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Geez, are you sure you don't live here in Denver Ron? You sound about as optimistic about the Nuggets as the locals do.;)

But seriously, this coming season isn't going to bare much fruit as far as victories go for the Nuggets, but it is a huge year as far as the rebuilding process under Kiki.

It's his first draft and his chance to put a coach in place that he thinks can guide and develop a young team through some tough waters for a while. First there's the draft, as I said in the other thread, who the Nuggets take could hinge on what happens with Antonio McDyess and what they could receive in a potential deal for him. I've heard a slew of rumors ranging from Ray Allen (highly unlikely) to Keith Van Horn being sent to Denver in trades for McDyess.

If the Nuggets can solidify a good starter at another position of need, they can draft a quality PF at the #5 spot (Butler, Gooden) and give them a year to develop behind Juwon Howard. Speaking of Howard, he'll be gone after next season, clearing a slew of cap room for the Nuggets to take a shot at a free agent or two from the crop of 2003. While talentwise the Nuggets lost the deal with Dallas badly, they also cleared out some massive contracts (Nick The Quit, Abdul-Wahad, Avery Johnson) that were on the books thanks to the previous regime. Cap room, not immediate personnel help, was the key for the Nuggets in that trade.

But there in lies the problem, getting players to actually want to play here. The losing ways of the franchise for the last decade have really made Denver an unattractive place to play. That's why choosing the right coach is so important, Kiki has to get someone in here who not only can work the sidelines and develop young players, but get someone who players actually want to play for. The Nuggets haven't had that since Issel's first tour of duty and not coincidentally, that was the last time this team enjoyed any playoff success whatsoever.

So this next month's activity is crucial to the future of the team. Kiki has done well thus far in getting rid of some of the mistakes made by his predecessors. But now is the time that he must make sound decisions and lay the groundwork for the long and difficult task of rebuilding this team from the ground up. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

Either way, we still have the Avalanche and Broncos.

:grinning:
 
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