The Denver Nuggets had a very rough series.
They were easily swept away by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs.
None of the games were truly close.
Now the Nuggets must rebound for next season.
However, they need to focus on this offseason first.
They need to make some changes in order to compete with the top of the Western Conference.
Granted, they might not have Jamal Murray until some point in 2022, but there are some moves to make within the organization.
The sweep should be a wake-up call for the Nuggets.
They are not close to a title; even though they have the MVP, Nikola Jokic.
Time is ticking.
Here are three changes they can make this offseason.
3. Upgrade The Guard Spots
One of the biggest mismatches during this playoff run was the Nuggets’ guards versus any other team.
Will Barton returned from injury to help with the backcourt.
That foursome is not championship quality.
Through two games: Monte Morris is 2-of-17 with 5 points, Austin Rivers is 4-of-12 for 13 points and Facu Campazzo is 6-of-16 for 17 points.
CP3 is 14-of-24 for 38 points, Booker is 14-of-26 for 39.
— Mike Singer (@msinger) June 10, 2021
Obviously, it is different with Murray on the floor.
However, one injury made this backcourt one of the worst in the league.
There are going to be players on the free agent market that they must look at.
There are a lot of guards in free agency this offseason that might not be stars, but would be a major upgrade for the Nuggets.
2. Trade Michael Porter Jr.
This might be the most controversial idea out there, but it is still possible.
Michael Porter Jr. is a talented, young player oozing with potential.
He improved a lot this season and had flashes of a guy who can be a star in this league.
Highest eFG% in a season, min 19 PPG:
68.3% — Wilt Chamberlain
64.6% — Michael Porter Jr
We’ve just seen the 2nd most efficient 19+ PPG season in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/LvDEF5MKFT
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 17, 2021
However, there were other flashes of someone that isn’t ready for the moment.
Jokic needed him to produce at a high level to compete against the Suns.
He did not rise to the occasion.
Porter Jr. only averaged 15.3 points per game in the four-game series.
Perhaps his potential can lead to acquiring a star player.
The Nuggets can make a call for Zach LaVine or a package of players.
Maybe Porter Jr. is the star the Nuggets need.
Maybe he is the ultimate trade piece.
1. Firing Michael Malone
A reasonable outcome from this sweep could be the firing of Michael Malone.
This isn’t an indictment on his coaching abilities.
He has developed this team and got them to play great basketball.
However, he might have reached his ceiling with this team.
We have seen it with the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.
Those were two teams that were very good, but they couldn’t win the ultimate prize.
They made a controversial move by firing the coach, but it led to a championship.
Maybe the Nuggets are in that same trajectory.
Coach Malone is a good coach, but he might not be able to lead this team to the next step.