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Around the Association: 2010 NBA Draft Previews - Denver Nuggets: Just need George Karl back?

29 days to go til the 2010 NBA Draft!

Again, there are 3 teams without draft picks. Yesterday, we covered the Cleveland Cavaliers (LeBron James to stay, out of pity?), today we'll cover the Denver Nuggets, and tomorrow the Charlotte Bobcats.

There's not a whole lot to talk about with the Nuggets as it pertains to the Draft. I think their #1 goal is to just hope the best for George Karl's health and that he can get back to the helm for 2010-11.

Interestingly, the good folks over at the Denver Stiffs speculate that a deal with the Warriors could yield what they need, a bolstered frontcourt...

That said, this draft could impact the Nuggets in several ways. For example, if the Golden State Warriors - one of the Nuggets few possible trading partners for J.R. Smith - draft DeMarcus Cousins at the sixth spot, does that mean the Nuggets could poach big men like Ronny Turiaf or Brandan Wright. Or if the Hornets go for a seven-foot Lithuanian, as is predicting (today), does that mean Emeka Okafor plus James Posey becomes available in exchange for Kenyon Martin's contract? I'm sure these conversations are happening at Nuggets headquarters right now.

Wow, we want J.R. Smith? And some other team covets our rotation big men?

Here's what they have and don't have committed for 2010-11...

pg Chauncey Billups
Ty Lawson
sg J.R. Smith Anthony Carter
Arron Afflalo
sf Carmelo Anthony
Coby Karl
pf Kenyon Martin Malik Allen
Chris Andersen
Renaldo Balkman
c Nene Hilario Johan Petro

That's a pretty strong roster as-is. The ones listed in the "maybe" column are not signed for 2010-11. I think they are fine in the backcourt (what a great pick Lawson was) and Afflalo has stepped up to the challenge.

The team has an option on Coby, but I don't see them cutting him considering all that the Karls are going through right now. Coby may be the type of backup Melo needs: one who won't complain about playing time and will just go in and do a yeoman's effort. I've seen him a few times in Summer League and Coby can definitely drain from outside. I'm waiting for him to feel comfortable and find a niche in this league, as he's already had a couple of such opportunities -- albeit, as it is for most guys, the stint on the Warriors was probably a bit chaotic for him.

So it appears they need some kind of backup center for Nene. Another rebounding power forward could help, too, considering Balkman is a bit skinny for the 4 spot.

This Draft is deep in rotation bigs, so this may be a great opportunity for them to sign someone up via free agency. That being said, don't be surprised if an Omar Samhan or Wayne Chism ends up on this team.

The 2010 NBA Draft, or rather those who will not get drafted from the point of view of the Nuggets, could prove to be a somewhat hidden opportunity for them to bolster what's already an enviable roster.

Tomorrow: the Charlotte Bobcats.

Previous: Cleveland Cavaliers: If You Leave

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