NBA free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. EST Friday morning and barely anyone around the league knows what to expect.
The salary cap skyrocketed from $70 million in 2015-16 to roughly $94 million this coming year, the biggest jump in league history, and the $24 million spike will have teams throwing around money over the next week like the league has never seen before.
The Nuggets, however, don’t figure to be one of those teams.
Denver has been quiet on the free agency rumor front and for good reason. The Nuggets will have a modest $20-28 million in salary cap room depending on which draft picks they end up signing and if/when they renounce the rights to their own free agents.
The top-tier free agents aren’t ready to consider Denver as a destination, which will likely have to wait until next season or the season after that, and it’s hard to envision the Nuggets getting into a bidding war for a middle-tier free agent that would be relegated to a lesser role with Denver.
However, the Nuggets will need to be aware of the salary floor which is estimated to be around $84.6 million next season. That number shouldn’t be that hard to reach if Denver is able to bring back Darrell Arthur at around $12 million per year, but they’d likely have to sign someone else to hit that threshold. If they don’t get to the floor, the Nuggets distribute the difference to their players.
Coach Michael Malone and general manager Tim Connelly have recently said they’re not done making moves, which could mean a number of things, but I don’t envision the Nuggets signing anyone of much significance in free agency.
Nuggets may have interest in Parsons
ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst did say the Nuggets may have interest in Chandler Parsons.
“I heard Chandler Parsons there, maybe,” Windhorst said of Parsons to Denver on the Lowe Post.
“If Denver goes after anybody, I think he’s on their board,” Windhorst continued.
Granted, ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe did preceded Windhorst’s interjection by stating the Nuggets may be one of the few teams to sit out free agency altogether.
“Another team that may sit it out by the way is the Nuggets, although they’re very far under the floor,” Lowe said. “They have a lot of guys they like.”
Parsons’ max deal, which he’ll certainly get in the coming days, would run Denver four-years and $94.8 million. That seems like a big risk for a 27-year-old at a position of strength for the Nuggets, who’s last two seasons have ended with surgeries on his right knee.
Dallas reportedly has “no interest” in bringing back Parsons and the swingman has a meeting set up with the Portland Trail Blazers right when free agency begins. The Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic are also interested in Parsons, per ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon.
Parsons averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 61 games last seasons.