With the salary cap rising again this year, a lot of soon-to-be free agents are about to make serious money. Between the 30 teams in the NBA, there is over $1 billion in cap space. The Nuggets, alone, could own up to $30 million of that pot.

Furthermore, if the Nuggets were to stand pat in free agency, the team would fall below the salary cap floor and face penalty. The combination of these two factors mean that G.M. Tim Connelly will have to pursue and sign a few free agents come July 1.

So, the question turns to who could that be?

The Nuggets will probably first look inward — D.J. Augustin and Darrell Arthur are both entering free agency. Both are solid rotation players for the squad. Augustin saw an increase in minutes and productivity in his 28 games with the Nuggets this season after being traded from Oklahoma City. That may also mean Augustin will demand more in free agency than the Nuggets are willing to offer.

Arthur also had his best season with the Nuggets this past year, averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He may be easier to re-sign on a modest deal.

When Adam Mares of the Denver Stiffs joined Gil Whiteley, he expressed his “hope [that] the Nuggets don’t make a big move.” While there are slim odds Denver will sign a marquee free agent (namely Kevin Durant), there are several solid role players that could help the team get back into playoff contention.

GIL WHITELEY LIVE STREAMThe Nuggets need swingman help and there are two consistent contributors the team should look towards.

The first, Kent Bazemore, has never been a star in his four years in the league. The Nuggets wouldn’t need him to be one. Bazemore is a solid shooter who can guard multiple positions — one of the most important aspects of a modern player. He may also not demand a huge contract if teams spend on bigger names first.

The other is Evan Turner. Another versatile wing that could help the Nuggets, Turner is a utility player. He can play and guard three positions, and his play in Boston this year earned him Sixth Man of the Year considerations.

The Nuggets will have the money to re-sign at least one of the two current players while pursuing Bazemore or Turner.

In a free agency period that will see many players get overpaid, it’s important that Connelly and the front office stay disciplined in negotiations. While the Nuggets will have money to spend, they still have to use it wisely.

For Gil’s full conversation with Adam Mares, including where LeBron James stacks up among all time greats, listen to the podcast below…

Catch Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11a-1p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or FM 104.7, or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.