The Nuggets have six free agents. At least one seems certain to return.
Guard Arron Afflalo had said before the season he wanted to sign a contract extension with the team. But the Nuggets held off due to uncertainty about what might happen with forward Carmelo Anthony, who was on the trading block.
Anthony was traded in February to New York, and the Nuggets finished the regular season strong. It's now evident from both signs that a return of Afflalo, who becomes a restricted free agent July 1, is wanted.
"In my eyes, I'm here," Afflalo said. "That's the plan. At this point, that's how I'm moving forward."
Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri looks at it the same way. He said there's "no question" Afflalo will be re-signed.
Afflalo averaged a career-high 12.6 points while shooting 42.3 percent from three-point range. He was Denver's top perimeter defender.
Afflalo's value to the Nuggets was further seen when he missed time at the end of the regular season due to a hamstring strain. Afflalo then sat out the first two games of a first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City. The Nuggets lost both games en route to a 4-1 loss.
On Feb. 24, two days after the Nuggets had dealt Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York and gotten a bevy of players back, they defeated Boston 89-75 in the first game in which newly acquired Gallinari, Chandler and guard Raymond Felton played. That began a 11/2-month stretch in which the Nuggets also beat heavyweights San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas. It showed Denver's season was far from over after the trade.
In Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City, the Nuggets led by as many as 13 points in the first half. However, they eventually lost 107-103 in a game in which they were outscored 7-2 in the final three minutes while shooting 0-of-5. That began a playoff series in which Denver lost 4-1, with three of the defeats by four or more points as the Nuggets struggled to find offense during crunch time.
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