The Los Angeles Lakers could have another potential competitor out west for the services of LeBron James. According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, the Denver Nuggets are aggressively pursuing a meeting with James and have been in contact with his agent, Rich Paul.
However, Mannix adds that the Nuggets’ front office understands James coming there is a long shot. But they want a chance to sell the superstar forward on the trio of Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, and Jamal Murray for at least one season.
When free agency began, the Nuggets made sure to sign Jokic to a five-year, $147 million extension and re-sign Barton to a four-year, $53 million deal.
Even though they were smart moves to keep both players in the fold, it does not free up a lot of money to add a player like James.
Therefore, if Denver wanted to bring on James, they would have to move the contracts of big men Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur.
It would be an utter surprise if James considered the Nuggets, especially with it being almost a foregone conclusion that he would be playing in Los Angeles with the Lakers. But you do have to give the Nuggets some credit for trying to throw their hat in the proverbial ring.
While they aren’t a big market team like the Lakers, Denver does have the players that could complement James very well.
He would have a big man in Jokic, who hasn’t reached his full potential yet and is improving. An offensive-minded point guard in Jamal Murray, who is better than the point guards he played with this past season in Cleveland.
Finally, a better version of J.R. Smith in Will Barton, who had a career-year, shooting the basketball from distance at 37 percent.
The pieces are there in Denver if James wants to go, but the stars are aligning to say that will go to the City of Angels, where he can put a final stamp on his basketball legacy.