In the NBA being the 12th man used to be a dubious distinction. But in Denver it could mean being a rotation player.

The Nuggets have a dozen (or counting unsigned center Timofey Mozgov a baker's dozen) players who are talented enough to crack coach Brian Shaw's rotation. But how many will get meaningful minutes? This week's addition of backup point guard Nate Robinson accentuated the question.

"It's going to be a challenge but what I like is it promotes healthy competition and we have a lot of competitive guys who aren't going to shy away from it or pout about it" Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said Wednesday. "We lack that traditional superstar so it's important to have depth at these positions. We're three deep at every position and I don't think there's much drop-off. So in lieu of the traditional superstar we've got to do it a different way."

If the season started now assuming small forward Danilo Gallinari (knee surgery) doesn't return until December the starting lineup would appear to be Ty Lawson at point guard Randy Foye or Evan Fournier at shooting guard Wilson Chandler at small forward — and power forward Kenneth Faried and center JaVale McGee in the frontcourt.

Robinson who averaged 13.1 points for the Chicago Bulls last season should be expected to get key minutes off the bench. So what about Andre Miller? Asked if last season's backup point guard will remain with the Nuggets Connelly said "Absolutely." He said he spoke with Miller as well as the other guards before signing Robinson.

So those are nine players right there. That's as deep as most rotations go in the NBA.

Then there's Darrell Arthur acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies who doesn't score much but is regarded as an excellent defender. He can play both forward positions. Shooting guard Jordan Hamilton enters his third season needing to improve his defense to get a shot. He could be the 13th man on the team though he might get a chance to play early in the season.

That's the plan with these young Nuggets. Give guys a chance to prove themselves to grow and gain confidence.

Denver is likely to re-sign Mozgov who thrives in practice but has not played with confidence at times.