No needs? As of the end of this season, here's our backcourt depth:
Originally Posted by iGerman
Afflalo/Hamilton/(Brewer - who's really not a 2)
I have high hopes for J-Ham, and modest hopes for Stone, but looking down the line even just to next season, let alone the next two or three, we'll need to add players to develop at both the guard positions.
Also, with the Nene trade, we now have no bigs who post up. I suspect one of either Moz or Koufos won't be around too much longer (and hopefully Bird as well). We're going to need at least one player in the frontcourt who can produce on offense. Gallo and Chandler will have some minutes at the 4 with Karl's small ball forever in effect. But Al's offensive game has a short half life from here on out, and we're gonna need a 4/5 who can legitimately put pressure on opposing defenses in half court situations.
This team is deep, but some players won't be around much longer, and others have limited potential in terms of development. Given that, we definitely have at least those^ three needs, and maybe even more if McGee doesn't pan out.
All of that said, the draft is not the only way to meet team needs, but a first round pick is a valuable asset (whether used in a trade or in the draft) that shouldn't be needlessly thrown away.
Bird's contract is really not that bad. He's playing 15.5 minutes per game this season, has a PER of 19.1, and per 36 minutes he's averaging 12.4 poitns and 11.1 rebounds. So let's look at some guys who are averaging between 14-25 minutes per game, have a PER of 16 or higher, and average 9+ points and 9+ rebounds per 36 minutes:
If you look at the group of players with approximately similar production in similar playing time, you can first of all see that it's a pretty damn solid bunch (and the Nuggets have 3 of them).
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Samuel Dalembert 7000000 6700000
Taj Gibson 1195680 2155811 (rookie contract)
Tiago Splitter 3672000 3944000
Kenneth Faried 1254720 1311240 1367640 2249768 (rookie contract)
DeJuan Blair 986000 1054000 (rookie contract)
Chris Andersen 4234000 4526000 4818000
Derrick Favors 4443360 4753320 6008196
Kosta Koufos 2203792 3000000 3000000 3000000
Average w/o Bird 2965079
rookie contracts 4277448
If you look at the average of all their salaries, it might seem that Bird is getting overpaid. Bu even so, not by very much. Andersen's salary is only about $1.25 million over the average of all the other players, not including him. That's not too bad.
But moreover, since about half of those players are on rookie contracts, those numbers don't really speak to their true value. If you look at the average of all the players not on rookie contracts (Bird's included), his contract is slightly under that average.
All of this adds up to this: He's probably getting paid spot on his market value. Bigs who can block are at a premium in this league, so that inflates it somewhat to be sure.
After this summer, he'll only have two years left on that contract, which is just over $4 million. It's easy to see where a Miami Heat, or LA Lakers, or San Antonio Spurs might want to have him as part of their bench to add some energy, blocks and size to their depth for what really is not an unreasonable fee.
And even if the Nuggets don't end up trading him at all, he's not that big a hit on the payroll.
No way should we dump a first for nothing to get rid of a player who not only isn't much of a financial liability, but could conceivably even be a trade asset. No way.