J.R. Smith is the biggest difference as the veteran shooting guard has yet to resign with the team. Reports have surfaced that he’s unhappy with the money and years offered and speculation of him playing elsewhere is gaining momentum.
The team also lost center Timofey Mozgov to the LA Lakers and shooting guard Mo Williams to retirement and with no replacements in place, the team is now counting on some younger players to develop and help in the quest of winning another title.
With all the off court issues, rumors have started on potential trades the front office can make to help things on the court. Zach Lowe of ESPN has reported Denver is looking to move power forward Kenneth Faried, not a big secret considering the 26-year-old has been linked with several teams over the last year.
Aaron Ferguson of Fan Sided suggested a few weeks ago that the two sides could come together. Denver would need to add shooting guard Will Barton to any potential trade, a move that would strengthen the Cavs bench and give them some presence in the paint, both needs for the upcoming season.
The biggest drawback is who would the Nuggets get in return? Kevin Love is too steep a price for two role players, no matter how dissatisfied the team and its fans are with Love. Maybe Tristan Thompson and Kay Felder, along with a future second round pick makes more sense.
Faried is fierce on the glass and could move to center if the team wants to play a small lineup. With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Love set as the big three, adding a versatile big man along with a capable shooting guard could make this a win-win for all parties involved.