The Nuggets are far removed from the initial national conversations concerning the next landing spot for LeBron James, but they'll not let the opportunity pass by without at least making their interest known.
James' agent informed the Miami Heat on Tuesday morning that he'll opt out of the final two years of his contract, which was to pay him $42.7 million, to become an unrestricted free agent. The Nuggets, according to an NBA source, will line up and make their pitch, along with pretty much every other team in the league.
Fitting James onto the Nuggets' roster would entail clearing out a truckload of contracts. The best route, but not the only one, to clear enough cap room would be through moving the contracts of JaVale McGee ($11.2 million), Danilo Gallinari ($10.8 million) and Wilson Chandler ($6.7 million) for next season. And they'd have to do all of that without getting comparable contracts in return, which would be extremely difficult.
No team can court James until free agency begins on July 1.
Nuggets executives have said they will be aggressive trying to improve the roster — no matter how much of a long shot it is. The Nuggets also engaged in exploratory talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves about what it would take to trade for their disgruntled star, Kevin Love.
James' opt-out doesn't mean he is leaving the Heat. He can re-sign with the Heat but he is expected to want answers regarding what management will do to improve the roster around him. San Antonio demolished the Heat, 4-1, in the NBA Finals.
The leaders to land James are widely believed to be Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas and possibly the Los Angeles Lakers.
But a host of other teams, such as the Nuggets, will be doing everything they can to figure out a way to get him interested in at least taking a look.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com or twitter.com/dempseypost