The Nuggets need to forget about being a dynasty and narrow the focus to winning more title with this group.

First, the Nuggets went two and ’que in the playoffs. Does that mean they are one-and-done when it comes to NBA titles?

When the postseason began, Denver harbored aspirations of a dynasty. It has been the posture of the front office to take a macro view, focused on winning multiple crowns over a swath of time.

There is no denying this wider-lens philosophy cost them in May. A thin bench, Jamal Murray’s erratic shooting and the disappearance of The Other Guys (Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon) conspired to gag away a 20-point lead in Game 7 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As with the current Boston Celtics, the playoff opponents fell in the Nuggets’ favor a year ago. Denver took advantage of home court and met an inferior Miami Heat team for the championship. The Nuggets can bask forever in this accomplishment. But the stated goal is for this glory not to exist in a vacuum.

About that?

There is suddenly parity in the NBA. It has an NFL feel. There are legitimately seven teams that could win the title in 2025. The list includes the Nuggets, Celtics, Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers.

Recency bias is hailing the Celtics as an all-time great team. Forgive me for pumping the brakes. The Nuggets were held in similar regard. Repeating is a nasty business. And for the Nuggets to enhance the reputation of their 2023 group – it requires at least two savvy additions this offseason like a 3-point marksman and a rim protector –  they must return to the Finals next season.

Another title would resurface talk of a dynasty. Truth is, there won’t be another one for a long time. The Nuggets’ focus must be narrow, to win a second title before the window pane closes on the fingers of this team.

Courtland Sutton maintains a good relationship with Sean Payton. They need it because it seems unlikely that Denver will compromise in its contract “stalemate” with the receiver. Sutton is a good player on an underwhelming offense. Combine that with his age — he turns 29 in October — and there is no reason to extend him. …

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If the Rockies were shrewd, they would make third baseman Ryan McMahon available in a trade. They owe it to the rebuilding process to listen to offers. McMahon or shortstop Ezequiel Tovar will represent the Rockies in the All-Star Game. McMahon, whose contract runs through 2027, could fetch a top young pitching prospect from teams like the Pirates (at first or second base) and Blue Jays.

And great news: Former CBS sportscaster Mark McIntosh received a life-saving kidney transplant this week. McIntosh told me he is “progressing nicely and expecting to go home” from the hospital on Saturday. During his wait, McIntosh created the Drive for Five program with his goal to get 5,000 45-to-60-year-olds to “share their spare” kidney. He remains an inspiration.

Mail Time

I totally disagree with your article in (last Saturday’s) paper with you completely blaming Russell Wilson for the effects of his contract. Your first sentence said, “One person ruined it for everyone.” Does that mean the general manager, head coach, and ownership had nothing to do with the contract talks and didn’t also sign the final contract? Come on! 

— G. Earnest, Aurora 

The point I was making is that since the Broncos rewarded Russell Wilson — and it was always going to happen after he waived his no-trade clause and new ownership took over — management has not dipped its toes back into the contract extension waters. But yes, you are correct that the blame is shared. General manager George Paton went all-in, a bold strategy I appreciated. He failed. It should have cost him his job, same as coach Nathaniel Hackett. Owner and CEO Greg Penner, however, likes how Paton and boss Sean Payton work together. In the end, the Broncos legacy of Payton and Paton now hinges on the development of quarterback Bo Nix. If he becomes a top-15 quarterback by his third season on a rookie deal, it will provide soothing balm on the Wilson contract migraine.

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