The Denver Nuggets made plenty of waves in the 2000’s. They had some good waves with the additions of Carmelo Anthony and the trade that brought in Chauncey Billups, but there was that whole Allen Iverson thing, that surprise surprise, did not work. If you measure success with only championships, then the Nuggets were a failure. If you measure success with extreme improvement, then the Nuggets enjoyed an enormous amount of success in the 2000’s, with their seven straight playoff appearances to cap off the decade. The one question in Denver right now is will their best franchise player of the 2000’s, Carmelo Anthony, choose to stay with them for some of the next decade. Here are the best five Denver Nuggets from 2001-2010. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Denver Nuggets from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Carmelo Anthony
When the Cleveland Cavs drafted Lebron James with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, they made life easy for the Denver Nuggets. It became clear that with Lebron gone, there was only one logical choice for the Nuggets with the second overall pick in the draft, and thus they called his name, Carmelo Anthony. In over seven seasons with Denver in the 2000’s, Carmelo averaged 24.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He was named to three Western Conference All-Star teams and four All-NBA teams.
2. Andre Miller
Miller played three and half seasons with the Denver Nuggets. He averaged over eight assists per game in the 2005-06 season, and was averaging over nine assists per game in 2006-07 before the Nuggets traded him. On December 19th, 2006, Miller was shipped to the Philadelphia 76’ers as part of the deal that brought Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets.
3. Kenyon Martin
K-mart, as he is more well known as, has been with the Denver Nuggets for six seasons. He shows glimpses of the young promising players from his years with the New Jersey Nets, but seasons of injuries have robbed him of his full potential. He gives the Nuggets an enforcing big man that can grab the tough rebound and make opposing guards think twice about driving to the hole.
4. Allen Iverson
On December 19, 2006, the Philadelphia 76ers decided it was time to part paths with franchise superstar Allen Iverson and traded him to the Denver Nuggets. Iverson was supposed to team up with Carmelo Anthony to give the Nuggets two scorers that can light it up on any given night. In almost two full seasons with the Nuggets, Allen Iverson did provide scoring with over 25 points per game as a Denver Nugget, but it never translated to taking the team to the NBA Finals like the Nuggets brass had hoped. Talent wise he is easily ahead of Andre Miller and Kenyon Martin, but with only about two seasons with the team, Iverson didn’t contribute enough for the Nuggets to be higher than #4 on this list.
5. Earl Boykins
Boykins kind of reminds me of the little engine that could. I’m sure that he was told all his life what he wasn’t able to do because of his 5 foot 5 inch frame. As a NBA fan, I’m glad that he never gave in to those ideas of skepticism. Boykins played three and half seasons with the Nuggets, supplying them with a major offensive spark off the bench. Boykins is now with the Washington Wizards, who stole him off the free agent market in the middle of the 2009-10 season.