By ANANTH PANDIAN (247SPORTS) – Based on a report from Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, we can now add another team to the LeBron James’ sweepstakes – the Denver Nuggets.
That’s right, the Nuggets, who so far have not been listed in any report about James’ free agency, are trying to recruit LeBron to Denver.
According to Mannix, the Nuggets are hoping to get a meeting with James in the next couple of days and sell him on teaming up with Nikola Jokic.
Here’s more from Mannix:
The Denver Nuggets are aggressively pursuing a meeting with star free-agent forward LeBron James, a league source told Yahoo Sports, hoping to convince James that Denver’s talent makes the Nuggets an ideal short-term fit.
Denver has been in contact with James’ agent, Rich Paul, and has doggedly tried to position the team as James’ best option, the source said. Paul George’s decision to re-sign with Oklahoma City has taken a potential James teammate in Los Angeles off the board, and thus far the Lakers’ talks with San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard have gained no traction.
Denver doesn’t have the cap space to sign James, but the Nuggets have several sizable expiring contracts that could be off-loaded to teams that want to clear cap space for the summer of 2019.
The Nuggets are eager for an opportunity to sell James on a frontcourt pairing with Jokic, a 23-year-old franchise center and one of the NBA’s best passing big men. A Jokic-James pairing would instantly make Denver one of the best playmaking teams in the league.
It should be noted that Mannix is reporting that the Nuggets are simply hoping to get a meeting with James and his agent Rich Paul. Mannix is not saying that the Nuggets are a team James prefers to play, which has reportedly been the case with teams like the Lakers and Cavaliers. Also it is not a hundred percent certain that the Nuggets would be able to offload their expiring contracts to have enough cap space to sign James. But if they are able to do that, the Nuggets would be an interesting team for James to join.
As with literally anywhere he goes, James joining the Nuggets would instantly transform Denver into a championship contender and one of the top teams in Western Conference. And as Mannix pointed out, Jokic’s playmaking and offensive prowess coupled with James’ elite all around play would just make Denver a deadly team.
Plus Denver has other strong starters with Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. The Nuggets also have tremendous depth with Will Barton, Mason Plumlee, Trey Lyles and if he is able to play, rookie Michael Porter Jr..
Whether or not a Nuggets teams with James could challenge the Warriors in the West remains to be seen. But if they are able to add James it wouldn’t be an understatement to say no matter what, the Nuggets would be a championship contender.