DENVER — The Nuggets seem interested in every Paul except McCartney and Revere.
The team’s newly-promoted executives talk a good game, but they can’t get a done deal.
The Nuggets desperately need a star-power forward. They urgently need more interior defense. They certainly need a veteran team leader. They very much need an-around player. They greatly need a player willing to play in Denver.
And they need a name player. Paul?
Paul George won’t play for the Nuggets for more than a season before he goes off to the Lakers. Chris Paul seeks to play for a championship contender, and the Nuggets aren’t in that realm. Paul Pierce has retired. Paul Goldschmidt plays baseball for the Diamondbacks. Paul McCartney plays bass.
Paul Millsap is the player the Nuggets need, and the player the Nuggets can get.
Why, as my dad used to say, all this futzing around?
Millsap is a four-time NBA All-Star. In the past season he led the Hawks in scoring (19.1 per game) and was second in rebounds (8.2), assists (3.9), steals (1.4) and blocks (1.0).
In 2015-2016, Millsap was second-team All-Defense in the NBA, and just behind Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard at forward. Swell company.
Millsap is tough and strong, a team player and a good guy.
He is a FREE AGENT.
The Nuggets wouldn’t have to give up their most prized assets.
So, what’s holding up the Nuggets’ brain trust?
They actually believed they could make a trade for Jimmy Butler, Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Love, or they can sign Blake Griffin or Chris Paul.
How did that work out with Dwayne Wade last year, Nuggets? How did it work out with Carmelo Anthony years ago? How does it work out with the other superstars in the league? Denver is not the hot spot.
However, Millsap has been comfortable playing in Atlanta and, before, that Salt Lake City. You’re telling me a guy wouldn’t rather be in Denver than those two cities?
The Nuggets have been intrigued with trying to acquire Millsap for more than a year. If they had made the trade during the past season, they would have made the playoffs and make people in Denver excited – those people who stay away from The Can by the hundreds of thousands annually because the Nuggets aren’t special.
So, what’s the problem?
NBA franchises now can sell advertising patches on team uniforms.
Maybe the Nuggets should go for an arrangement with a famous fast-food chain.
"McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets."
The Nuggets have been too chicken to pull off any major deal since the Carmelo Trade. They’re apparently afraid to take the big step, preferring these baby steps.
Or maybe they don’t want to spend the money. Millsap will cost $152 million over four years – or $38 mil per. Wow. That’s a lot. Guess what? That will be the going rate now in the cash-rich NBA. And the Nuggets must spend on somebody.
Maybe they think Millsap is too old at 32. Yet, he’ll be 36 when the contract is over, and that’s no longer old in professional basketball. And even if his talent level fades in the final season, the Nuggets still would have one of the top power forwards in basketball over a three-year span.
And when was the last time the Nuggets had a great power forward? Calvin Natt in the 1980s? Kenyon Martin a half dozen years ago? They definitely reached the postseason with both those rugged guys.
All the dunces on the internet who can’t write and don’t know basketball are living in surreal worlds when they think Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or Paul George is coming to Colorado.
But Millsap would, and become team captain immediately.
He’d be playing alongside Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets can use Wilson Chandler and others at the small, shooting forward (although Millsap can hit the three 33 percent of the time), and the Nuggets would have Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay and Will Barton in the backcourt.
Perhaps Millsap can teach the others to play occasional defense and give them some class.
Millsap is the missing piece.
But the Nuggets probably will continue to pursue hopeless dreams and miss out. And enough with Tyler and Trey.
Millsap is the best Paul and player available.