|Head coach Dan Issel
Record 27–55 (.329)
|Arena Pepsi Center|
Playoff finish DNQ
|Place Division: 6th (Midwest) Conference: 12th (Western)|
The 2001-02 NBA season was the Nuggets' 26th season in the NBA and 35th season as a franchise. During the offseason, the Nuggets acquired Scott Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade, and signed free agents Isaiah Rider and Avery Johnson. However, Rider would play in just ten games before being waived on November 20.
After finishing just two games below .500 the previous season, the Nuggets suffered another disastrous setback as Antonio McDyess suffered a preseason knee injury, which limited him to just ten games. Things would only get worse as head coach Dan Issel got into hot water after yelling a racial slur at a Mexican fan. Issel was suspended for four games and was forced to resign, being replaced by his assistant Mike Evans. At midseason, Nick Van Exel, who demanded a trade was dealt along with Johnson, Raef LaFrentz and Tariq Abdul-Wahad to the Dallas Mavericks for Juwan Howard and Tim Hardaway. The Nuggets finished sixth in the Midwest Division with a 27–55 record.
Following the season, McDyess was traded to the New York Knicks, Hardaway and George McCloud were both released, Williams signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns, Voshon Lenard signed with the Toronto Raptors, and Calbert Cheaney signed with the Utah Jazz.