Five players the Nuggets should target in free agency

The Denver Nuggets may have just won a title, but they are trying to improve this summer in hopes of repeating it.

Nuggets have outgrown the paycheck cup, in the luxury tax and are very limited in ways they can add to their menu. However, there are a few things Denver can do on June 30th when they open free agency to improve their team.

In our full breakdown of the Denver Sports offseason, we covered what the Nuggets need: a backup guard, senior, and some scoring off the bench. Denver has already added some bench targets and depth in the backcourt as well as some on the wings, with their three picks last week. The big question about the core of Nuggets for Nikola Jokic, Jamaal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – who are all returning – will Sixth Man Bruce Brown return? Brown played reserve guard and was a three-dimensional winger with good cutting skills. But the Browns will have to get an opponent in order to restart his run with the Nuggets. The Nuggets may replace the Browns and need to reconfigure some of their seats. Even if the Browns come back, and even though they surprisingly prove they can manage the point, Denver might want a true regular-season reserve point. With or without the Browns, this is the list for the Nuggets to consider, keep in mind that they will only have one mid-level taxpayer exception (worth $5 million) and minimum contracts.

Here are five NBA free agents you should target for the Denver Nuggets:

SG, 6-6, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Minnesota

One of Murray’s backcourt teammates and longtime friend of Blue Arrow, NAW was one of the players tasked with cooling Murray into the playoffs. Alexander Walker, cousin of Shay Gilgos Alexander, was the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, but he struggled to get in, having already been traded four times in his four-year NBA career. Over 217 games, he shot 34% from depth, scored 8.4 points and handed out 2.1 assists per game.

In the playoffs this year, the spirited Murray shot just 36% from the field in the series when guarded by Alexander Walker, according to match data on In the game that got Wolves to the Nuggets, his cousin and Thunder All-NBA player was caught shooting 2-for-14 in games. NAW has its wings 6-9 and it looks like it’s finally found the role that suits it best in the NBA. It’s a restricted free agent but the Twin Cities could have a lot more traffic on their roster with how expensive they are despite the huge success. If he leaves NAW, can he take a salary cut of around $7 million to follow Brown’s path with $5 million and look great next to Jokic?

SG, 6-5, Chic Milton, Philadelphia

Melton spent all five of his NBA seasons with 76 as a solid backcourt option. Strong Milton distribution figures show that he is an undervalued passerby. He’s also a career high 36.5% from three-pointers, and has averaged over 50 points from depth in one season. He also played in 43 postseason games, most of which came off the Philly postseason rotation this past season, but the 26-year-old has been solid in past playoffs. Milton seems like a guy with a lot of different talents but needs a change of scenery in order to thrive. Melton is an unrestricted free agent and can earn with the Nuggets this season ($5 million) as he has in his career.

SG, 6-5, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago

Dosunmu is also a restricted free and may slip through the cracks for a Bulls team in flux. A second-round senior pick in 2021, the Chicago native who went to Illinois would be a perfect freshman. He dribbles, plays defense, plays against teammates, and hits a great shot at times. With Lonzo Ball seriously injured, he was more or less the Bulls’ starting point guard for two seasons, although he does play out of the ball a bit with DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine doing a lot of the production. Ball injury also explains some of the reasons why Dosunmu’s three-point shooting went from 38% in his rookie season to 31% last year. All but one of his 129 career three points came on an assist, and throwing away Chicago’s top playmaker would certainly have hurt a young player. The Bulls issued a qualifying offer of $5 million to Dosunmu, which the Nuggets could offer. The Bulls can match what Denver has to offer, but they also have their three other point guards, plus Colby White and Alex Caruso.

G, 6-3, Dennis Schroeder, Lakers

A veteran with a few years of ups and downs, make it through his career. A Bulldog point guard and shooting guard who packs on defense and has some of the scoring abilities that Schroeder spent last season with the Lakers. He was a starter and had seven points, three rebounds and three assists in Los Angeles’ four-game loss to the Nuggets. He’s been a big part of the Hawks for nearly a decade scoring 25 points per game in a playoff series, but for the most part, he’s had about 13 points per game on 34% shooting from depth while adding nearly Five artists per game. While his offensive game has waned a bit as he’s changed roles with age, his defense is still top notch.

The Wing, 6-5, Josh Richardson, New Orleans

Richardson played for six teams and the former second baseman had plenty of skill but could not find the right home or position on the ground. Could the Nuggets’ oddball be as good as a flyer on Richardson and his career-high 37% three-point percentage, known defense and some playmaking abilities?

Other names to watch: Patrick Beverly, Joe Engels, Donte DiVincenzo, Gabe Vincent, Jevon Carter, Kyle Lowry, Mason Plumley

Another note: The Nuggets have a $9 million trade exception that expires a few days in July, generated from a deal with Monte Morris last summer. These players will fit into the Nuggets and fit into this cash slot. Jason Tate, Dillon Wright, KJ Martin, Alex Caruso, Sadiq Bey, Cole Anthony


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