The Denver Nuggets were going to sign a free agent on Thursday and they were close to doing so before deciding against it. The team had at least considered signing a veteran who could back up Nikola Jokic while he heals from a broken right hand and ulnar nerve surgery, but they decided against it and instead simply went ahead and exercised a team option on a second-year player who has been healthy most of the season.
No one would blame the Nuggets for wasting no time signing a veteran, but they clearly didn’t miss the chance. On a night in which Denver’s entire roster had a combined double-double and on a night in which every possession seemed to go off script, the Nuggets still found a way to lose 120-109 to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Even though the club held a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter, the Bucks outscored the Nuggets 27-15 in the fourth.
The Nuggets are now 6-20. That mark ties them with Phoenix for the worst record in the NBA. While the Suns are awful, they will be on the floor for about two weeks with injured Eric Bledsoe before he can join the team. The Nuggets have a three-game road trip to start the season after playing their last 11 games at home. While the team is still expecting to have Jokic, it will now start the season with a losing record.