The Denver Nuggets, armed with $11.7 million cap space, look to spend a bulk of those to improve their ailing defense that ranked third to last in efficiency. According to Denver Post's NBA insider Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post, the Nuggets are looking at Tony Allen, Serge Ibaka, Kantavious Caldwell-Pope and Thabo Sefalosha as defensive-oriented FA targets this offseason.
In a recent mailbag, Kosmider stressed that defense will be the main focus for the Nuggets' front-office after allowing 111.2 points per contest last season. The Nuggets were a top-3 scoring (111.7 ppg), rebounding (46.4 rpg) and passing (25.3 apg) team in the league, but defense happened to be the area where they are really, really bad.
"Improving defensively is priority No. 1 for the Nuggets this offseason. They simply won't be good enough to move up the ladder in the Western Conference without making massive strides in that area. As you noted, they need help defensively both on the perimeter and at the rim," Kosmider stressed.
Kosmider pointed out that the market for rim protectors will be scarce as it for perimeter defenders. However, he cited veteran stopper Tony Allen, Thabo Sefolosha and young gun Kantavios Caldwell-Pope as option for their perimeter defense, while big-money seekers Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin as interior defenders.
In an article by Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, he discussed the Nuggets' salary cap situation that heavily hinges on the decision of Danilo Gallinari. The Italian has already expressed his intention to opt out of the final year of his deal and test the free-agency market this summer, but he nevertheless mentioned his desire to re-sign with the Nuggets. General manager Tim Connelly has been non-committal about Gallinari's future, since his contract would virtually make or break the Nuggets' offseason.
Should the Nuggets forego the opportunity to re-sign Gallinari, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are the two teams that could vie for his services this free-agency season.