The Denver Nuggets are fortunate to have several bigs worthy of starting at the four and five, but with only two slots open, someone has to be the odd man out.

So far this preseason, revamped center Jusuf Nurkic has been stellar, averaging 18 points and 13.3 rebounds per contest. And it’s safe to say that if he continues playing like this, he will force the hand of head Coach Michael Malone, as Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post confirms.

Nurkic put in the work needed to be great this offseason, becoming a gym rat of sorts, and it seems like it’s paying off. Nurkic is noticeably slimmer and more built, a direct correlation to the success he’s been having on the court early in preseason.

Alongside Nukic is Olympic silver medalist and Nuggets standout Nikola Jokic.

Jokic is coming off a breakout rookie season in which he averaged 10 points, seven rebounds and placed third in Rookie of the Year voting. If he’s not the Nuggets’ most-promising player, he’s one of them, and it would be a shock if his minutes didn’t rise this season.

While Jokic spent all last year playing the five, he’s versatile enough to play the four too, which means that the Nuggets could possibly run out a lineup where both Nurkic and Jokic — Jurkic — are out on the court together, a sight many fans would like to see.

Malone experimented with this lineup in the final week of last season, and he’s used it quite a bit during the preseason. It may not be perfect, but, as Nurkic said last week, it’s only getting better.

“We are doing better everyday.” Nurkic said after the team’s practice last week. “It’s not a problem with us.”

The biggest issue with the Jurkic lineup is spacing. With two 7-foot centers on the court, the lane can get a bit clogged. So far it hasn’t been as severe of a problem as some might have thought. The two flow together nicely on offense and are still putting the pieces together on defense; however, once the full package is complete, the Jurkic lineup could become something revolutionary — or counterrevolutionary — in today’s small-ball NBA.

So, what does that mean for Kenneth Faried?

Well, it could mean a few things. Listen, the “Manimal” has had his chances to solidify himself as the team’s everyday four, but after years of uncertainty and trade rumors, it may be time for Faried to see himself to the bench, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Most teams value Faried as a bench guy, a major reason as to why he has not been flipped yet. If Faried accepts this role, it helps the Nuggets tremendously, knowing they have a veteran, energy guy waiting to take it to second units off the bench.

With this said, coach Malone has made it clear that Faried has been stellar this offseason, saying he has made the case to be the team’s training camp MVP.

At this point, though, if Nurkic and Jokic continue to play well and show they can play together, there is no reason to believe they won’t be the team’s starting power forward and center come opening night. There are a lot of different ways the Nuggs can go, but it seems like it is only a matter of time before these two bigs start sharing the floor together.