The Nuggets were upset in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs by the Golden State Warriors. It marked the ninth first-round exit in 10 consecutive postseason appearances.
The first domino to fall was Executive of the Year, general manager Masai Ujiri. He bolted for the great north to run the Toronto Raptors. Even his assistant, Pete D'Alessandro, left Denver for the general manager job with the Sacramento Kings.
The owner, Josh Kroenke, then decided to be the one making changes.
Next up, or down if you look at it that way, was reigning Coach of the Year, George Karl. After a franchise-best 57-win season, ownership wondered if Karl would be a bother with only one year to go on his contract. The brass fired him.
The last piece to leave the high altitude was Andre Iguodala, the prize acquisition of the previous offseason. He brought the wing defense and all- around play-making Karl loved. Iguodala left for the dreaded Warriors.
To sum up - the Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year and best player - all gone in one offseason.
Tim Connelly was introduced as the new general manager and at his introductory presser, stated his first priority was re-signing Iguodala.
Iguodala left, but Connelly did well to hire Brian Shaw, the hottest assistant coach on the market.
Shaw inherited a good, but no longer great, roster, thanks to the defection of Iguodala. His importance couldn't be undersold. He's a top-five wing defender in the league and his offensive versatility fit beautifully into Karl's up- tempo style.
But Iggy is gone and so is that offensive philosophy. Shaw is a disciple of Phil Jackson and spent the last two seasons on the bench of Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers. Neither of those squads was what you'd describe as high- octane.
It's going to be tough sledding for Shaw. In addition to Iguodala's absence, Danilo Gallinari, one of the team's leading scorers, is not going to be ready for the start of the season after a partial ACL tear in early April.
The rest of the roster, save for starting center Kosta Koufos, who was shipped to the Memphis Grizzlies, remained intact.
Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried represent the core. McGee, especially, will have a heavier workload thanks to Koufos' departure.
To replace Iguodala, the Nuggets traded for Randy Foye, a combo guard who can shoot the long ball fairly well. Denver's big signing in free agency was J.J. Hickson, who enjoyed a career year in Portland last season. He'll bring big man depth.
Nate Robinson was also brought in. The diminutive guard can score and excite, but if you have to rely on him for heavy minutes, the roster better be depleted.
All of this change could spell doom, but Shaw is excited to have his opportunity.
"The most exciting thing for me is doing it from the ground up together, establishing that trust," Shaw told the Nuggets website. "There are coaches you feel are on another stratosphere and you feel like you can't get close to them, you can't talk to them. There's a fear factor. I don't want it to be like that. I want to be approachable. I want to connect with them and build that trust and establish those relationships."
2012-13 Results: 57-25, 2nd in Northwest, lost in West quarterfinals to Golden State
ADDITIONS: HC Brian Shaw, GM Tim Connelly, G Randy Foye, C/F J.J. Hickson, G Nate Robinson
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:
PG- Ty Lawson SG- Randy Foye SF- Wilson Chandler PF- Kenneth Faried C- JaVale McGee