The Denver Nuggets' 2020-21 NBA campaign ended on a rather unceremonious note, as Nikola Jokic and co. were swept by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semi-finals. Michael Malone's team will now prepare for the off-season, where the Denver Nuggets have several key decisions to make regarding personnel.
3 players that the Denver Nuggets might part ways with during the 2021 NBA offseason
The Denver Nuggets have a roster that, when fully healthy, can compete for a championship. However, there are a few gaping holes in it as well, and the Nuggets will have to clear a few roster spots to improve the squad.
On that note, let's take a look at the 3 players who are unlikely to return for the Denver Nuggets ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.
#3 - Austin Rivers
The Denver Nuggets picked up Austin Rivers on trade deadline day, and it is safe to say that his short stint with the team has been positive. Rivers is an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and it will be intriguing to see if the Nuggets choose to bring him back.
In all likelihood, the Denver Nuggets will part ways with Austin Rivers. The Nuggets already have one of the best backup point guards in the league in Monte Morris, and one of the reasons they got Rivers is because of Jamal Murray's injury. Murray is expected to be fully healthy at the start of the season, which means there is a great chance that Austin Rivers will be playing his basketball elsewhere.
#2 - Paul Millsap
The Denver Nuggets turned heads when they signed then 29-year old Paul Millsap to a 3-year $90 million contract in 2017. However, Millsap justified his worth in his 4-year stint with the Denver Nuggets (he had a player option for the 2020-21 season), acting as a glue guy on a talented roster.
Millsap's contract expires this summer, and it is hard to imagine that the Denver Nuggets will extend the 35-year old veteran's contract.
#1 - Javale McGee
Javale McGee averaged just 8.5 minutes per game in the 2021 NBA playoffs for the Denver Nuggets, which went on to show Michael Malone's hesitation to trust the big in key matches. The Nuggets acquired the former LA Lakers center in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers around the NBA trade deadline, but McGee remained a peripheral player in his time with the team this season.
McGee is an unrestricted free agent in the 2021 off-season and will don new colors in the 2021-22 NBA campaign in all probability.