Denver Nuggets 2016-17 NBA Season Preview: Jamal Murray brings hope to Mile-High City; Kenneth Faried proving he’s not an overrated superstar

Denver Nuggets 2016-17 NBA Season Preview: Jamal Murray brings hope to Mile-High City; Kenneth Faried proving he’s not an overrated superstar

The Denver Nuggets will be entering the 2016-17 NBA season with the goal of developing their young guns as part of the long-term plan. This team may not be in a win-now mode but they are still expected to give a tough competition to every NBA teams.

The Nuggets were one of the NBA teams who pursued Dwyane Wade in the recent free agency. Despite giving him a good offer, Wade decided to play for his hometown team, Chicago Bulls. They also tried to inquire for Blake Griffin but the Los Angeles Clippers stood firm with their decision to keep their ‘Big Three’.

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This team had several flaws in the 2015-16 NBA season where they got the lowest field goal percentage on drives in the NBA. Also, the Nuggets had the sixth lowest transition turnover frequency of 11.6 percent.

Denver Nuggets Depth Chart/Roster

Point Guards: Emmanuel Mudiay, Jameer Nelson, Jamal Murray

Shooting Guards: Gary Harris, Will Barton, Axel Toupane, Malik Beasley

Small Forwards: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, JaKarr Sampson, Mike Miller

Power Forwards: Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, Juancho Hernangomez

Centers: Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic

Key Addition/s: Malik Beasley (Florida State), Juan Hernangomez (Estudiantes), DJ Kennedy (Yenisey Krasnoyarsk) and Jamal Murray (Kentucky).

Key Loss/es: DJ Augustin (Orlando Magic) and  Joffrey Lauvergne (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Strengths: Despite having a young roster, the Denver Nuggets have talented frontcourt players. Danilo Gallinari would be good floor spacer with his shooting ability. Kenneth Faried provides the veteran leadership and his athleticism helps the Nuggets in terms of rebounding.

Nikola Jokic continues to improve his game being a low-post scorer.  Jokic surpassed the expectations from him in his rookie year and made a huge contribution for Team Serbia, who won the Silver medal in the recent Rio Olympics.

The acquisition of Jamal Murray and Juancho Hernangomez in the recent NBA draft were considered a steal for the Denver Nuggets. However, these two rookies are expected to have limited playing time and still have lots to prove next season.

ALSO READ: Chicago Bulls 2016-2017 NBA Season Preview – Jimmy Butler era, stabilized by Dwyane Wade shared leadership

Weaknesses: The Denver Nuggets is desperately in need of a superstar on their team. They were frequently mentioned in various trade rumors in the past months but failed to get an ideal trade partner.

Also, point guard play will be major concern next season. Their latest acquisition, Jamal Murray, is expected to play at 2 but the Nuggets could also let him play as a backup for Emmanuel Mudiay.

Being involved in trade rumors, it seems like the Denver Nuggets have lost their trust for Kenneth Faried. Until they find his replacement, Faried is still expected to start at 4. Danilo Gallinari’s health is still a major issue for the Nuggets since he missed 40 percent of the games since he entered the NBA.

ALSO READ: Houston Rockets 2016-17 NBA Season Preview – ‘The James Harden Team’

Predictions: In the ESPN Summer Forecast, the Denver Nuggets are projected to finish in the 12th spot in the Western Conference with a record of 34-48. The team is still in the rebuilding mode wherein most of their young players are yet to find their chemistry.

Photo courtesy: Howcheng/Wikimedia Commons