back-up 3-guy, especially if Michael Porter Jr continues to remain in sick bay. He’ll give the Nuggets a reliable perimeter option who can open things up for Nikola Jokic and hopefully, a healthy Jamal Murray.

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1. Bring back Carmelo Anthony

Weirdly enough, the ninth-best scorer in NBA history and future Hall of Famer is still available. Looking back at his debut season as a Laker, however, it’s easy to see why.

Carmelo Anthony averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 26 minutes of playing time while shooting 44.1 percent overall. The 38-year-old was a shell of his best self. Still, he was a solid scorer for the Lakers’ supporting case.

Any team who could acquire Anthony would get a veteran who can still make three-pointers on a regular basis. Last year, he shot 37.5 percent on 5.8 tries per game. He could be a difference-maker.

Ending up in Denver, though, would give him the opportunity to go full circle in a career that is closer to its end than its beginning. He won’t get a Kobe-esque farewell tour, but having Melo close out his career where it began would be pretty awesome. He also should inevitably overtake Shaquille O’Neal on the all-time scoring list.

Miles Bridges, Michael Jordan, Hornets

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