Denver Nuggets Mailbag: Michael Porter Jr.'s playing time, title hopes

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

Welcome to another edition of the Nuggets' mailbag! 

READ MORE: Mailbag Vol. 1

Training camp is just a month out and there's certainly a lot of topics to discuss. So here is the latest set of questions from the Nuggets' faithful. 

[Editor's Note: All opinions and ideas expressed below are our own and do not reflect any views of the Denver Nuggets’ front office and coaching staff]

By all indications, Michael Porter Jr.’s late scratch from the Summer League was strictly precautionary and he should be set to see action this season.

Having seen Porter Jr. in several scrimmages, the excitement over the 21-year-old is warranted. His athleticism makes him a dangerous threat inside the paint and he has the range to be deadly in mid-to-long range shots. He could prove to be a matchup nightmare as he’s versatile enough to play three positions (shooting guard, small and power forward). Still, there might not be immediate fireworks from the former Mizzou standout. Considering the paths of several rotation players, including Nikola Jokić, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley and Monte Morris, don’t be surprised if Mike Malone slowly brings his rookie along.

From Facebook: Henri: Do you see the Nuggets as a championship-caliber team this year or the next?

The Nuggets proved to be one of the NBA’s elite teams last season and there is a lot of optimism over the team’s ability to build on the progress shown last season. This team remains one of the youngest in the league and the addition of Jerami Grant gives Malone some much-needed athleticism and shot-blocking.

Although there have been plenty of high-profile moves this offseason, Denver is banking on self-improvement, continuity and chemistry as the reasons it will take another step this season. Remember this was a team that was just one win away from the Western Conference Finals. It will be fascinating to see if the players in the team’s young core can continue to make strides in this campaign.

Mike, Jokić is entering his fifth season in the NBA, but he certainly showcased his star quality to a global audience during the playoffs last season. The 24-year-old averaged 25.1 points, 13 rebounds and 8.4 assists while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor in the postseason, a scary thought when realizing the Serbian hasn’t hit his prime yet.

As you mentioned, he was rightly named as an All-NBA First Team last campaign and it’ll be interesting to see what he works on. Malone and Connelly have mentioned Jokić’s conditioning as something the Nuggets want to continue to improve as he progresses in the league. What is exciting is Nuggets fans have a chance to see their franchise star play in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia – one of the favorites of the tournament.

We’ve NEVER heard that one. LOL. In all seriousness, there are a few spots I’ve checked out, but happy to take any suggestions from the locals on Twitter! =)

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