Looking to free agency -- Denver edition

The elephant in the room is that we don't know how the new CBA will look.  That said let's take a look at how the key players in the upcoming free agency market are positioned.

*note all salary numbers are from the team salary database located at

On the books: $30,047,610

Denver has 7 players on the books for next year with total salary commitments of $30,047,610.

Raymond Felton    $7,560,000

Al Harrington          $6,226,200

Chris Andersen     $4,869,100

Timofey Mozgov     $3,343,896

Danilo Gallinari     $4,190,182

Ty Lawson              $1,654,440

Kosta Koufos         $2,203,792


Player options: $11,600,000

Nene                        $11,600,000


Restricted Free Agents:

Wilson Chandler

Arron Afflalo

Gary Forbes


Unrestricted Free Agents:

J R Smith

Melvin Ely

Kenyon Martin


2011 Draft picks:

22nd overall and 52nd overall


Trade Exceptions:

$17,149,243 C Anthony

$1,675,000 R Balkman

$854.389 S Williams



There are a lot of moving parts for Denver coming into the off-season.  They have their PGs locked up for next year, commitments to 3 backup centers, Gallinari and Harrington.  The largest question is whether or not Nene picks up his player option.  If he does, take Denver out of your list as a major FA player.  At that point they'll look to resign and retain Affalo and/or Chandler and have tough decisions about what they do with their remaining (if any) cap-space.  Denver with Nene would then be primed to be a major player in the trade market with their young talent and major trade exemption.

On the other hand, if Nene opts out of his player option Denver will be committed to only 7 players and a draft pick with 3 of them being centers.  Denver would of course like to retain Nene, but they would be entering the FA market with a sizable amount of cap-space and Gasol, Nene, Jordan, Dalembert, Chandler, Oden, Nazr Mohammed, Yao Ming, Spencer Hawes, Nenad Krstic, Joel Przybilla, and Erick Dampier hitting the market.  Needless to say they'd have some options if Nene gets away.

The key to it all for Denver is positioning.  They are positioned to adjust to anything the new CBA throws at them.  If it's similar to the current one they can likely retain their key players and look ahead to the trade deadline.  If changes are drastic they have very little in the way of commitments.   What I find the most likely case is that Denver will look a lot like they currently do and will try hard to retain much of what they had last year.  I don't expect them to be a major player for any non-Denver free agents, but they are positioned to react to the new CBA in any number of ways.

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