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Nuggets' future looks golden despite loss

The SportsXchange

The Nuggets' season is over. But the future looks bright for the young team.

The Nuggets fell 96-87 to the Lakers on Saturday in Game 7 of their Western Conference first-round series. The Nuggets came up just short in their bid to become the ninth NBA team to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

It marked the eighth time in their nine straight playoff appearances the Nuggets have been eliminated in the first round. At least for just the second time during those eight first-round eliminations the series didn't end in five games or fewer.

But the Nuggets believe they have much hope for the future. Nearly all of their players are under contract for next season.

Point guard Andre Miller is an unrestricted free agent and might not return. After backing up Ty Lawson all season, Miller still might want to be a starter.

Center JaVale McGee is the team's most important restricted free agent. But the Nuggets can match any contract offer for him, and they want him back.

Swingman Rudy Fernandez also is a restricted free agent. But he struggled during the regular season because of back problems and missed the last month because of surgery. Considering their great depth on the perimeter, the Nuggets might not make a strong bid to keep Fernandez.
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