NUGGETS

Is a rift between Jokic and the Nuggets looming on the horizon

Jul 3, 2024, 6:29 AM

The Nuggets have been painfully inactive thus far in the offfseason. Other than taking DaRon Holmes II in the NBA Draft, they’ve done nothing to improve their roster. Meanwhile, they’ve stood by as an important piece to their championship puzzle (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and a potential future building block (Collin Gillespie) left for greener pastures.

It has fans frustrated. And according to Zach Bye, co-host of “The Drive” on Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan, that feeling might not be limited to those who purchase tickets.

Nikola Jokic, the team’s best player and winner of NBA MVP honors in three of the last four seasons, is a low-key, low-maintenance superstar. But that doesn’t mean he will forever be happy with the organization. At some point, even Jokic could tire of what’s happening in the Mile High City.

Bye and Lindsey make some interesting points. They bring up an issue that could be looming.

“I want to know what he thinks about this,” Bye said on Tuesday’s show, referring to the Nuggets lack of action in free agency thus far. “Two years in a row, this roster has taken a step backwards.”

That’s happening during Jokic’s prime. It’s occurring during Denver’s championship window.

“It’s not a birthright,” Bye added, talking about Jokic being happy in Denver. “Could this be the first-ever rift between Jokic and the organization?”

The Nuggets won a title in 2023. They were bounced in the second round this season. They’re trending, albeit just one year, in the wrong direction.

“We’ve never seen Jokic frustrated,” Bye concluded. “This idea that Jokic doesn’t care about his legacy and basketball is secondary is a lie. He wants to stack as many titles as possible. If he doesn’t think that you’re putting him in the best position to do that, to think the human instincts of frustration might not reveal themselves, is naive.”

Is something brewing? No one knows. But to suggest it’ll never happen isn’t living in reality.

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