What's next for the Nuggets after caging Chris "Birdman" Andersen?

We've been lobbying for the Denver Nuggets to re-sign Chris Andersen for over a month, and the more time that passed, the more likely it was that other teams would start knocking on his door. Fortunately, though, the deed is finally done, with the Birdman agreeing to a five-year, $26 million pact he more than earned with his play last season. But as rival teams improve (note the Los Angeles Lakers' wise signing of Ron Artest, a longtime behavior issue Phil Jackson should be able to control), pressure is growing on the Nugs to make a splashy signing or two of their own.

Today's Post hints at possible interest in the Portland Trail Blazers' Channing Frye, which would be a positive development on a couple of fronts: good for the Nugs, bad for Portland. (I'm less thrilled by the notion of adding Grant Hill, whose prime attribute at this stage of his career is leadership -- something Chauncey Billups already provides in abundance.) The Nuggets have some assets, including Linas Kleiza, who no longer seems as indispensable as he once did, so upgrading is certainly a possibility. But while improvements can certainly be made at the margins, any deal that would involve core players should be avoided like a Dikembe Mutombo elbow. Maintaining the playoff run's chemistry is key -- another reason why it's good Birdman didn't fly the coop.


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