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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Nuggets in danger of losing 1 starter this offseason?

Michael Malone talking at a press conference

Just one year after they won it all together, the Denver Nuggets’ famed starting five may be in danger of splintering.

Evan Sidery of Forbes reports this week that Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, could command over $20 million on the open market. Sidery notes that Denver would like to re-sign Caldwell-Pope may not ultimately be able to do so since they have a tax bill projected to rise into the second luxury-tax apron. Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Orlando are reportedly some of the possible outside suitors for Caldwell-Pope.

The 31-year-old Caldwell-Pope is an indispensable role player for Denver. He is their best perimeter defender and has also shot a smoldering 41.5 percent from three in his two seasons as a Nugget. On top of that, Caldwell-Pope can put the ball on the deck and hit a midrange jumper when run off the three-point line.

A former lottery pick, Caldwell-Pope might be more valuable as the No. 4 or 5 option for Denver than he would be as the No. 2 or 3 for another team. But Caldwell-Pope already has two championship rings (with Denver last season and with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020), so securing the money may be his single biggest priority right now. There were also some big fish who were interested in Caldwell-Pope in years past.

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