Strike 2: The biggest offseason priority for the Denver Nuggets figures to be some immediate veteran help for their bench, which is currently too young and wildly inconsistent for the liking of anyone in Nuggets Nation. Time will tell if this becomes a fatal flaw, or if the Nuggets superior starting five, led by the soon-to-be three-time MVP Nikola Jokic, can overcome the team’s current weakness.

Pretty certain the Nuggets won’t go into next season with the same bench issues.

It’s safe to assume that a couple of the Nuggets’ current crop of young guards and wing players will improve significantly next season, perhaps enough to crack the regular season rotation and add that desperately needed scoring punch off the bench. Peyton Watson and Christian Braun are already regulars, while Julian Strawther and Hunter Tyson are projected to have high ceilings. With more experience, one or more could become capable scoring threats.

Still, wouldn’t it be nice if Denver had a young big man to spell Joker and help make those “non-Jokic” minutes not so stomach churning for everyone who’s watching?

Will Denver have to do the free agent thing? There is the NBA Draft coming up this summer, and when it comes time to make a selection, Denver could make that big addition.

According to the mock draft experts, the current player of the year in college basketball, Purdue big man Zach Edey, should be available when Denver picks near the bottom of the first round.

Edey certainly has his flaws, like a lack of athleticism and ability to switch on defense. But he’s 7-foot-4 and 300 pounds, and while nobody is or should compare him to Jokic, let’s remember that the Serbian big man had a few of the same perceived flaws in his game when he was drafted in the second round back in 2014.

Edey is an old-fashioned, back to the basket low post big man. He’s a scoring and rebounding machine down there. As a Nugget, he’d at least be able to do what DeAndre Jordan does at this stage of his lengthy career, and with more durability and upside. Imagine if Edey was practicing with and against Joker on a regular basis? Imagine what the Nuggets conditioning and training staff could do to improve his footwork?

Imagine not having to play Joker 38 minutes every night during the regular season?

The Nuggets currently have a good number of promising young players on their bench. Only one, third-year man Jay Huff, is a center. He hasn’t gotten much playing time, with Jordan and Zeke Nnaji filling in for Jokic at times, and power forward Aaron Gordon taking the biggest minutes at the “five” spot. That’s not ideal.

Denver really needs another big. Perhaps they could make a deal to move up and try to get Duke seven-footer Kyle Filipowski, who scouts like more than Edey? Something like that would probably hinge on what the Nuggets were willing to part with. No way they’re messing with their core. However, if Denver decides they could part ways with one of their young guys like last year’s top pick, Strawther, then maybe a move up for Filipowski becomes a bit more realistic. This need will be amplified if Jordan decides not to come back.

Denver could draft someone else late, another wing-type player who could perhaps come in and contribute. But they already have plenty of those. Perhaps that player would simply be ticketed for the G-League like the others. What’s most likely to happen is that the Nuggets go out and find a backup center in free agency, someone they won’t have to (and can’t realistically) pay big bucks to. Someone they can get a little mileage out of but who won’t take much of the load off of Joker.

That wouldn’t be ideal, either.

Sure, Edey would be something of a project. So was Jokic.