While speaking to McAfee, Malone joked that he was thinking about retiring, which is the same thing that LeBron James said after his Los Angeles Lakers were knocked out of the playoffs by the dominant Nuggets.
“Well, a really good question, and speaking of the Lakers: I just want you guys to know, this is breaking news, I’m thinking about retiring, so don’t tell anybody,” Malone jokingly said during the interview.
The Nuggets were utterly dominant in their run to the franchise’s first-ever NBA title, as they lost just four games throughout the entire postseason (one to the Timberwolves in the first round, two to the Phoenix Suns in the second round, and one to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals).
Two-time MVP center Nikola Jokic was in particularly unstoppable form, as he became the first player in NBA history to lead the playoffs in points, rebounds, and assists.
Currently, just a few days after the conclusion of the 2023 season, the bookies have the Nuggets as favorites to repeat as champions next season, which is hardly surprising considering that Jokic is still 28 years old and Jamal Murray is 26 years old. Additionally, key core pieces such as Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. are also under 29 years old and under contract.
Heading into the offseason, the Nuggets have eight players that are set to hit free agency. However, only one of them — 26-year-old Bruce Brown — was a truly key piece in this season’s championship run.
Following the Nuggets in terms of title odds are the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers. Given that there are still plenty of moves to be made this offseason — the draft, trades, free agent signings, etc. — those odds are likely to shift throughout the summer.