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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

+ NUGGETS OF WISDOM

Constructing an NBA contender has never been easy, but in a world where Kevin Durant wears a Warriors uniform and stars flock to play with LeBron James, a front office has only two options—join the arms race or get left behind. The Nuggets are aiming to become part of the former group.

• This fall SI TV spent time with members of the Denver organization—from president of basketball operations Tim Connelly(below, right) to slick-passing center Nikola Jokic(15)—to learn how an up-and-coming team tries to turn itself into a bona fide contender. The Nuggets had caught the eye of hoops nerds last season, thanks to a high-powered offense and an exciting group of young players. But now they are looking to go from lovable to feared. With the free-agent signing of four-time All-Star forward Paul Millsap(4)—out after wrist surgery until February—and the commitment to blossoming players Jokic and shooting guard Gary Harris(14), Denver has the pieces in place to talk title.

• How did the Nuggets convince Millsap to sign? When did they know Jokic would be a foundational player? How will they develop their promising twentysomethings? The team's architects and stars answered these questions and more in revealing conversations with SI TV, available next week. In the meantime, check out Crossover TV, our new studio show on all things NBA.

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