Five initial reactions to the Andre Iguodala trade

As it stands, I’m at my computer early Friday morning. Yesterday the Nuggets were involved in trade talks that included four teams, with Dwight Howard — most notably — going to the Lakers and Andre Iguodala being shipped to Denver. I hesitated to make anything of it, because let’s face it, we’ve been down this road before. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a Dwight Howard trade rumor this summer I’d have a lot of nickels. However, this time it appears to be for real. According to ESPN.com the Nuggets will receive Andre Iguodala in return for Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and a future first-round selection in the NBA Draft. If this is true — which it looks to be — here are five initial observations from the Nuggets point of view…

1. The Nuggets like Andre Iguodala’s defense

Let’s face it: Masai Ujiri didn’t call up Rod Thorn and the rest of the 76ers front office in search of an elite scorer. Although once a blossoming offensive threat, “Iggy” has now carved out a career as a versatile player with a wide-ranging skill set who specializes in defense. At this point in his career Iggy is known as one of the better perimeter defenders in the entire world; in fact, many see him as the very best. He recently placed seventh in 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year voting and is highly regarded by journalists and bloggers alike who cover the NBA on a daily basis. As one of the worst defensive teams in the entire league last year, the Nuggets will greatly benefit from Iggy’s presence on that side of the floor.

2.The Nuggets didn’t get a discount this time around

For the first time during Masai Ujiri’s tenure in Denver, I can actually look at a trade and say he paid a hefty price for what he received in return. This is by no means to say the trade was bad or ill-advised — just that what he gave up was costly. Al Harrington has erroneously become a scapegoat for the Nuggets downfalls by many fans, yet they so easily forget how well he played through the first half of the season in which many pundits had him pegged as an early favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year ahead of James Harden. Harrington laid his health and pride on the line, never once complaining about coming off the bench, playing out of position or having to battle through numerous injuries. In the end, he was a veteran presence who was reliable and could score at will most of the time. Additionally, the last two years of his contract were only partially guaranteed, making him that much less of a risk.

Meanwhile Afflalo — what can’t you say about Afflalo, other than: This one hurts. He had just signed a long-term deal to remain with the Nuggets — the team that first gave him an opportunity to be the player he eventually evolved into — and he’s already out the door. Masai Ujiri is doing his job damn well, but seeing players like Afflalo go is a harsh reminder of the ugly side of the business that is professional basketball. Not only did Afflalo improve every year in Denver, but he poured his heart and soul into the game to become the best teammate he could possibly be. All the “experts” continue to laugh at the haul Orlando received for Dwight Howard (which really wasn’t that bad, all things considered), but the simple fact they wanted Afflalo above all the potential players discussed, says everything you need to know about just how coveted he is around the league.

Throwing a future first-round pick into the deal is icing on the cake for Orlando, and a tough pill to swallow for Denver. Right now it’s just a trade piece, but a few years down the line it could end up being the next Kenneth Faried, Ty Lawson, Jordan Hamilton or… Arron Afflalo — all late, first-round selections over the last handful of years who Denver fans have come to know as pillars of their favorite franchise. The pick is reportedly protected, however the exact stipulations are unknown at this time.

3. This was not a cost-cutting maneuver

Twitter was blowing up following the trade with prominent writers praising how Denver “shed” nearly $45 million in future salary. I cannot stress just how incorrect this notion really is. Denver didn’t shed anything besides two quality players and a first-round draft pick. Harrington is still a very productive NBA players who’s contract is only partially guaranteed over the the final two years of his deal. Afflalo is a young, ever-improving, hard-working, team-first, defensive-minded sharp shooter coming off the best year of his career in which he averaged 18 points per game post All-Star break. He’s getting paid roughly $7.5 million per year throughout the prime of his career. Meanwhile, Iguodala is owed close to $30 million over the next two years (he has a player option in 2013-14) and is in line for a hefty extension after that. Does anyone think Iggy is going to magically decide he wants to be underpaid after cashing in on such a lucrative deal with the 76ers? At this same time guys like Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton will be itching for a big payday, which should come just a year or two after Ty Lawson gets his. The point is: In order to possess a team in the NBA, you have to pay a fee. I know this might shatter the reality of many NBA purists, but sometimes long-term contracts are actually good deals. Afflalo was one of them; Iguodala currently is not.

4. The Nuggets wanted Quincy Miller all along

This is really no surprise. Letting perhaps the biggest steal of the 2012 NBA Draft walk for nothing would have been beyond idiotic, however the haste in which Masai Ujiri opened up a roster spot for him is interesting. NBA teams only have a finite amount of time to offer contracts to draft picks before they become free agents, yet the Nuggets seemed to have no interest in testing this deadline. Roundball Mining Company even had an article set to air this week that proposed which player our writers would drop in order to absorb Miller onto the 15-man roster because we were so confident in Ujiri’s insistence that the Nuggets wanted to move forth with their roster intact. So much for that idea. This move now opens up the final roster spot for Quincy Miller.

5. Denver is still starless

Another trade, another slight upgrade. At some point you have to wonder just how much the Nuggets are spinning their wheels. It is somewhat ironic that Denver helped facilitate the trade of a superstar to a big-market powerhouse knowing all along that’s the exact type of move they need to be making in order to compete for a title in today’s NBA. I love the addition of Iguodala. He’s a great fit for the Nuggets. I still think Ujiri gave up a lot and I absolutely hate seeing Afflalo go, but at the end of the day I’m more than comfortable with the trade. Here’s the problem: Iggy is a great step in the right direction but he’s not the solution. It’s time to start looking for the solution. The Nuggets have done an outstanding job (I cannot say enough, actually) collecting assets and placing themselves in a position to capitalize on a trade for someone like Howard, but each move like this leaves the team with one less inciting asset to include in a blockbuster deal should it present itself. I would have loved to see the Nuggets go after Pau Gasol even if it meant surrendering a large chuck of their assets. He’s someone the Lakers were willing to part with in order to obtain the larger goal of securing Dwight Howard. If parting with Danilo Gallinari and a few extra pieces would have been required to get it done, then so be it, because that’s the type of move the Nuggets absolutely must make at some point if they plan on contending for a title. What’s clear is that the Nuggets just engaged in one of the biggest trades of all time involving three of the best big men the game has seen in years as well as numerous other possibilities and they essentially just paid for an upgrade at shooting guard. Let’s hope these wheels kick into high gear soon.

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  • GIANLUCA

    I’M an italy fan …. and 4 me GALLO must start of the BENCH …. AND CAN BECAME 6 MEN OF THE YEAR :

    the new NUGGETS ( after LAKERS the best in West )

    LAWSON – CHANDLER – IGOUDALA – FARIED – MCGEE
    MILLER – HAMILTON – BREWER – ”GALLO” 6 man – A.RANDOLPH- MOZGOV-KOUFOS

  • Aaron

    I’m Not Sure What I Think of This Trade Now After Reading That Article..

  • Jeff

    The fact that Lawson is the only Nugget left since before the Melo trade shows how ruthless Ujiri is. He reminds me of a very aggressive chess player that is constantly sacrificing pieces in search of the advantage. I guess Orlando wanted Harrington, but I wish we could have traded Mozgov or Koufos instead.

  • Parker

    I’m really excited to have Andre on our team. He’s a workhorse. I would really like to see one more trade for a sharp shooter. The Nuggets ranked 23rd in the league in 3pt% last year. An improvement from beyond the arc would make that transition offense more effective, as well as open up the paint for Ty and Andre in the half court.

  • dynamo.joe

    Did the Nuggets want Quncy Miller all along? Or did the Nuggets want Stone all along?

    I think Iggy and Pau are pretty much a wash, so I don’t think getting Pau would have been better. Actually it would have been worse with Pau taking Faried’s minutes.

    Having said that, I liked the trade much better when the Lakers had to give up both Bynum and Gasol. And I would have liked that trade better if we were giving up Gallo or Chandler instead of AAA.

  • GK4Prez

    The Nuggets should have cut the Lakers and sixers out of the deal…lol It seems like they could have done it easily enough after seeing the final pieces of this deal. Of course they wouldn’t have received Iggy, but they could have landed the best big man in the league if only for a year or less because almost everything the Magic get in this deal comes via the Nuggets.

    AAA, AL, Koufos, the rights to Quincy or Brewer or Chandler, a couple of future protected firsts and a future second or two would basically be the same haul that the Magic are getting.

    I hate to see AAA go, but I think Iggy will fit in fine, so I do like the trade that was/will be finalized today, but I also think that something else needs to be done to address the production the Nuggets will lose by shipping Harrington off in this deal. He was basically the only post player that the Nuggets had that could create offense for himself. I know that sounds funny, but it is true.

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      Except Harrington wasn’t really a post player on offense.

  • Bob

    Nice article!! I wanted to add some input on Iggy. I’ve seen him play quite a bit and he is a super quality ball player. For years, people were trying to put him as an elite scorer mold. He is a rock solid, well conditioned, outstanding defender, and know everyone’s role on the team. I was always wondered why he was coming up in trade rumors. Iggy is glue and a great team player.
    I see that you you lost a couple of excellent pieces, but Iggy will add to the Nuggets. He and Andre will be a strong veteran presence for this team. The West is super stacked and it will be a tough road, but someone will step up their offensive game (maybe Chandler) and you will be competitive. By adding a player like Iggy, you have someone that understands the game and makes big plays. Good luck this season. I think you will like the trade as the season progresses

  • John

    I said earlier, on a different article that I didn’t like this trade… but I am re-thinking that… Now I am looking at the changes the Nuggets have made by position, since last All Star Break… and this puts everything in perspective(for me)

    They have basically turned over:

    SG: AAA(gonna miss him) and oft injured Rudy Fernandez into A.I. and Evan Fournier. Nice. Upgrade on D for sure.

    SF: Added Ill Will to the SF depth…Nice

    PF:Turned Nene(oft injured, frustrating and soft) and Big Al(love him, but 4 knee surgeries this summer) into Ant Rand(so much potential) and Q Miller(draft steal) and are developing Manimal… OK. Also, nice.

    C: and basically replaced Bird with McGee, re-signed him, and sent him to “The Dream” Super Nice.

    So across the board we’ve improved(younger, taller, more skilled, healthier, or more upside) at every position but PG since Feb… that is pretty sweet.

    Does that justify helping the Lakers…. I don’t know.

    … but I am liking this more by looking Big Picture instead of at this single deal.

    I do like the fact that Masai has severely limited GK’s ability to play “small” AI will be the 3rd shortest player at 6’6″.

    I agree with Parker. My biggest remaining concern is the 3 ball(both shooting and defense of)… Ty, Gallo, Will, Brewer, or JHam… someone(or a few) need to step up for sure.

  • Andershow8

    I agree with everything, besides the part of being “starless”. Igoudala is not a star? He is a all-star player and he will get a medal with the Olympic team. He is at his prime and he will rise in Denver. This is the team for him. He is a great scorer and he is IMO the best defender at SG/SF in the NBA. And the Nuggets are an exciting team with many “highflying” dunk machine power. We will see so many great plays..

    Look at the starting 5. Lawson, Iggy, Gallo, Faried and McGee. Lawson can drive with amazing speed, Iggy can dunk as hard as anybody, Gallo is skillful and can cut inside the paint. And then the young duo, who can fly as high as I dont know what.

    Like I said, amazing deal for the Nuggets. I`m so happy. Yes, we lost Afflalo, who was wonderful and Big Al, who I admire, because this was his best year. But lets face it. Iggy is a great player and is still 1 or 2 level better than AAA. Big Al is 32 and has bad knees and other injury problems. We get also Quincy Miller, who is a great talent. So we lose a little bit in scoring, but then again, Lawson can have a 20-21 ppg. season. Or Iggy or anybody else.

    Oh and the Nuggets are now reallly young. And you know what they say.. Young is good, young is better, faster and more exciting.. Who cares about the Lakers who are all above 30? They will have problems, believe me.. One injury and they are a crap team.

    • John

      maybe two injuries…

  • Avarice

    Hollinger loves the trade for the Nuggets, but he does have the caveat that they helped the Lakers become a super power in the west. Somehow the Flipping Lakers got Howard without losing both Bynum *and* Gasol. I don’t get it. Orlando fans should be pissed- their team is gonna suck hard for a long time. Lakers big 4 are Kobe, Howard, Nash, Gasol, with Artest. Crazy.

    The Nuggets need continued improvement from Lawson, Faried, and McGee. Gallo needs to stay healthy. If these things happen, I could see Denver getting the 3 seed in the West.

  • Donavan

    Andre Iguodala’s presence on the Olympic team should bespeak his star status. Name another Olympian who is not a star? Was Bill Russell a star? He just isn’t a “go to” scorer, but the Nugs never have problems scoring! Great trade for the Nugs!

    • Young Pep Dash

      I agree he is a star. It is a two way game! People can’t underestimate his defense, passing, rebounding and leadership. Of course he is a star. Just a very low level one. I could see him as a second best player on a contender. We need Ty Lawson to make the jump now

  • Choong

    from Portland.

    What a great article! I do agree that this was a hefty price for Denver, that the cost-cutting tweets are bogus and that Denver is still starless. It will have to be seen whether Andre or anyone from the jammed SF position can fill the starting SG position (though positions now mean much less than they did before the finals). Looks like now Denver is stuck at the 5~6 seed until a further improvement is made.

  • Young Pep Dash

    I prefer Iggy over Pau. Niether is a number 1 guy on a contending team but Iggy is a better fit. Pau would take minutes from faired and mcgee.

    Plus he is older and I believe he is past his prime. He is NOT the kind of player that can take over at the end of games anyway and thats what you really gain from a star. I mean he was outplayed by Faried for the first 6 playoff games IMO.

    Iguodala is the defensive veteren leader we need and will be a positive influence on our young up and coming team

  • al68

    Que gran error nunca pense que ujiri fuera un gran ejecutivo firmo caro y no supo que hacer con nene y lo intercambio por un analfabeto baloncestistico, se trajo a felton un jugador que no queria el entrenador, ficha a un frances bastante normalito teniendo posibles figuras, y ahora lo peor de todo da una primera ronda un jugador en claro ascenso como AAA, un buen suplente como Al por un jugador como iguodala que cada vez tira peor no es nada determinante y ADEMAS CARIIISIMO.

    ESTE UJIRI TUVO LA SUERTE DE REALIZAR EL CAMBIO DE CARMELO CON EL EQUIPO CON PEORES DIRIGENTES DE LA HISTORIA DE LA NBA Y DE ESA FAMA VIVE.

    Ojala que este año ganemos mas partidos que la anterior aunque no me extrañaria nada que fueramos una de las sorpresas negativas de la temporada.

    Disculpas por no escribir en ingles.

  • Phil

    Philly fan here. You guys will absolutely love Dre. He is not a go-to scorer, and sadly, that is what was asked of him after Iverson left the Sixers. But still, if you look at the numbers you’ll see that he’s an efficient scorer with a good TS%, just no shooter.

    He’s the 2nd best 1-3 defender in the league/world behind LBJ. He shuts other players down. Look at his opponents PER the last couple of years. He’s also an excellent passer, great rebounder for his position and had a career high 40% 3PT shooting last season (watching the Olympics this seems to be consistent).

    He’s a leader and great team mate. Enjoy!

    • Young Pep Dash

      Thanks for the contribution. Philly looking pretty good themselves now with a young core built around bynum

  • Ban

    This is just about as negative a take on this trade as is rationally possible, and it’s still positive — what should that tell you?

    Iguodala is an upgrade — no one disputes that — and in EXACTLY the way the Nuggets needed, D. Nuggets’ defense against 3-pointers was abysmal last year. Iggy (and McGee and a healthy Chandler) should change the whole ambience of the team when it comes to that end of the floor.

    AAA is a nice player, but an overachiever — chances are his play during the rest of his contract would have been similar to 2011-2012…up and down, always a little banged up. AAA at 8 million per is not any more of a bargain than Iguodala at 15 million, and his contract is 2 years longer. Sure, the Magic wanted him, but a # of teams would have passed on AAA on his contract, so he wasn’t unambiguously an asset. Iggy isn’t either, of course, but after 2 years he’s zero risk.

    Harrington would have prevented Faried and Anthony Randolph from developing as well as they could. So his contract was only partially guaranteed? All that means is the Nuggets would have been paying him not to play if he ceased being a positive on the roster.

    Nuggets needed to clear a PT logjam among bigs. CHECK. They needed to upgrade perimeter defense. CHECK. They needed to push the athleticism identity of the team as far as they can. CHECK. Win, win, win. In Masai we trust. What a fun team this will be to root for.

    • http://yahoo mile high

      Just one question for you. If this is such a wonderful trade, do you think that it is easier now for the Nuggets to beat the Lakers?

      This is what really happened: we got Iggy by giving up AAA, big Al and a first round pick; while the Lakers got Dwight Howard to replace nut-head Bynum. Yes, it is a great trade, for the Lakers!

      • SmokinNugs

        Nut-head Bynum? And then you’re act like Dwight Howard is super stable? Dwight buts the D in drama, drama, drama!

  • Young Pep Dash

    We appear to have some concerns over shooting with essentially our 2 best 3 point shooter being shipped out.

    -Need Gallo to turn into the 3 point sniper he once was.
    -Lawson shows considerable potential on his 3 point shooting
    -and we know Hamilton has shooting ability just needs to work on shot selection
    – Iguodala, contrary to popular believe is actually a decent shooter – 39.4% on threes last season on 3.1 attempts per game. He also had a true shooting percentage of 53.7%.
    – Chandler is also a well above average shooter

    Defensively however is where we need to shine

  • David

    Nuggets were going know where with AAA and Harrington. I’ve had my say here before about AAA before, this is exactly what the Nugs need. Harrington is a quality guy but not any better than other guys who will take his place this year.

  • Ricer

    First off I would like to say nice article and good job Masai Ujiri with the trade.

    Next, Nuggets did not get enough and gave up to much. From the players they gave up that is not the issue. AAA, yeah it makes since moving AAA for Iggy (a major improvement at SG, and some one for J. Ham to learn from … remember Iggy is great at defense and J. Ham needs to learn). Big Al, well probably the bet off the bench guy the Nuggets have had since he came to the Nuggets. He gave a solid to OK 20 min coming off the bench, BUT this is OK giving him away because we make a space for Q. Miller which is great for Miller and the Nuggets.

    Here is where the Nuggets gave up to much … a first round draft pick. If anything the Nuggets should have gotten a second and Iggy for AAA and Big Al. Why is this such an issue is because Iggy is and the Nuggets are going to have issues coming up with an extension as well as cap space later on (I say cap space because the luxury tax is a pain to pay when it is a soft cap). The Nuggets will need that pick that they gave away to help keep costs down.

    Outside of the missing first round draft pick and Dwight in LA I gotta say this is a step in the right direction for the Nuggets organization (again nice job Masai Ujiri).

    • alex

      What are the Nuggets going to do with another late 1st round pick? We didn’t even have enough roster space for this year’s picks until we cut one and did a 2 for 1 trade.

      It’s well worth including the 1 rounder for the upgrade on D without a dropoff on the other end. AAA benefited from Denver’s offensive system, and so will Iguodala. I expect him to go from 13ppg to 16-17.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Bad trade! Let’s not mince words and beat around the bush. Anytime you help one of your closest rivals to widen the gap between the two of you, it is a bad move. Anytime you have to pay a hefty price for that gap to widen, it is a bad, bad, bad move!

    Let’s start a vote, do you think it’s easier now for the new Nuggets to beat the Lakers or not?

    • Ban

      it will be easier for the Nuggets to beat the other 28 teams in the league. That outweighs the Lakers issue.

      I think the Lakers should have had to pay more to upgrade Bynum to Howard, but that part isn’t really the Nuggets’ fault.

      Remember, Nash and Kobe are OLD. The Lakers as a championship contender is a 2 or 3 year thing, before they’ll have to find a way to reload. If all goes right, that’s just about when the Nuggets will be ready to truly contend.

      • http://yahoo mile high

        Really? I doubt it, Iggy is not young either. He also shoots poorly at the foul line, which will make the Nuggets an even worse foul shooting team than they were now.

        As I commented before, this is what really happened: we got Iggy by giving up AAA, big Al and a first round pick; while the Lakers got Dwight Howard to replace nut-head Bynum.

        If you still insist this trade is a good trade for Denver, I have nothing to say.

        • GK4Prez

          How long do you think the current Lakers team is going to be relevant? Nash is pushing 40 and will eventually need a walker to get up and down the court. Jamison has been on his last legs for a couple of seasons now, Kobe has lost aspects of his game with all of the mileage he has on his tires and it shows. The point is that they are a win now team and if they don’t win it all this year with this current cast there is a very good chance that they won’t ever win it all with this group.

          D12 is still a free agent after the season and has already said that he will test the market after this season and he went on to say that he knows the Mavs will have max cap space. If D12 signs somewhere else, the Lakers are doomed, and this year there is no guarantee at all that he will be 100% .

          Who cares if the Lakers get better after this deal, I don’t. I care that the Nuggets made a move to attempt to get better. I think they need to make another move or two, but I like the trade that they just made. Does Denver match up better against OKC now, I think they do.

          Lastly, who wants a GM that won’t make a trade because he fears that another team might also improve in the deal, that is as vagina as vagina gets in my opinion.

          • Paul

            Are you saying vaginas/women are wimps?

            Pussy has three meanings: kitten, vagina, wimp.

            Vagina has one meaning.

            • GK4Prez

              I never thought I would find an expert of the female anatomy posting on a Nuggets board, but I guess stranger things have happened….lol

      • Young Pep Dash

        amen. Dwight to LA was inevitable, we needed to get better as well

    • dynamo.joe

      I vote it’s easier to beat the Lakers because of this trade.

      It’s harder to beat the Lakers because of the upgrade at PG, but that has nothing to do with this trade.

    • Fence

      People need to get over the “we helped the Lakers” angle of this deal. It was going to happen with or without us. The choice Ujiri had was to either use it as an opportunity to improve our team or do nothing. Why sit back and let someone like Houston benefit from the deal when we can nab a terrific player in the scrum?

      • Young Pep Dash

        thankyou for having some common sense

    • Chad

      Easier. D12 was going to LA no matter what. Whether it was this trade or another. As everyone knows, Denver can score but can’t play d. With getting Iggy, they just swapped the worst defender ( points per possession) in all of the NBA for the 10th best. Also, people like to point out Iggys PPG but don’t realize that the 76ers ran one of the slowest offenses in the league and playing for Denver will easily increase.

      • GK4Prez

        They also fail to realize that assists also result in points. Iggy averaged over 3 more assists per game than Afflalo did, and 2 more assists per game than Afflalo and Harrington combined.

  • rb2020

    Not sure where I come out on this trade.

    I see a lot of boohooing over giving up AAA in this deal and probably not enough boohooing over losing Harrington. I will respectfully disagree with Kalen over AAA. I think the reason he moves is precisely because he didn’t really improve last year. He was given a big contract, had the chance to up his stock w/ a full year w/o Melo, and just didn’t play very consistent. He’s a plus defender, but didn’t shoot particularly well. Meanwhile w/o Harrington last year the Nuggets don’t make the playoffs. Which isn’t to say Harrington shouldn’t have moved. He’s pretty old and its time to get Hamilton some minutes from that spot.

    I guess i’ll commit pure sacrilege here….wish they would have shipped Gallo instead, not sure what i’m missing w/ his play that you guys see…

    At the end of the day, the Nuggets still do not have that go to player to make the clutch shot.

    • Ryan

      I agree. Al could hit some clutch shots – and he was huge for us last year. I am ok giving up AAA for Iggy. I think Afflalo will continue to improve for Philly so I hate to see him go but Iggy is an upgrade for the time being. This will also open up time for Hamilton and Brewer to play so hopefully they will rise to the challenge. I hate losing Al’s leadership and tenacity, I think that will really hurt us.

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      Would love to see Gallo flipped to Indy for Granger. Donnie Walsh is in charge there now and he LOVED Gallo.

  • chad

    I don’t get people saying they don’t like how Denver helped get Dhoward to LA. He was going there regardless of what Denver did, so why not improved their own team. Iggy isn’t coming to Denver to be a scorer. He ranked 10th overall in points give up per possession with .14. They gave up Trip A who happened to be THE WORST DEFENDER GIVING UP POINTS PER POSSESSION at 1.0. Denver wanted D, they got Iggy. Also this trade freed up a roster spot for Miller that they didn’t previously have. Plus, they have 13M trade exception from the Nene deal.

  • Thomas

    Bad article, great basketball move for the Nuggets.

    Got rid of 2 lousy defenders – one of them also a low percentage offensive player despite being 6′ 10.

    We got a lock down defender. We boast a cohesive starting 5 (Ty, AI, Gallo, Faried and Mcgee). We can play AI, Faried, Chandler and Mcgee and dominate on the defensive end and be a beast on the boards.

    Too bad we still have Karl. With Van Gundy, we could do some damage. If Faried and Ty continue to improve and AI fits well, we can contend in the West.

    I honestly think we are better than the Lakers. Ty kills Nash and AI can diminish Kobe’s effectiveness. It all will depend on Faried becoming a dominating force inside.

  • http://tshirtgroove.com Booker Addison

    Not even a question. Awesome trade! And Fence makes a terrific point about Ujiri being opportunistic in a deal that was going to happen with or without us. Don’t get me started on how much moving Harrington will help the team. The Philly dudes know how much we just improved our team. Iggy!!!!!!!!!!! Best wing defender in the league. Facilitator. Rebounder. Efficient scorer. Perfect fit.

  • Leo

    This is ridiculous. We are talking as AAA is this great defender. He WAS a great defender then maybe the money went to his head. Did anyone watch last season. As for big Al you are getting rid of an injury prone player that was at his peak last year. You are trading two player at there peak for some one who plays on this years version of the Dream Team. If AAA or Al makes team USA then come talk to me who won this deal. If coach K one of the all time great coaches I don’t care what level he has coached at (and I am pretty sure he can evaluate talent) says Iguodala is a top 12 to 15 player in the US then I am pretty sure the Nuggets are doing well in this deal. And for cap space I didn’t think we should have signed AAA last summer so getting rid of him isn’t as bad as it appears. This article is terrible and couldn’t agree with 3/4ths of it

    • alex

      Leo is spot on. This article overvalues AAA and Big Al. AAA’s defense is slipping a lot, and Harringtons knees are basically jello.

      I am looking forward to not having to cringe every time Al “Chuckets” spots up for a corner three this year.

  • Troyf

    I do not understand this article at all.

    1) DUH
    2) We traded a 32 year old with knee problems and a glorified role player who was very poor on defense last year. In return we get one of the best wings in basketball. Yeah, a hefty price indeed. I like how you say Al had a good first half. Did you remember the second half?

    By the way, Afflalo was not a first roundpick for Denver. He was not even traded for a first round pick. We gave up a second for him.

    3) Money owed is money owed. The savings are real. If this works out, Denver will have no problem giving Iggy another nice deal. If it doesn’t, Denver will free up all of that money. We ALL love AA, probably too much, but we all know the guy was overpaid.

    4) if the Nuggets loved Quincy Miller so much they needed to free a roster spot, they could have went plenty of other routes than this. This was done because of items 1, 2 and 3.

    5) the upgrade is a little more than slight. If we were talking about thee AA who gave effort on D and took good shots it might be slight. We are talking about the player who decided defense was nt quite as important as making goofy ass drives to the basket.

    Iggy is a little over a year o,der than AA, andjust destroys him in assists, reboinding, steals, defense and overall talent level. Getting stars is tough in this league. You upgrade slowly but surely, then hoe one wants out and you can make a steal. The nuggets went beyond slowly but surely in this deal. They made a big upgrade and gave up VERY little to do it. Fantastic trade.

    • gfacekillah8

      Hit the nail right on the head

  • eddiememphis

    Iguodala is an upgrade over Afflalo, except that contract is tough. Harrington is a workhorse but his knees are bad. For those that do not remember, Gallo was playing great last year until he rolled his ankle. He was not the same player when he returned. A 6′ 10″ four that can hit from outside and can finish at the rim is a valuable asset. With the summer to rest and stay in shape, he will silence his doubters.

    Or not. If I could predict the future, I would live in Vegas.

  • Ernie

    Last year both Nene and AAA signed big long-term deals here and within a year both are gone. I don’t question the specific trade here because the talent seems to upgrade and it frees up PT for others. But why would a good (not even great) free agent ever sign with Denver when they know that signing that long term deal means nothing about where they would play in less than 12 months. Don’t players care about knowing they can sign somewhere and feel like they will be there for a while?

    • Kalen

      That’s a great point Ernie and one I was thinking about a lot when writing this article. Like I said, you can’t blame Ujiri for doing his job. He inherited a team in shambles with a lot of expiring contracts and turned it around. As a result, many guys who thought they’d be here long term have been (or will be) spurned. You think Nene liked being traded to Washington after settling down with his family in CO? You think Afflalo likes the fact he’s going to Orlando which is sure to suck for a long time? I’m not complaining about the moves themselves but at some point you have to wonder if it has an effect on guys heads. Will free agents or even our own players want to sign in Denver long term? Interesting to think about.

      • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

        Good points all around. It’s not like the top players in the league are lining up to sign with Denver to begin with. Denver has never been an attractive free agent destination. The only way to really change that is by winning championships. Even when Carmelo, Iverson and co were here, guys weren’t lining up to play with them in Denver (not that they had the cap space anyway…). The last big name free agent Denver lured was Kenyon Martin and that’s only because they agreed to pay him more than anyone else was willing to. That’s the only way big name guys are willing to come here it seems. The Nuggets system now seems to be to develop their own guys and then cash them in for something they perceive to be better. I think the plan with Nene all along was to re-sign him and trade him down the road. Due to the lockout, they were unable to facilitate a sign-and-trade to a team of Nene’s choosing. I cannot feel too sorry for Nene though. He’s making $13 million a year.

        • Ryan

          Yeah, I’m not feeling too sorry for the players. Afflalo and Al go to Orlando, nice weather and no state sales tax. The team might suck, but they will get plenty of minutes and may get traded relatively quickly if Orlando keeps mucking through its rebuilding process. Nene got huge paydays TWICE from the Nuggets even though he refused to play through minor injuries and when he did play, played with as much passion as a corpse. He will get his $13 million to fake injuries in Washington and play FIFA ’12 while wishing he was a soccer star. Poor guy…

  • tron7

    How can you be wrong about everything so often. You’d think you would just chance into a smart observation once in a while. I just need to skip over pieces with Kalen on the byline.

    • Ernie

      Then just skip it without whining. These guys charge you nothing for the site, there really is no point in being rude if you don’t like the info.

      • GK4Prez

        Well said, it’s okay to agree to disagree, but be civil about it or at least put forth an effort and make an attempt at it.

    • Thomas

      Agreed. Makes no basketball sense.

  • magster

    The Lakers are old.

    Kobe is 34. Pau is what, 32? Nash is 38. Dwight Howard is “28” but had back surgery. Steve Blake is 47. The Lakers window is this season, and if Howard is not back to his Superman self because of his back, then the Lakers are worse. Bynum was a headcase, but even his bad games in the Nuggets/Lakers series were double doubles. An injury to Nash, Kobe, Pau or Dwight knocks the Lakers off track.

    I have to think Ujiri suspects that Howard might not come back to form and/or thinks the Lakers are in trouble in a couple of seasons.

  • SeanPennLaw

    Kalen, I generally like what you have to say but I really disagree with your general sentiment here and also with your suggestion that the Nuggets should have tried to get Pau Gasol.

    Firstly, Iguodala improves our perimeter defense significantly. He’s longer, taller and stronger than Afflalo and matches up much better against the likes of Durant and Kobe than AAA did. I loved AAA and thought he was a great teammate, but this is a substantial upgrade at a position (and skill-set) of need for Denver.

    Second, trading Harrington frees up minutes for Chandler, who is better than Harrington in almost every category. No, they don’t play the same position, but with Karl’s penchant for playing positionless lineups and with only 240 minutes to go around, finding more time for Chandler improves our defense and transition game.

    Third, this move forces Karl to consider the development of younger players like Hamilton, Randolph, Fournier, etc by removing two of Karl’s biggest minutes workhorses in AAA and Harrington. Everyone agrees that a major strength of our team is depth. When that depth is coupled with the altitude, the Nuggets have a substantial counterpunch advantage over even the very best teams in the league. However, if Karl ignores that depth (as he frequently did in riding these guys all game) the equation changes. I’m sure Masai saw exactly what we all did last season and recognized that forcing Karl away from that mentality was essential for our overall team development.

    Fourth, I wholeheartedly disagree that going after Pau Gasol is something that would have substantially improved our team, especially if that meant surrendering Gallo and other assets. Getting Gasol would mean playing him out of position at center or moving Faried to the bench and playing him only reserve minutes. Neither of those scenarios seems like an improvement over our current front court construction or with the direction of our team. Is Gasol/McGee better than Faried/McGee right now? Yes, but is Gasol/McGee better than Faried/McGee/Gallinari? No, I definitely don’t think it is.

    Looking at our lineup now, we have tremendous length, athleticism, versatility and depth at almost every position. We also have youth and players with room for considerable growth. Iguodala may not be in the long-term plans of the Nuggets, but he makes us better right now and he only has a two year contract in the event that our young guys are ready to take a step forward to replace him sooner than later.

    Again, I love your work on here and I feel you on the disappointment of seeing two of our team’s leaders and warriors leave, but I think this is another in a string of great moves by Masai.

  • Lane

    I generally agree with the opinions published by RMC but I was surprised to read this article.
    Igoudala averages around 10 DBL-DBl’s a year with a few TRPL-DBL’s thrown in. Afflalo doesn’t ever sniff ten rebounds or assists. I disagree that Afflalo is defensive minded, he was a big reason our 3pt defense and overall perimeter defense was so bad last year. He’s a B athlete at best. I like him in general as a player but his skills are redundant on this team.
    Meanwhile Igoudala doesn’t need to score to be effective. He thrives off defending the other teams best player (something that hurt Afflalo’s overall production). And being one of the best passing wings in the game frees up Lawson to score at will if he’s feeling it.
    No stars? Igoudala is contributing for team USA, is an All-Star and an all-NBA defender. He is a perfect star for our team-ball approach.
    Harrington was just going to steal minutes on this team, he can’t defend, can’t rebound much, and is injured. We just sold high on two players to get a durable all-star/ elite defender. What am I missing? I think this is now the third best team in the West AND the most fun to watch!

  • Trip

    Like every one else is saying it sucks that AAA is not a Nugget anymore. With that being said we have to remember that they are pretty much expecting Jordan Hamilton to step up big this year. I saw him play in Vegas and he will be our answer to the 3 ball. I have always wanted Iggy or Josh Smith in a Nuggets uniform, and cant wait to see how he plays.

    AAA made his mark as the best defensive player on the team 2 seasons ago, but last season I feel that he was more concerned with his offense and really struggled on defense. (again i think it is a big loss)

    Harrington had the frame to be a 4, but he did not really posses the game for the position. He was never around the offensive glass, and on his off nights would jack up 3 after 3 after 3 to try and shoot himself back in rhythm, which would really screw up the offensive flow

    It is easy to talk bad about them now because they are gone, I know they were both huge pieces in our playoff run last year. I like the youth and the size this team has, it will be interesting to see how they do this year.

  • Andrew K

    In my recent facebook sports talk groupt, I gave grades out to each team. The Nuggets received a B+.

    Regardless of giving up AAA and Harrington, the Nuggets were handed Andre Iguodala, a players who shined for years in Philadelphia. Now you can rationalize that Iggy is only a slight upgrade, or at least in the “net gain” perspective, but this move bolsters the line-up.

    PG- Ty Lawson
    SG- Andre Iguodala
    SF – Danilo Gallinari
    PF- Kenneth Faried
    C – JaVale McGee

    What this also does is give Jordan Hamilton and Anthony Randolph more of a chance to develop by thinning both the 2 and 4 positions.

  • Poz_303

    I think the trade improves Denver. But I do feel bad for AAA and Big Al. They end up in Orlando. That’s just cruel and unusual punishment. Going from a consistent playoff team to a team that wont sniff playoffs for at least a few years.

    • RDP

      Al is going to the Lakers.

      • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

        My bad. His destination had changed since I had seen last night.

  • RDP

    I think this is a great deal for the Nuggets.

    Big Al had to be moved. He had multiple knee surgeries this offseason. While I enjoyed watching Al play for us this last season and appreciate everything he did for the team, I think it was in the team’s best interest to deal him at this time. I don’t believe that he will be as effective this season coming off of the surgeries and he’s not getting any younger. His trade value was never going to be higher for the Nuggets than it was this offseason. Yes his contract was favorable at only being partially guaranteed in the next few seasons. However, we all know that Kroenke Sports does not like to pay players to NOT play for them.

    Let us also take into account the basketball reasons for making this deal. George Karl was playing Al as a CENTER a lot of the time this past season and playoffs despite having THREE 7 footers on the roster. Going small against a team like the Lakers that has two 7 footers on this front line may be the reason that we did not close out that series. Also, factor in that Al was playing injured and couldn’t be as effective on the defensive end against a 7 footer. Our size should be used as the advantage it can be, especially when playing a team with size. Al averaged 28 minutes per game this season. That’s way too much Al for what he brings to the table. We all know that Karl only plays guys that he trusts despite having so much talent sitting on the bench. I think this is some form of Masai forcing Karl’s hand a bit to utilize his deep, talented bench more. He did this before by dealing Nene so that Karl had no choice but to play Faried after he had proved that he was already better for the team than Nene. What was going to happen this season with a healthy Wilson Chandler returning to the lineup? Where was the recently signed Anthony Randolph going to get minutes? Faried will also need more minutes to continue his development. And as Kalen pointed out, Masai really wanted to keep Quincy Miller. They needed to open a roster spot somewhere to make that happen. So who was the odd man out? I say it was Al for all of the reasons above.

    Now with Arron Afflalo, that’s tougher. He has gotten better each year with the Nuggets and he is the type of player you love to have on your team. But I think the question needs to be asked, what is really his ceiling as far as the player he can become? He will turn 27 before this season begins so he is older than most of the Nuggets young core. He was very inconsistent to start the season due to not being in shape since he didn’t want to risk an injury while not having a contract during the lockout. It seemed to be during the first half of the season that he was one of those players that performed beyond expectations in a contract year and had regressed now that he got paid. But then, as Kalen pointed out, after the All-Star break he averaged 18ppg. It was a return to the Afflalo we all knew and loved. Afflalo has a reputation of being a defensive minded player however the numbers show that he is not as good of a defender as his reputation. Of the 113 players to defend at least 50 perimeter plays, Afflalo ranked 113th at points given up. Iguodala ranked 10th. I would say that is a clear upgrade at the position and is the reason I am good with this trade. If you think about what the Nuggets did with Afflalo, this was a great move. They sent a second round pick to Detroit to acquire him. The “experts” complained about how he was a lesser player than the (at that time) recently departed through free agency, Dahntay Jones. Denver’s coaching staff turned Afflalo into a player that was coveted league-wide and have flipped him for one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Masai plays chess while other GM’s play checkers.

    I see people complaining on Twitter that we still don’t have a “Star.” I disagree on that point. Iguodala is a “Star,” just not a Superstar. Iggy is the type of player that is a quiet Star in the NBA. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t have a huge ego, he’s not a selfish player. Iguodala is the type of star that we want for our team. Not the “me first” type of Superstars in the mold of Carmelo. Iguodala will be a player that Karl will love. He “plays the right way.” I don’t think that we need a Superstar with the team that has been assembled.

    Assess the situation league-wide, look at where all of the Superstars are playing. New York, LA, Miami and OKC. Who could the Nuggets possibly pry from these teams while giving up only Afflalo and Harrington? Exactly.

    I think that the future is very, very bright for the team that Masai has assembled. Ty is going to continue to develop into a top tier point guard. Iguodala is a clear upgrade at shooting guard. Gallinari will be healthier this year. Faried will continue to develop and is rumored to be joining McGee in working out with “The Dream.” Our starting lineup will be better than the one that was on the floor last season. They are young and will only get better with a real training camp and a full 82 game season together.

    Our bench is deep and talented. Mozgov has been performing well in the Olympics this summer. Andre Miller is back. Jordan Hamilton will likely crack the rotation this season and showed some flashes in limited playing time last season. Corey Brewer is back and is a versatile player. Wilson Chandler will be with the team for his first training camp and will get his first full season with the Nuggets. He also looks to be healthier than he was last season. Koufos will likely be in the rotation with Al out of the picture. Hopefully we will see more big lineups with him playing power forward at times. Anthony Randolph is an intriguing addition, surely this coaching staff will get something out of him. Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller will likely not crack the rotation and will probably spend most of their time in the D-League. Julyan Stone proved he could be a serviceable backup point guard when given minutes. So we will see if the Nuggets choose to retain him since he has a non-guaranteed contract.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see any additional move(s) by Masai, Josh and their cap guru Pete D’Alessandro (he is their secret weapon). I think that at some point they will choose between Gallo and Chandler depending on who is most productive for this team. There were whispers around the draft of Chandler being dealt and I tend to believe that in the NBA it has been proven that where there’s smoke, there’s often fire.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I am excited for this season to start. Is it October yet?

    • chronicnugs

      Great post man. Spot on.

      • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

        Thank you sir.

    • bballin

      Agreed great post!! I feel the exact same way on all of your points!!

      • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

        Thanks man! I just don’t see how this isn’t a big win for the Nuggets.

  • Zack

    I really like this trade. I always liked Iggy as a player, and he should fit in with the style of basketball the Nuggets play.

    He is a GREAT defender and certainly an upgrade over AAA. I am excited to see a lineup of Ty, Iggy, Chandler, Gallo and McGee.

    Maybe we can make one more big trade? We still have plenty of depth, I just don’t know who else we would target.

  • JJ Shook

    Kalan I actually rarely find myself agreeing with your opinion (though still appreciate your work here) but on this article I found your analysis very good. Not that I agree 100% , I personally was very disappointed with AAA last season so seeing him traded does not surprise or disappoint me, also I myself am glad we dident get Gasol, while he is obviously a great talent I just dont see him fitting with this team well at all and his career is just to far along fur us to be building around. But I have to say great article.

    Now that the first domino has fallen will there be more to come? Watching the Olympics I have been very impressed with Russia and Timo and I think that his trade value has to be high right now maybe we could trade him to Minnesota (they can have a mini team Russia) along with Chandler for Derron Williams and a pick.
    But in Mozgove, Chandler and Gallinari I think we have some real trade potential.

  • chronicnugs

    i’ve always liked iggy. poor mans scott pippen. what i think is fascinating though is comparing the howard deal to the anthony deal. howard is clearly the more valuable commodity of the two, but we got felton, gallo, chandler, mozgov and a first rounder. in the melo trade vs. the howard trade, the nuggets beat the magic.

    here’s another perspective… we acquired AAA for a second round pick from detroit. big al was a mid level exception signing. that means we gave up nothing but the cap space. word is the nugs will also throw a future first at orlando. so to sum it up, we gave a future late first and a mid second (for most teams these are throw away picks) for an all star, gold medalist who was on the 2nd team all defense squad only because LBJ made the first team. yeah, i sort of like this deal.

    masai will eventually get the red auerbach reputation. the league will eventually figure out that if ujiri has agreed to the deal youre getting effed. period. he isnt just the best front office man in this dusty old cowtown, he might be one of the best in all of pro sports.

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      I’ve seen that we are actually only giving Orlando a second rounder. Could be inaccurate, but if true – makes this deal even better! Masai is very smart and keeps fleecing everyone else in the league. I think though that his secret weapon is his assistant, “cap guru” Pete D’Alessandro. No one really knows this name but he has been a huge asset to the front office since Masai hired him shortly after being hired himself. The guy is in every meeting that Masai and Josh have on personnel.

      • Ryan

        From what I’ve seen, it’s a second rounder next year AND a protected first in 2014, neither figures to mean much in the grand scheme of things

  • Gaston

    Love the trade; Afflalo was an overrated defender and Iggy is elite in that regard. He was playing at one of the slowest paces in the league; now he gets to fastbreak with Ty and Andre.

    Wish we could have weaseled in Pau Gasol… that would have been sweet.

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      We don’t need Gasol. I agree with your assessment of AAA vs Iggy. I think Iggy’s scoring is sure to go up playing in the Nuggets system.

  • Jeff

    Love the trade, although sad to see both Al and AAA go. Both were hardworking professionals who were “glue” guys and they’ll be missed.

    Makes you wonder about Dwight – he isn’t promising to resign with LA. With all the smack talking about him – wouldn’t it be really smart of him to take the trade for a year, go to FA and head back to Orlando, where now they’ve shed salary, have a ton of complementary pieces, and three extra picks?

    Hmmmm

  • Legalize Denver nuggets

    Now, we will have to specify which Andre and which miller we are bitching about on rmc. I’m sure it will still usually be the combination of those names.

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      I’m sure the lion’s share will belong to Andre Miller.

      • Zack

        Agreed. Q Miller won’t play much this year, and Iggy is gonna be good for the Nuggets, I can feel it.

        Feeling VERY good about a lineup of Ty, Iggy, Gallo, Faried and McGee.

  • gfacekillah8

    While I appreciate that this site exists some of the articles absolutely floor me. This is definitely one of those. You do realize that Afflalo would never ever play for team USA right? and that Iggy is a key component of the USA team that will easily win the gold medal right now?

    AAA is a fine player. But he was exposed by Kobe in the playoffs. Kobe killed us. Iggy will help against the elite wings because of his size and athleticism.

    Iggy slides into the trade exception from Nene so he has no cap significance. Also he becomes a great expiring deal next year if the Nuggets decide to move him.

    I don’t get all the people upset that the Nuggets helped the Lakers get better. The Nuggets are in no position to pick and choose when they pick up all star caliber players (which Iggy definitely is). They have to make decisions based on the impact it will have to their team. This was a huge upgrade.

    I know Kalen mentioned he wanted Pau. I think its pretty obvious that the Lakers were not giving up Pau. That is probably why it took so long for them to trade for Howard.

    Oh and anyone who makes a comment relating to how Denver should have traded for Howard themselves should be banned from commenting on this site. That would have set the Nuggets back 8 years.

    Love the trade. Think the Nuggets got better and will be a real force this year. Until they play LA…..lets be honest that team is unreal now.

    Go Nugs.

    • Zack

      Gotta think this trade puts LA up there with Miami as best in the NBA. Their big 4 is scary good, and if Artest can still play defense and hit 3’s, they’ll be better than the Heat imo.

      As long as they stay healthy, of course. I wonder if Nash was able to bring the entire Suns training staff with him?

    • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

      Dude I totally agree with you. AAA is no Olympian and Kobe smoked him.

      And the Nuggets will actually retain the trade exception from the Nene deal because the salary they are sending out matches Iggy’s deal pretty closely.

      The Lakers were going to get Howard either way. At least the Nuggets helped themselves at the same time instead of letting another team slip in and nab Iggy.

      We don’t want Pau anyway. He’s old and soft.

  • bballin

    I disagree somewhat with this article on a couple of points. 1. AAA maybe a good teammate, but his D is less then average guarding the 2 or the 3. Iggy is a significant upgrade in that respect. AAA is nowhere near as athletic as Iggy, AAA had a hard time getting to the rim and finishing with layups pass outs etc..Iggy play ABOVE the rim, which fits in with the rest of our starters. I also think Iggy became lost in Philly offensively, coming to Denver he can become the “man” so to speak someone we can trust with the ball when we need a basket.
    2. Like many others have stated the Lakers were going to GET Howard. If it wasn’t the Nuggets helping it would have been someone else. We upgrade with shipping AAA and getting Iggy that’s just fact. But we also open up our rotation by sending Big Al at the 4 giving Manimal more minutes and maybe seeing if Gallo can play some Dirk type minutes at the stretch 4.
    All in all I love this trade, we have an All Star that we need in Iggy. He can put up number and play defense but he’s not the type of guy that’s going to be leaving Denver for NYC or a bigger market if we can succeed.

    • bballin

      I forgot to mention the part about Pau, he’s what this team does NOT need. He’s old, soft and overpaid. We are not a set play team. We fly down the court as proven by leading the league in scoring almost every year. Had we given up Galo for Pau or any of our pieces for Pau I would have cried myself to sleep. Iggy was exactly what we needed for OUR system.

      • http://twitter.com/realdenverpete RDP

        I couldn’t have said it any better on the topic of Pau Gasol.

  • Keyley

    About to be an exciting year for the nuggies! We can probably beat the lakers… lawson vs 80-year old nash… iggy can guard kobe, gallo is better than ron “throwing elbows peace man dude braaa”, waka flaka manimal will destroy pau “want foul now” gasol and javale and howard will be an interesting matchup and now the nuggies match up better with the thunder as well. Iggy is the “star” we need average 15 points 5 rebounds 5 assists…. thats lebron-esque or at least as close as we can get to a lebron-esque player and not to mention he can guard three positions. We upgraded big time and give more minutes to waka flaka manimal fairied J-HAM homeless man, frankenstein, and those two giant foreign guys…. this was an amazing trade masai is a genius!

  • matt

    I normally don’t comment on articles, but this is just terrible. Crying over the loss of Harrington is ridiculous, he’s old, over payed and injury prone. Affalo does everything Iggy does only slightly worse. sharp shooter? Really? Kalen are you seriously butt hurt about losing a PROTECTED first round pick for an elite defender that the nuggs sorely needed? You’ re right though we should’ve kept the pick so we could bury him at the end of the bench. How do you have a job?

    • Kalen

      This isn’t my job. Everything I do here is on my own free time. I do not get paid for this. You can critique my work all you want — I understand, as that’s part of putting yourself out there on the Internet — however you have the benefit and protection of not letting me come to your job and critique everything you do. Can you honestly sit there and tell me you do your job — which you get paid for — perfectly and would have no problem letting me yell in your ear all day long when you don’t do something correctly? You can disagree with me all you want, I have zero problems with that, but telling me I don’t do my job well is totally different. Next time you take three to four hours of your own free time after you’ve already been working all day — which usually puts you to bed around 2 a.m. — towards a project you love, please call me up so that I can come to your door and critique you, unfiltered, until the cows come home.

      As for the pick, you have no problem giving up a first-round draft pick in the future, because let’s face it, it’s the future. However what happens when 2014 rolls around and the Nuggets are a totally different team in need of young talent? What happens if the 2014 draft is seen as one of the best in years? What happens if Iguodala doesn’t re-sign in Denver, or does at an overpaid price and then suffers a string of serious injuries? That draft pick could come in handy in a major way. It’s so easy to sit there NOW and say it’s just a future draft pick, but that’s not how general managers think and that’s not you you’d think come mid-June of that year.

      As always, thanks for reading.

      — Kalen

    • Ryan

      That’s a little harsh, since Kalen isn’t paid to do this. I do agree, though, perfect time to sell high on Al and the first and second rounders we give up had no place on the team anyways. AAA has been the golden boy on this site for as long as I’ve been coming on here. Even though his defense was nonexistent last year, AAA avoided almost all criticism. He’s also not a “sharpshooter” as Kalen says, as he shot a tick under 40% from 3 last year. He’s a nice player, but not really worth nearly $8m per year. Iguodala is going to be unleashed for the first time in his career, going from Doug Collins’ 1990s slow-paced offense to our fast break offense will allow him to shine

  • TB

    First let me say that I liked Al and AAA. I think both guys are better perimeter shooters than Iggy and both filled valuable roles for the team. AAA was a decent defender and shooter from the corner and Al was a dependable scorer off the bench. However, I like this trade. We get a better defender who can guard the 1-3 spots, he gives miller another lob option, and can help us not only create more turnovers but finish those extra possessions in transition. And let’s not forget that Iggy is a lot more physical than AAA and 2 inches taller.

    With Chandler back and J-Ham helping to fill the bench scoring void, the only negative I see is the downgrade in perimeter shooting. But this is offset by Iggy’s ability to get to the rim and create on offense. Two things that AAA was working on, but wasn’t great at.

    The nuggets have a lot of young assets and a very deep bench, but at some point you need to make deals that improve the top 8 on your roster. I believe that’s what we did.

  • KH

    Igoudala is way more valuable the Al Harrington and Aaron Affalo you will see that fast. Iggs is an amazing defender and his 3 point shooting really improved last year. He is much more of a play maker on offense then Affalo. This is a great deal for the Nuggets. Seriously the difference between a guy like AA and Igoudala if you swapped them on a team is probably something on the order of at least five more wins. When you get the best player you win the trade every time. This was a no brainer deal. Harrington played over his head last year.

  • Tom

    Losing AAA and Harrington isn’t a big deal, but losing a 1st and 2nd round pick in addition to AAA and Harrington hurts a bit. Iggy is probably worth it, but the loss of draft picks makes this less of a slam dunk. As pointed out by other comments above, draft picks offer good depth for low cost. Not a good idea to trade away draft picks unless you’re prepared to spend over the luxury cap. Teams under the luxury cap can only afford to have maybe 5 good players not on rookie contracts with a couple veterans minimum guys sprinkled in. The Nuggets now will have to pay Lawson, Gallinari, Iggy, and McGee substantial money. Faried will get paid in a couple years. Fournier or Q-Mill or Hamilton might be due for a raise in a few years. Draft picks ensure that you will be able to replace guys due for a raise with cheaper guys while still remaining competitive.

    Again, Iggy is probably worth it, but losing those picks is still painful.

  • Peter

    There is an old saying. If you’re not getting any better, you’re getting worse. The Nuggets got better with this trade. Sure seeing guys like AAA and Big Al go hurts a little, but we will survive just fine without them. Before this trade the Nuggets were not a serious contender. They probably are not still quite there yet, but we have a lot of young guys that will still improve and there still might be another deal to come this year you never know. All I know is we are 1 step closer to being a legitimate contender than we were yesterday. Job well done Masai!!!