5-on-5: Iguodala trade talk

With a new contributor, Roundball Mining Company will likely be doing more 5-on-5 pieces in the coming days. This means more opportunities for you, the reader, to participate by being featured as the fifth analyst in this series of articles, however this can only be achieved by following each of us on Twitter. In our first of many new 5-on-5s we highlight, what else, but the Andre Iguodala trade. T.J. McBride joins us this time around, but don’t let that stop you from posting your answers to these five questions in the comments section below!
1. If you could give Masai Ujiri a letter grade for this trade what would you give him and why?
Charlie: A. The Nuggets improved their team while shedding their worst contract and maintaining salary cap flexibility going forward. As an added bonus, they retain the Nene trade exception and accomplish the secondary goal of clearing a roster spot for Quincy Miller. As with any trade, there’s a risk if things go south but if you’re looking at things objectively, Denver did very well without giving up more than they had to.
Jeremy: B+. I agree with several of those who left comments that the draft picks that were included reduced the value of the deal, although I do not lament the inclusion of the picks as much as most. The protection tied to the 2014 first rounder ensures that, should either the Nuggets or Knicks falter and one of their picks are in the Lottery, Denver will retain that selection as they are required to pass the lower of the two to Orlando. Andre Igoudala is a significant upgrade for the Nuggets and that is what matters.
Denbutsu: A. Ujiri had the guts to make a tough, controversial move that sends out a fan favorite and helps a rival, but also makes Denver better. There is a point of diminishing returns with a deep crop of middling players, and as great a guy as he is, Afflalo never really had the star potential of some of his teammates. So for Denver to cash in a few of its many assets for a veritable All-Star makes a world of sense.
Kalen: B-. I’m not as in love with this trade as many. Is it a bad trade from the Nuggets standpoint? Absolutely not. Anytime you get the best player in a deal you win. Parting with Harrington and a second-round pick means nothing, but Afflalo and a first rounder are two assets I could see becoming more valuable as time passes. Afflalo is the exact type of guy you want want to build your team with (hence, why the Magic wanted him) and I just don’t see why he had to go instead of someone else.
TJ: A+. Many people are saying the Nuggets overpaid for Iguodala but what he provides for this Nuggets team is irreplaceable. This trade adds perimeter defense as well  as a defensive-minded star player. He also shot 39.7 percent from behind the arc last year to add another perimeter shooter to the team. Lastly, this trade opened up a spot to sign Quincy Miller and got value for the aging and injury-prone Al Harrington. This trade also opens playing time for Jordan Hamilton as well as the ultra-athletic Anthony Randolph.
2. What’s the most underrated aspect of the trade?
Charlie: Obviously the trade was made with the goal of shoring up the Nuggets biggest weakness: their defense. Although Denver lost a combined 30 points per game from Afflalo and Harrington, the numbers suggest they aren’t likely to be any worse off on offense and may actually improve. Al Harrington was the Nuggets highest usage player despite being one of the least efficient. Iguodala’s efficiency is not drastically worse than Afflalo’s and is mitigated by his ability to be a secondary playmaker, allowing Lawson and Gallinari more opportunities off the ball where both have been effective scorers.
Jeremy: One of the biggest mistakes GMs can make is overvaluing their own players. Arron Afflalo has shown tremendous growth since becoming a Nugget and Al Harrington played a key role in Denver’s success last season. Despite their contributions, Ujiri has proven that he is very pragmatic and is capable of correctly assessing the value of his own players. Most GMs would have clung to Nene, Afflalo and Harrington because they are solid players and keeping them would have been the safe thing to do. Ujiri is willing to take bold action to improve this team and that is significant.
Denbutsu: The potential for Iggy to make a positive offensive impact. The buzz is “defense good/offense bad,” but the pace factor is huge with Denver, second at 96.7, and Philly, (24th) at 91.9, last season. The Nuggets offense is practically custom designed to maximize his strengths in transition scoring and playmaking, and being surrounded on either side by Ty/Dre feeding him and Faried/McGee to lob to should help both he and his teammates score more efficiently.
Kalen: The time it opens up for guys like Chandler, Faried, Hamilton and possibly Randolph. There are only so many minutes Karl can hand out each game. The Nuggets were already suffering a huge logjam at multiple positions. This trade essentially frees up all of Harrington’s 28 minutes per game to go to other guys who deserve a shot to prove themselves.
TJ: Iguodala’s offensive game. It is well published that Iguodala is an elite defender but what gets overlooked is how well he will fit in with the Nuggets offensive scheme. When Iguodala is looked at as a first or second scoring option he flourishes offensively. In the 2007-08 season when the 76ers traded Allen Iverson to the Nuggets, Iguodala averaged 19.9 points per game. Then he followed that season with 18.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 2008-09. His situation with the Nuggets is the perfect scenario for his type of play.
3. What’s the most overrated aspect of the trade?
Charlie: The idea the Nuggets willingly ceded a championship to the Lakers. Dwight did not sign an extension as part of the deal and the Nuggets did not somehow coerce him into ridiculous trade demands so they could land Iguodala. Masai took part in a four-team deal that improved his team and furthered the plan for developing a young roster that can contend long-term.
Jeremy: It is easy to expect the Nuggets to be a better defensive team after the addition of Igoudala, but in order to experience significant progress the Nuggets must place an emphasis on team defense that has not been present since their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. The Nuggets will continue to struggle on defense even with Igoudala if they do not get back to employing solid team principles.
Denbutsu: The notion that only including Afflalo and Harrington is fine, but adding a future first rounder isn’t worth it. It’s no coincidence that in 2014 the Nuggets just happen to have two firsts and the outgoing pick is the worse of those. The Nuggets currently have a wealth of young players to develop along with their remaining 2013 and 2014 first round picks. Using a pick that would inevitably become trade bait to land a player of Iguodala’s caliber is completely reasonable.
Kalen: How much the Nuggets will improve on defense. I love how, now that he’s gone, people are acting like Afflalo was some kind of mediocre defender. No, his numbers weren’t off the charts, however defense is a team concept and the Nuggets have been atrocious at it lately. According to mySynergySports.com, Afflalo was actually a better isolation defender (which I put a lot of stock into) than Iguodala last year. Having both these players in Denver at the same time would have been the best way to improve on defense.
TJ: The idea that the Nuggets cleared a massive amount of cap space. While the Nuggets did keep their trade exception and drop Al Harrington’s contract, his deal is only half guaranteed and Iguodala replaced Afflalo’s contract on our budget. So while the Nuggets did help their finances, it was not as drastic as most believed it to be.
4. How much does this trade improve the Nuggets?
Charlie: The Nuggets were always dependent on a giant leap forward by someone like Lawson, Gallinari or McGee in order to truly contend and this deal doesn’t change that. What it does, is place a lot less pressure on Denver’s budding young stars while still allowing them room to grow. Iguodala addresses the Nuggets biggest area of need and makes things a bit easier for the coaches in terms of developing guys like Lawson, Gallinari and McGee to the level they need to be.
Jeremy: Denver finished sixth in the West in 2011-12 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. This season they could very well finish sixth and lose in the first round again. That being said, this trade increases their talent level and does so in time for the team to have a full training camp together to prepare for the season. This trade continues the Nuggets on the path of improvement.
Denbutsu: Significantly, eventually. Iggy replacing Afflalo is a clear upgrade, but the real mystery is the frontcourt. Harrington played 64 percent of the Nuggets power forward minutes last season, so how Karl chooses to fill that vacancy is the key. I’m assuming increased minutes for the improving Faried and McGee, with Chandler absorbing most of Harrington and Brewer’s remaining minutes. All of this should help down the line, but early season chemistry may suffer a bit from the changes.
Kalen: The trade itself doesn’t improve the Nuggets significantly. While Iguodala is a definite upgrade over Afflalo, the fact the Nuggets are now opening up more playing time for Hamilton, Faried and Chandler is what matters most. In addition to the Nuggets being one year older, they’ll also have a full training camp and (hopefully) a renewed sense of dedication to defense. All these developments will factor into the Nuggets improving, not just Andre Iguodala.
TJ: This trade improves the Nuggets in every way. Obviously the perimeter defense is greatly improved but there is a lot more than meets the eye incorporated in this trade. Iguodala’s offensive game will catch fire in Denver’s fast-paced style. This deal also clears a roster spot to sign Quincy Miller as well as gives the Nuggets a defensive-minded leader on the team.
5. What part of Iguodala’s game (besides defense) will the Nuggets benefit from most?
Charlie: His playmaking. Iguodala is going to enhance Denver’s transition-based attack and provide much-needed relief when things break down in the half court. He has experience creating for himself and others when the game slows down and players need to execute a real offense. I mentioned it earlier, but he can really help Ty do more things off the ball and maximize his abilities as a scorer. Same for Gallo, who struggles mightily to create his own offense.
Jeremy: I have mentioned it before, but it is his ability to pass. He does not have top-flight floor vision such as LeBron James, but he almost always makes the right decision and has shown some creativity with the ball. He can lead the break and makes very accurate passes on the drive-and-kick to open shooters.  His ability to distribute the ball is another area where he will provide a significant upgrade.
Denbutsu: Becoming elite in forcing turnovers and converting them to fast break points. Iguodala was ninth in the league in steals last season with 1.73 per game, while Afflalo was 257th with 0.58. We can expect to see Denver taking the ball away from their opponents more often, and Iggy is an upgrade in both the prowess at transition offense and the athleticism which are crucial to converting those fast break opportunities more effectively.
Kalen: Hands down, his athleticism and ability to force turnovers. The Nuggets are a running team who aim to thrive off their opponent’s turnovers which they then parlay into a fast-break style offense. In order to thrive in this system you need athleticism and quick hands. Iguodala is one of the best players in the league at forcing turnovers and finishing around the rim with authority. He and the Nuggets are a perfect fit.
TJ: Iguodala in George Karl’s offense. While the offensive hit the Nuggets have taken in trading for Iguodala has been well published, I do not agree with this speculation. When he gets put into a faster-paced and more running-style offense he flourishes. He has averaged more than 14 points per game in five of his seven seasons and is also coming off his best 3-point shooting season by shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc. He is in the perfect system at the perfect age to become not just an elite defender but an elite scorer as well.
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • Evan Woodruff

    Going to miss AAA.
    Though I live in Florida, and Orlando is my 2nd favorite team, so maybe I’ll go see him sometime.

    Anyway, excited for Iggy. He’s going to get a lot better from the Olympics, everyone does.
    -Just curious how the line up is going to be? He is a Small Forward right? So does he start over Galo at SF? or does he start at SG and we play big? OR are there more trades on the way, maybe trading Galo for a really good SG?

    Any thoughts?

    • Coxy

      He will start at sg. His a gaurd forward and is only listed at 6’6 on nba.com

    • Kalen

      Yeah I’m almost certain he’ll replace Afflalo. Doesn’t make sense to have both Gallo and Chandle come off the bench.

  • J.D. Yates

    Like the trade, I’ll miss AAA too. One thing I don’t think people have brought up. In the playoffs last year the Nuggets were up by one point in (I think) the early 4th. The Lakers switched Kobe onto Ty and our fast break went away. I think Iggy can push the ball if Ty is locked down or doubled. Also hoping a good Olympics will help Mozgov’s game.

    • ryanvdonk

      i think a big part of that was ty getting tired at the end of the game, that whole series he barely came out and was pushing and attacking. I think Iggy will help a ton with that, as it gives someone else who can do those things and Ty will be able to get some more time recovering (and maybe some open 3s) while on the floor.

  • JM

    Correction, Allen Iverson was traded during the 2006-2007 season, right after the brawl in NYC.

  • David

    I’ll miss the contributions of AAA and Harrington both. They were both great guys an Afflalo i think after the all-star break played like a man on fire and was arguably our best player save the playoffs. I think Masai looked at it and saw that Kobe was going to be a problem for the short-term and Durant long-term. The bigger and longer the defenders you have to throw at those guys the better. And that switching D, GK encourages has to end. Apart from the Olympic team ave not seen any other be successful with it. I think Iggy fits well da only thing am worried about is his 3-pt and FT shooting. And this crap about him playing the 3, in moments we need offense, we can go small and play Gallo @da 4, n have him or chandler at the 2 or 3. Am so excited at this line-up, da only disadvantage is it made the Lakers better. I’m excited for this season, i really think we can replace San Antonio in the top-3 out west. I think we r better than Memphis now but am not sure about the Clippers yet. They are just as deep, Can’t wait.

  • SmokinNugs

    Kalen could you be any more NEGATIVE about this trade? Come on man!

    You said we’re acting like Afflalo was mediocre? YOU are acting like he was legendary. How many players did we see put up CAREER numbers vs Afflalo on the floor? Too many. Needless to say that will NOT happen against Iggy

    • kyle

      First off I love this app with its analysis and info on the nugs, but I did notice that Kalen was contradicting himself a lot… That being said, I agree with you that Afflalo was often overrated, and I’m not sure you can build a team around him. I didn’t find Kalen being overly negative but sort of jumping back and forth especially with Iggy which can be just as worse than being simply overly negative. Go Nuggets!!!!

      • SmokinNugs

        I wouldn’t post on Roundball if I didn’t love it too! Just making observations

    • FstbrkJM

      I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the article. Good observation.

    • http://yahoo mile high

      How can you have such blind faith in Iggy and slam Kalen for being objective? I sure hope that the Iggy trade will work out for Denver but with a much stronger Western conference led by the Nuggets-aided Lakers, Iggy will have to at least have a career year for it to happen.

      • Zack

        Why do people not fully understand that the Lakers were going to get Dwight Howard with or without help from the Nuggets/76ers. If the Nuggets wouldn’t have gotten involved (and won their portion of the trade by upgraded AAA/Al + late picks for Iggy) then some other team would have. Dwight was going to the Lakers (although I don’t know why. For Orlando, I like the Nets deal better than this one, and frankly I would have wanted to deal Dwight to Houston for tons of young guys/cap space, but I digress).

        Anyways, I’m very happy with this trade because Iggy is a DEFINITE upgrade over AAA, getting rid of Al opens up more playing time for guys like Faried and Chandler, and the trade opens a roster spot for Q Miller, who won’t play because of the depth and hate of rookies by GK, but he’s a player I really like.

    • bballin

      I have to agree here, Kalen’s love affair with AAA is a little head scratching. I’ve seen stats posted on here that showed that AAA was one of the worst one on one defenders in the league like 113th or something and Iggy is somewhere around 10th. I understand we all have players we love and hate to see get moved but the fact of the matter is Iggy is a significant upgrade in every facet of the game. He’s far more athletic and being selected to represent our country at the Olympics means he’s of quality character as well. This was a no-brainer trade, maybe it’s a little shocking that AAA was the player moved when everyone assumed it would be Chandler that was dangled as trade bait, but getting Iggy and keeping Chandler/Galo is huge.

  • Barry

    I think that Afflalo is being somewhat overvalued and we’ve seen his ceiling. Ultimately, he’s the 4th option on offense and is a 3 point spot shooter. It doesn’t appear that he’s ever going to be more than that. It looks like he’s trying to become more of a slasher but whenever he puts the ball on the floor, he dribbles a lot and his feet move but he doesn’t go anywhere. I was really excited a few seasons ago and thought he was capable of being Kobe-lite…doesn’t look like that’s anywhere close to happening.

    He’s a pretty good defender but for the 2 spot, the Nuggets need somebody that can stop Kobe come playoff time. Afflalo has shown he’s too short and not quite athletic enough. Is Iguodala the guy? I believe so. Can the Nuggets put him on KD as well come playoff time? We’ll see, it may have to be Gallo or Chandler but Iggy does look taller than 6’6″, and long as well.

    I love this trade for the fact that it opens up a lot of minutes for Nuggets on the roster like Chandler and JHam and possibly even Fournier at some point in the future, who looks like he has a really nice feel for the game, just needs to put on a few lbs. Al’s defense killed the Nuggets at the end of games last year, so we don’t have to worry about that any longer (Just Andre Miller now) I am a little worried, like the 1st AI trade, as to why would PHILLY give up Iguodala, if he’s so good? I’m hoping it has to do with not being the right system for the player and getting the 2nd best center in the league back. I think that GM’s tend to overvalue players in the other conference and I think that’s what the Nuggets did in the 1st AI trade and I think it’s what Orlando did in this trade with both AAA and Al Harrington…

    • Kovacs

      To expand briefly on the overvaluation of AAA: he was a 3 point ‘specialist’ who couldn’t hit a 3 in a big spot. He shot 20% from behind the arc in the playoffs.

    • Ryan

      Philly would give up Iggy because they were able to get Bynum, who is probably the second-best center in the league right now. Anyone would make that trade, not really an indictment on Iggy not being good

  • John

    Ignoring what this does for your competitors, this was a good trade for every team.

    – Orlando got something out of a bad situation, instead of nothing when Dwight walked next summer. Could they have gotten a better deal – probably but you never know what those picks will bring.

    – Philly got a stud center, a quality veteran presence, and rid of a player they wanted to be what he is not.

    – Lakers got a marginally better stud center than the one they gave up, but one who isn’t healthy, and a crap load of media attention.

    – and the Nuggets quietly improved the most getting a versatile star at SG now, instead of waiting and hoping for AAA to develop into one, plus getting rid of one of Karl’s crutches in Big Al who played an ungodly amount of minutes while performing poorly because of his “veteran leadership”. While the Nuggets are still a little light at PF, the minutes this frees up for the rest of the team is priceless.

    My personal take is that Kosta could easily become a ginormous power forward. He is young and had good hands, touch, and nice shot already.

  • TR

    Agreed, nugs. I feel Kalen to be highly overrating AAA. I love what his contributions to the team were as much as anyone as far as his leadership at both ends of the floor as well as his class in the community. He was the ultimate professional and he only got better every season with the Nuggets. That being said, is Iggy not the exact same player only at a much higher level and nearly the same age? Everything I’ve read about AI praises his versatility and his selflessness and leadership on the court and in the community. He was a vital piece in Team USA’s run in London, and has said that not only is he excited to come to Denver, but that “his best basketball is ahead of him”. Like I said, I love AAA and everything he brought to us in his time here, but Iggy will provide a upgrade in almost every aspect of the game. (let’s not forget we got AAA for a 2nd rounder, so for everyone freaking out, Kalen, that we overpaid we essentially gave up Big Al, a 1st, and two seconds for an All-Star caliber player. All I want to know is, how is Masai not in jail for robbing all these GM’s)

  • dynamo.joe

    1) A-: It’s a good trade, but I would have been happier getting rid of Chandler/Mozgov instead of AAA. I thought that would have been a better fit for Orlando and for the Nuggets. Chandler is an upgrade over Hedo and Mozgov is an upgrade over Big Baby. Both Mozgov and Harrington are essentially expiring contracts if you decide they aren’t working out. Lot of plusses I think you could sell Orlando on there. The most awkward part of that deal would have been paying Gallo $10M to come off the bench.

    2) Faried. Faried – Big Al is about equal to 1 Lebron James. Let’s just hope they are smart enough to make sure that Faried is out there well north of 30 minutes a game. And speaking of Faried minutes, let’s hope they realize that while Faried tires quickly he can also recover quickly. Maybe he can only play 6-8 minutes at a stretch, but he probably only needs 2-3 minutes rest before he can do it again. And I don’t really give a crap if that’s not enough time for his sub to get into the flow of the game.

    3) Of the whole trade? The improvement to the Lakers. Dwight is an upgrade over Bynum, but the reason the Lakers have a chance to threaten in the west is because of Nash, not Dwight.

    4) That is wholely dependent on Karl. If we see a team like Ty/Iggy/Gallo/Faried/McGee all getting 32+ minutes, this could be a really good team. Number 2 in the west good, maybe number 1 if Pop decides to rest all his old guys. On the other hand we could easily see Ty/A.Miller/Iggy/Chandler/Gallo logging big minutes. And that’s probably not the worst case scenario.

    5) He doesn’t pick up fouls, making him damn near unique on the Denver Nuggets.

  • kareem
  • John

    I disagree with some of dynamo.joe’s points…

    I think Wilson will be vital for us this year, and see a lot of floor time…

    Gallo has been out of commission again this summer for the last 3 weeks (I think with back and ankle issues.) We might have to change his nickname to Mr. Glass. I don’t think he is going to stay healthy, and with luck, Masai will pull off some more magic, and he will be traded during one of the rare moments that he is healthy.

    … and I think Mozgov showed some great play during his Olympic run for a Bronze. Someone is going to offer him a huge contract next summer (if we don’t sew him up early), and we will get considerably more value by waiting for at least a sign-and-trade. (3 million now or 10+ next summer) I’d hold on to that piece.

    I think AntRand is better than he gets credit for, he certainly blew up on us last year for like 24 points or something, after McGee elbowed Love in the noggin’… I think he actually has more value and is less of a liability than Harrington at this point in his career. So Manimal may not need to play 30 + minutes. He hasn’t shown that he has the decision making skill to keep him in that long, but that may change with more experience and some work with Hakeem.

    I think Dwight is a “slight” upgrade for the Lakers overall, but I think we actually match up better against him than Bynum. Plus, I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this, but in his presser video, and the pics of his signing with the Lake-show… he looks to have lost a bit of muscle. I think it will be a while before he is 100%.

    I am at wait and see status… but totally happy with where we are at right now. We have nothing but quality, that is only getting better, which can’t be said for any other team but the Thunder.

  • http://nuggets.proboards.com LotharBot

    (1) Solid A. Masai made a significant upgrade to the starting five for the additional cost of only marginal assets. He didn’t have to give up any other starters or any of our young developing guys. And all that without damaging future flexibility by wasting the Nene exception or taking back a bad contract.

    (2) The extra stuff Philly had to give up. Getting an all-star big for an all-star wing is usually a steal, but I think they’ll miss Vucevic, Harkless, and maybe their 2015 first as they try to put together a complete team around their current core.

    (3) Nuggets fans seem to be overrating the picks we sent out. We have the opposite problem as Philly — the roster is already full, and we had extra picks from previous trades. For a team in this position, those picks are most useful for making moves to upgrade (either moving up in the draft or getting an established player.)

    (4) The Nuggets were in the almost-contender group of teams last season, finishing at the bottom of that group (only 3 games back of the 3/4 seeds.) This trade puts them at the top of that group. It’ll still take a big jump from another rotation player to move to legit contender status, but before it would have taken big jumps from two players.

    (5) Iguodala’s will be the second playmaker George Karl always likes to have in crunch time. Having multiple players with PG skills, but without giving up size, speed, rebounding, or defense like happens with the 2 PG lineup, will make the team much better at closing out games.

  • Andrew

    A+. For all the reasons above, but the sentence that stands out most for me is Jeremy’s when he said “Most GMs would have clung to Nene, Afflalo and Harrington because they are solid players and keeping them would have been the safe thing to do. Ujiri is willing to take bold action to improve this team and that is significant.”

    I, like others, liked AAA (and even Harrington to an extent), but I’m LOVING this trade. If J Ham/Q Mill or one or more of the other guys can step up their perimeter shooting, I think the Nuggets are one big, mean PF away from being a contender.

    • dynamo.joe

      I keep hearing this stuff about needing a PF. What part of Faried was the best power forward in the NBA last year is everyone not getting?

      Here are the numbers for Faried/Love/Gasol.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/compare?utf8=%E2%9C%93&season=2011&player_ids%5B%5D=521&player_ids%5B%5D=185&player_ids%5B%5D=142

      The ony thing those guys are better at is passing. Love scores more points, but only because he takes a LOT more shots. Kenneth’s offensive efficiency is leaps and bounds better than either Love or Gasol. Faried is the opposite of a chucker, i.e. a good basketball player.

      • Mike

        because like most guys picked out of the top 10 even with very good skills and amazing motor faried has serious flaws. He needs to develop a midrange game to complement his teammates better especially given Mcgee doesn’t seem to have that in his arsenal. And faried can cause issues on the defensive end because of his height and lack of experience. He will need to develop Kenyon Martin type skills on the defensive end for post up play (quick hands, early effort keeping opponent out of his good spots, strength/balance) Even then his height and length will cause some issues against teams like LA. On team defense he has all the physical tools necessary to be dominant (athletic, quick feet, long wingspan, needs to develop quick hands). It’s why the nuggets should be going after a big that can play some minutes at center and hit mid range consistently.

        The goal should be to develop a three man rotation for the playoffs with McGee, faried and acquired PF/C from a trade. Faried likely comes off bench for 25-30 mins until he can show most of the improvements I highlighted above.

  • Aaron

    So of The Knicks Get The 19th Pick And The Nuggets Get The 22nd Pick For Example, We Would Get The Knicks Pick Rite?

    • Kalen

      Correct, as far as I understand.

  • Jeff

    I’m gonna change the 3rd question from overrating aspects to what fans are underrating about the trade. Al Harrington. Okay, say we didn’t trade him, he might be injured and not play well this year. But in any case he put the team on his back quite a few times last year and I don’t know who else can do that. Andre Miller did a couple times. But Harrington had an aggressive and proud attitude that will be hard to replace. It seems to me the Nuggets persona is young, athletic, yet timid. They seem like a bunch of really nice guys too. I think they might need 1 or 2 not so nice guys.

  • John

    I don’t want another thug….

    We actually saw quite a bit of growth from our Young/Timid guys during the series with the Lakers… Faried and McGee certainly outplayed Gasol and Bynum at times, with good physical play. It just wasn’t consistently.

    Now that they have had a taste of what it will take to beat a team like that, I see them developing into a young tough core. Experience will hear all wounds.

    I think the problem was that they would defer to the vets too much… but Al’s decision making wasn’t any better than say Faried’s. He had an almost 1:1 ratio of savvy veteran:bonehead plays, but for whatever reason Karl would leave him in… with a blown knee, and a broken nose… made no sense.

  • Kovacs

    When the trade first happened I was pretty annoyed. I love both AAA and Big Al and wish those guys the best. I was willing to overlook a lot of warts those two had in their respective games because I liked them. However the Nuggets weren’t going anywhere with last year’s squad in tact. Masai needs to get some serious credid for looking at this trade strictly from a basketball and business standpoint. Iggy is better in the open floor than AAA and is a significantly better passer. You don’t need to look at the assist per game numbers (which are shocking) to realize that, AAA was a pretty lousy passer. Iggy’s also a superior rebounder and uses his strength way better on low post – mid range defense.

  • CreteDrew

    I didn’t really like the trade that much either but we all have to keep in mind that Howard was going to LA or DAL regardless. If Dallas would have got him, they would have been catapulted to a top 2 or 3 in the West. So he went to LA and we got something out of LA getting him.

    I like AAA because he is good at every aspect of NBA basketball, but not exceptional at any. I was really hoping his mid-range game would develop more and we would have ended up with a R. Hamilton type but that wasn’t going to happen. Until AAA realizes that his best weapon is his mid-range jumper he won’t get over the 15 PPG logjam that so many players are stuck in.

    Al Harrington’s best aspect of his game, in my opinion, was his ability to draw out other PF’s due to his range. His worst though was that as soon as he came into the game the team chemistry went downhill quick because he’d rarely pass and took at times “horrible shots” and that for some reason it seemed like Karl rewarded him with more playing time.

    AI the 2nd will make the team more explosive with his quickness and athleticism. He is at least just as good as a perimeter defender as AAA but more above the rim, (which may be Denver’s most exciting facet of their game) and had a good year shooting the 3 at about 39 percent. But what role will HE embrace with the team? What kind of crap is Melo putting in his ear in London? Will he get frustrated at the lack of defensive focus the Nuggets seam to have at times under Karl?

    Iggy is worth AAA and Harrington if Chandler can step up as a 6th man and relish in it. Their will be some very interesting line ups for Karl to toy with, I just hope he figures out his main 8 well into preseason and finds 2 or 3 line ups with that work and develop chemistry. (Whew)

  • CreteDrew

    Also, have some solace that Ty Law and AI will burn past Nash and Kobe and hopefully get the Lakers bigs in foul trouble (Is it just me or are the Nuggets destined to play LA in the playoffs again this year?)

  • Frontrange

    Most underated aspect of the trade . . .

    Adding another poor FT shooter, yikes:

    Mcgee 40-55% (down from Nene 65-70)
    Faried 50-65% (down from Martin 65ish)
    AI9 62% (last season) (down from AAA’s 80)
    Lawson 80ish (down from CB 90)
    Gallo 80ish (Slightly worse than Melo but comparable)

    GK complained about our poor FT shooting last year . .what is he going to say this year!

    Replacing our best and the player who shoot the most FT last season without another 15-20% poorer FT shooter is going to make for some scary fourth quarters.

    • Charlie

      Good job pointing out the FT issues. Definitely a big potential problem for the Nuggets style of play. The other would be the 3-point shooting as AAA and Harrington were very effective spot up shooters.

      I think with a trade like this, the idea is to have Gallo and Lawson take on a bigger role in the offense. Those two are not only the best free throw shooters on the team but also the most talented guys on offense. Afflalo’s strength last year was his offense, and by adding more of defensive guy and complimentary piece like Iguodala, there are much bigger roles available for Gallo and Lawson. That’s where I think Iguodala is the more natural fit. The move might also allow the Nuggets to see if Gallo and Lawson are capable of stepping up on a permanent basis.

      • Frontrange

        I agree with those thoughts plus I expect Chandler to step in to a lot of Al’s minutes and and Hamilton who shot 78% his last year at Texas to play a bigger role this season.

        But I definately miss those days when Billups (and Melo)would get the ball down the stretch and you knew they would make their FTs.

        I feel like in the last 15 of Nuggs basketball, AAA is the second best FT closer we have had – often overlooked and undervalued by fans aspect of the game.

    • Jeff

      Yep, making free throws in general is an underrated aspect of the game. I always wondered what it would be like to assemble a team strictly of players that get fouled and can make their freethrows. My prediction is AI will be a better free throw shooter, but a worse 3 point shooter, than last season.

      • Tom

        Yeah, that team is called the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • CJP32

    I think Iggy will lead this team in minutes and points – he has the tools to ‘do it all’ – rebound, defend, score, pass – he wasn’t on the Olympic team for fun – he is a great player.

    My question is, how does this trade effect Gallo’s role and confidence? Will he take it as ‘Iggy is the man now’, or will he take it as a challenge and really step up his play?

    Wilson needs to have a strong Training Camp to convince Nuggets FO that Gallo is replaceable. Also Brewer can play a productive 20-25 minutes a game, so losing Gallo doesn’t hurt as much with Brewer as a 3rd string SF. I would like to see the following minutes:

    PG – Ty – 33, Miller – 15
    SG – Iggy – 34, Miller – 7, Brewer – 7
    SF – Gallo – 20, Chandler – 20, Brewer – 8
    PF – Faried – 30, Gallo – 10, Chandler – 8
    C – McGee – 30, Randolph – 10, Mozzy – 8

  • nida

    CJP32: Nice minute breakdown. Though, I would guess, Karl does not let AR off the bench (without injuries) and that Brewer gets very few minutes (but, like you, I think he beats out Hamilton and Fournier). Not sure that Mozzy beats out Koufus -I would really love to see Mozzy, a 1st and Brewer shipped out for Varejo.

  • Luis

    Can Iguodala be our go-to guy? If not I don’t see any potential go-to guy in our roster, maybe we should trade for Rudy Gay. Is this trade possible? http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bwtx2vx

  • Calvin

    One of the most overlooked aspects of this trade, is that Iggy is good enough that we will see less of a two point guard line up!

  • Nugswin

    I am absolutely loving this trade. Another massive feather in Masai’s cap.

    Iggy is a huge improvement over Afflalo. Afflalo is a great guy to love having on your team; works hard, right attitude etc. but Nuggets fans were beginning to over rate him considerably by the end of the season. It’s no surprise that his numbers tanked in the playoffs, he excels at the things that are much easier during the regular season (especially for this Denver team) and when the screws were tightened it was inevitable that he would be far less effective.

    With Igoudala, other than just being noticeably bigger, there are two things that will be apparent immediately when he plays. 1) He will finish much more often and consistently when the Nuggets run and 2) he’s in an entirely different class than Afflalo when it comes to seeing the floor and making the impact pass (he averaged over twice as many dimes as Afflalo).

    Face it, Igoudala was a no-brainer for an Olympic team that was stocked with guards and small forwards while Afflalo is never going to make an all-star team even if he reaches his ceiling as a player (he’s damn close already). This is a tremendous upgrade.

    Plus, there are other ways this trade is going to really help. First, GK’s love affair with Harrington at C with the small ball lineup is over. I really liked Al but Karl’s infatuation with those lineups was infuriating since he would include the undersized Faried at PF leaving us with no defense, no size and no inside game at all (other than Faried’s offensive boards). Maybe now Karl will experiment with going big — Mozgov C, McGee at PF, Gallo SF, Iggy SG, Ty PG is a really big lineup that doesn’t lack for athleticism and run-the-floor ability at all — and find out we can be successful (we absolutely can!).

    Last but not least, the deal opens up minutes for Wilson Chandler. Nuggets fans are sleeping on this guy. He’s going to contend for 6th man of the year and make everybody forget about Harrington (who was our big scorer off the bench last season).

    So our guard rotation will be Lawson, Miller, Iggy, and maybe Brewer, Hamilton or Fornier (that last guard sport is our weakest area). Forwards are Gallo, Iggy, Chandler, McGee (come on GK, see the wisdom in getting him some minutes here), Faried, Randolph — an embarrassment of riches here! We are looking very good at C also with McGee and Mozgov both young, improving and athletic. Add Koufos who has proven he’s an NBA level player, factor in that all three of those guys are 7-footers and we are one of the strongest teams in the L at center.

    Mark my words this will be the best ever Nuggets team and it’s not even going to be close (and I say that as a fan who watched and loved the great ’80s teams with Fat Lever, Dan Issel and Alex English). The Nuggets are going to be the surprise team this season and finish right up there with LA, OKC and San Antonio at the top of the west. I’m loving this team!