Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Nuggets Success Starts With Faried and Randle, Not Shumpert and 5 Other Guards

The Denver Nuggets have been rumored to be in the process of trying to trade Kenneth Faried to the New York Knicks for Iman Shumpert. This wouldn't be the first or the last trade Denver has made with the Knicks. Remember a few years ago when Carmelo Anthony was shipped out of Denver to New York for many of Denver's current players, including Danilo Gallinari. I'm at the point where I want to see Denver make it out of the first round, but they have to build a dominant team without making a critical mistake.

Denver needs to keep Faried right now and allow the Knicks to ship Shumpert onto a team that wants to rot with a second-rate player that would only fit in as a sixth-man or a role player on the bench. Denver has too many guards as it is. Denver needs a forward or a center more than a guard at this point, and the 2014 NBA Draft has hope for the Nuggets. The six-foot nine-inch, 250 pound dominant forward: Julius Randle is needed for Denver. Most people think Jabari Parker would fit in with Denver, but the Nuggets would need to get rid of Gallinari. Getting rid of Gallinari wouldn't be a smart choice. Gallinari represents one hell of a shooter on the basketball court for the Nuggets. Randle and Faried would be the ultimate frontcourt duo to compete with the upcoming Favors-Kanter frontcourt in Utah. Randle has scoring ability in the paint and the ability to rebound the ball as good, if not better than Faried. While I lean more towards Randle as the future of Denver, I still want to keep the "manimal" in the picture for Denver. Faried can rebound very efficiently for Denver, and pairing Faried with Randle would only allow the Nuggets to become better. The Nuggets would become a more complete team with Faried and Randle dominating the paint when Gallinari and Lawson can shoot jumpers from downtown. A shooting guard would be needed for Denver besides Evan Fournier, who would be a fantastic sixth-man for the Nuggets. I would love to see the shooting guard hole filled by current Thunder guard: Thabo Sefolosha or current 76ers guard/forward: Evan Turner. Turner would be a great shooter, but Sefolosha could split time with Fournier. Sefolosha has a bit of shooting ability, but he has fantastic perimeter defense. Fournier could split time with the veteran guard, Sefolosha because of Fournier's shooting ability and potential. That leaves Javale McGee out of the picture, but Denver could keep him in a backup role for Randle and Faried. If McGee doesn't want to stay in Denver as a backup, the Nuggets could ship him out of Denver for a 2015 draft pick. The 2015 draft class has some outstanding frontcourt players. I want the Nuggets to draft Randle and keep Faried to build the next great frontcourt in the game of basketball.

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Utah Jazz 2014 Draft Needs

In the stacked season of one-and-done freshmen that shine in a class often compared to the 2003 NBA Draft class that featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh. Many compare Andrew Wiggins to LeBron, but I disagree. Wiggins shouldn't be blamed for comparisons to LeBron. Wiggins appears to seem like Tracy McGrady. Remember McGrady? He averaged close to 30 points per game in 2007. This post isn't about Wiggins though. This post is about what the Utah Jazz need to do to become a dominant force within the NBA. The Jazz have a young core to build around with future stars: Gordon Hayward (guard/forward), Derrick Favors (forward), and Enes Kanter (center). I project the Jazz to finish dead last in the competitive NBA this season. That doesn't secure the first pick in the draft due to the awful NBA Draft Lottery, but that will give the Jazz a 25% chance at securing the pick. If the Jazz secure the first pick in the draft, they should trade down immediately! I'm sure I sound crazy, but the Jazz need a point guard to man the show. That point guard is Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State. As much of a fit as Jabari Parker would be in Utah, I would rather watch Smart running the point and playing on a team where Hayward plays at shooting guard, Favors plays at power forward, and Kanter plays at center. That leaves two holes: the small forward position, and the sixth man role. If the Jazz traded the first pick in the 2014 draft, they could get the fourth pick, a good role player, and a good late first rounder or a high second rounder. That's my call if I played the role of Jazz GM, but the Jazz wouldn't be far off if they drafted both Harrison twins out of Kentucky. Hayward would be forced to move to the small forward position, but that would work out. The Jazz could get multiple draft picks to fit their core if they trade the first pick in the draft for the fourth pick, a role player, and a late first rounder. Then, the Jazz need to turn around and trade the fourth pick for the ninth pick, another role player, and another late first rounder. That would give the Jazz the following picks and players: Ninth pick, two quality role players, and two late first round picks. They could still have the possibility of drafting Smart at the ninth pick, but they could also have the possibility of drafting both Harrison twins to play point guard and shooting guard. I would love to see the Jazz draft quality guards, resign Hayward, Favor, and Kanter, and sign some veteran players like Shane Battier and Mike Miller to build some veteran leadership in the locker room. That's my take on what the Utah Jazz need to do to build the next great Jazz team to compete in the Western Conference.