Nikola Jokic is the fulcrum of the Nuggets’ high-powered offense. When Denver is at its best, the ball is in the big Serbian’s hands as he makes decisions based on what the whirl of bodies looks like around him. That approach has paid off with two consecutive finishes as a top-six offense. It also helps explain why the Nuggets felt they could get by without a traditional point guard for much of the 2017-18 season.
Emmanuel Mudiay was supposed to be that player, but he turned out to be a dud in Denver. After trading him in February, the Nuggets were left with Jamal Murray, Will Barton and Devin Harris, three guards who excel at scoring more than setting others up. Murray is the only player of that trio under contract for next season. In the coming weeks, it’s possible Denver looks to find a traditional point guard who can play behind him and shoulder some of the playmaking load.