Denver Nuggets fans have a lot to look forward to going into the next season. The team has a bright future, reasons to keep the current roster mostly intact, and, for many reasons, is nearly impossible not to root for.
Intentionally or not, the team is an oddball group of youngsters full of potential and energy and wily veteranse. Here are a few reasons to pay attention to the team during the off season and support them next season.
5. Speaking of veterans (and rookies)...
From veteran point-guard leader Jameer Nelson to a French guy named Axel Toupane — real name, promise — every player on the Nuggets roster has something to offer in this league. Rookies Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley may not receive much playing time this upcoming season, but they have real talent. Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari could all compete for larger roles on better teams. Young contributors like Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Joffrey Lauvergne, Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic look like an exciting core, prone to trash talk and dunks.
4. Mudiay's improvement
After a bumpy rookie season, Mudiay looks like a very big and explosive point guard who cannot shoot. Like, he cannot shoot at all. He brings some good stuff to the table but also takes some important stuff off the table. But isn't it fun to root for the underdog?
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3. Tickets galore
The 2016-2017 season schedule should be released in mid-July, and that means most people will have approximately ninety seconds to purchase a ticket to see Kevin Durant and the new-look Golden State Warriors. However, according to ESPN.com, the Nuggets ranked last in home-game attendance last season, so there’s probably a really good chance that tickets will be available. Even if you strike out on seatgeek.com or a stubhub bot tries to demand a kidney for box seats, there’s always at least one person along Speer looking to, um, “provide" tickets for a monetary fee.
2. Playoff potential
When healthy, the Nuggets should compete for a playoff spot. Gallinari showed signs of blossoming before getting hurt last season, and there’s always optimism that he won’t get hurt the next year. I mean, he probably will, but it’s fine to hope he is healthy.
1. Notables off-court
The days of goofballs like J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen or JaVale McGee playing for the Nuggets are over. Those were fascinating but fairly unlikable players. A casual basketball fan googling Faried’s involvement in the LGBT community or Barton’s hometown heroics will quickly see that for basketball reasons and more, this is a team to get excited about.