Film Room: The Revelation of Evan Fournier (video scouting report)

At various times throughout the 2012-13 regular season, usually during garbage time in blowout games, rookie guard Evan Fournier offered us some occasional glimpses of his abilities and potential. But it wasn’t until Mar. 29, after Ty Lawson had joined Danilo Gallinari on the injured list, that Fournier was given his first meaningful opportunity to make an impact.

And did he ever..

His career high 19 points in 21 minutes, his feisty defense, and a confident poise that went well beyond his young age were a revelation to Nuggets fans who hadn’t yet been given the chance to see him fully showcase his talent. In the following game against the Utah Jazz he scored 18, and two games later against the Houston Rockets 17 points, all at very efficient percentages. The message over this four game stretch was loud and clear:

Evan Fournier is the real deal, and he’s only going to get better.

In this latest installment of the Roundball Mining Company Film Room, I have set out to make nothing less than the definitive video chronicle of Fournier’s coming out party using clips from the three games cited above. As such, the video is longer than the usual Film Room fare. But Fournier’s breakout merits an in-depth analysis of the defensiive and offensive prowess of the Frenchman who has become many Nuggets fans’ new favorite player.

As a final note before we dive in, it should be pointed out that the purpose of this scouting report is to examine Fournier’s skill, aptitude and potentiality, or in other words to focus on his positives with an eye to upside. There will likely come a time for us to look more critically at some weaknesses and things he could do better, but that is outside the scope of this project.

So without further ado, the video, with analysis below:

 

DEFENSE

Man-to-man defense

  • Not so much a lock down defender, but communicates well and plays to the strength of the team defense
  • Sticks like glue to his assignment
  • Funnels his man into the help defense and cuts off a direct line to the rim

The last bullet point there is probably Fournier’s greatest strength as a defender. I said above that he plays beyond his years, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his defensive awareness. He has a great sense of where to force his assignment to go, and where to prevent him from going. He knows where the help defense will be, and how to channel his man straight into its clutches. And he does a good job of communicating with his teammates to ensure they’re all on the same page. The maturity he displays in handling his defensive responsibilities is a testament not only to the quality of player he is, but also to the value of the experience he got as a professional baller in France.

Solid defensive fundamentals

  • Fights through screens
  • Stays with his man even through attempted misdirection
  • Works hard to keep his assignments out of their preferred spots
  • Applies pressure at the perimeter

It’s often said that simply putting in effort is a big part of playing good defense. Andre Miller has gotten a lot of criticism here at RMC for not trying hard enough defensively (see Matt’s analysis here), and the difference in defensive energy when Fournier comes in for him drives the point home further. The rookie is busting his tail pretty much every minute he’s out there, fighting through screens, chasing his assignment around the court, not quite as frenetic as Corey Brewer, but active the whole way.

But it’s not just that he works hard. He’s on a very fast learning curve, and understands the Nuggets’ fairly complicated defensive system very well for a player with his limited experience. He clearly went into Denver with solid defensive fundamentals already tucked under his belt, and his awareness not only of his own responsibilities but also how they fit into the larger context of the team defense is very impressive. Though he does have his lapses, with more time and experience he has the potential to be one of the league’s better defending guards.

Steals

  • Very good sense of spacing and timing
  • Great at reading opposing offenses and how the play will unfold
  • Solid understanding of when he can or can’t afford to slag off his man reduces risk
  • Always has an eye on the passing lanes
  • Utilizes his length when trapping

Fournier has the fourth highest steal percentage on the Nuggets, edging out Lawson and Chandler, themselves no slouches in the pickpocket department. (Interesting side note: Anthony Randolph is second, trailing only Brewer. Andre Iguodala is third.) As you can see, effort once again comes into play as a good amount of Fournier’s steals result from chasing down the ball handler. But he also has good length and a knack for reading and anticipating the offense, which puts him in a good position to disrupt plays and pick off passing lanes.

Transition defense

  • Consistently makes the effort to get back quickly and disrupt fast breaks
  • Extremely adept at chasing down and stripping the ball handler
  • Makes use of good speed to stay in front of the play
  • Plays unselfishly. Uses his court vision to set his teammates up with easy scores off turnovers

Fournier’s transition defense may be one of the most valuable aspects of his game. He has the speed and will to get back fast enough to break up some fast breaks, shaving potential points off the opponent’s total. And with his court vision and playmaking skills, when the transition defense forces a turnover, he’s able to facilitate scoring plays the other way.

I haven’t mentioned the playoffs thus far, but against the Golden State Warriors in particular, this aspect of his game could really be a boon for the Nuggets. The Warriors absolutely love to shoot quick 3-pointers in transition – it’s their bread and butter – and denying them too many easy, high value shot attempts could be the difference between a win or loss, and by extension, the series.

 

OFFENSE

Driving and finishing

  • Great vision and use of screens to find and create driving lanes
  • Has the quickness to get past many defenders
  • Splits defenders using clever, subtle ball handling and hesitation
  • Knows how to finish and use his body to protect the ball

Driving and getting to the line

  • Drives aggressively to keep defender backpedaling and draw contact
  • Always going straight for the rim, good at not allowing the defender to veer him off course
  • Completely fearless in taking it straight to the defense

At the risk of being a bit too repetitive I included a ton of Fournier drives in the video because, well, that’s just how he rolls. As Scott Hastings and Chris Marlowe like to point out, he goes north and south, not east and west. It’s almost as if the basket is a bathtub drain or gravity well. The most natural path Fournier can follow leads him directly to the rim.

It’s this aspect of his game that has already earned him comparisons with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker (in strictly stylistic terms – no grandiose claims are being made here… yet). Layups and free throws resulting from drives comprise the source of the bulk of his scoring.

Of course, it turns out that Masai Ujiri knew exactly what he was doing when he drafted Fournier. His skill set is a perfect match for Denver’s dribble-drive-motion offense, with his ability to penetrate and get to the line, or make the good pass if he gets cut off. And those skills are combined with an utterly fearless, confident mentality. When he sees an opportunity to take it to the rim, there is no hesitation. It’s on.

In the few games he’s played a big role in so far, there have been few opposing defenders he hasn’t been able to beat off the dribble. And once he’s got that step on his man, there’s a high probability he’ll either get to the rim and score, or the defense will have to foul him to prevent that from happening. Quickness, ball handling and some Euro-stepping craftiness combine in drives that consistently slice through the paint, and if the defense allows him to get to the rim, he knows how to finish.

Solid offensive fundamentals

  • High basketball IQ
  • Strong court awareness and sense of floor spacing
  • Great off-the-ball movement
  • Very good decision making, doesn’t force the bad play
  • Excellent utilization of the baseline to get easy layups and open shots off curls

Decision making may be the most important area of improvement in Fournier’s game this season. Early on, he could get himself into trouble at times with some errant passing and poor shot selection (especially forcing up contested 3-pointers). We can see little of that now, which is an additional exhibit in the case for his high basketball IQ. He’s not without his flaws, but these days he makes very few of the brand of mistakes that would draw Karl’s ire.

One of the most enjoyable and interesting aspects of making this video was focusing on Fournier’s movement off the ball. When he is not the primary ball handler, more often than not he’ll drift down to the right corner. If the pass doesn’t come to him quickly, he’ll run the baseline (or more accurately, out of bounds behind the baseline), looking to open up a play by getting behind the defense. It’s an effective strategy, and using it he gets himself open for a good amount of easy shots at or near the basket.

Passing/Playmaking

  • Draws in the defense on drives and creates easy baskets for the bigs
  • Good awareness and anticipation of where his teammates are
  • In transition, excellent court vision, quick decision making and passing accuracy

Initiating plays in half court sets is an aspect of his game I’d like to see Fournier develop more. It’s because this part of his playmaking is somewhat limited, I presume, that Karl has Iguodala run the point even when Fournier’s on the floor ostensibly as the 1. But that’s a discussion for another time.

For now, the two areas of passing where Fournier is very proficient are (you guessed it) off dribble penetration and in transition. The former will become increasingly important as opponents start elevating his importance on their scouting reports and make a more concerted effort to cut off his drives. But the good news is that he has already displayed a great deal of competence in finding the open man when he draws in the defense in the paint.

In transition, playmaking is all about quick decision making, court vision and accuracy. And Fournier has the complete package. Next season, when he gets the regular rotation spot he has earned by now, and with it more experience playing alongside Denver’s best transition players, it’s a safe bet that we will see him initiating some pretty special transition plays. In fact, we already have.

Range and form

  • Fairly quick trigger off the catch-and-shoot, does not hesitate
  • Good at finding open shots in spots he likes shooting from
  • Solid, fundamentally sound shooting form
  • Can pull up at the arc, but keeps it to a minimum (ie. understands and plays within his comfort zone)

When Fournier was originally drafted, his shooting percentages from his time in the French League were worrisome. But once again, Ujiri is smarter than… well, apparently everyone. His selection finished the regular season as Denver’s second best 3-point shooter (.407) after Wilson Chandler (.413). Anecdotal evidence from shootarounds has Nuggets announcers and beat reporters convinced that his long range shot is legit. And his shooting form, while perhaps not having that Ray Allen elegance (though whose does?) is solid, well-balanced, and he gets good lift on his jumpers.

In the regular season, 78.6 percent of Fournier’s 3-pointers were assisted, which basically amounts to four out of five of his threes coming off catch-and-shoots. The great thing about this, when combined with the fact that he doesn’t hesitate on his drives, is that he hardly ever slows down the offense. When he gets the ball at the arc, it’s go time, one way or the other. And one need look no further than his 40 percent 3-point percentage and 70 percent at-rim percentage for confirmation that even though he’s making quick decisions, it’s usually the correct decision.

Transition offense

  • Always quick to run up court, good speed helps him get past or stay in front of defenses
  • Can take it coast to coast
  • Again, unselfish. Keeps his head up, looking to create for his teammates
  • As on his half court drives, great at finishing in transition as well

The only thing to add here which hasn’t already been addressed above (after all, many of these categories overlap each other in reality) is Fournier’s speed in getting up the court. He’s not the fastest guy on the team, but when Lawson’s in the mix that’s not a diss. He runs the floor well, but perhaps more importantly than that he has great timing, and gets off to a quick start (this applies to the defensive end as well). His compatibility with a team built on speed is, yet again, more evidence that Ujiri didn’t just draft Fournier for a reason, but for all the right reasons.

 

In closing, I think it’s safe to say that Nuggets Nation has a lot to be excited about when it comes to Evan Fournier. The impact he’s already made, the contributions he may make this postseason, and what now appears to be an extraordinarily bright future ahead of him.

C’est magnifique!

Follow me on Twitter

 

Statistics from Basketball-Reference.com and HoopData.com.

  • al68

    tres bien.

    Yo creo que hay que tener paciencia y ver como se desarrolla cuando los otros equipos le conozcan le teman y le defiendan mejor.
    Muchos de Ustedes no conocen como se juega en europa, logicamente la calidad es menor pero la experiencia y la capacidad de jugar bajo presion es mucho mayor que la que se puede tener en USA-NCAA y high school, y eso se nota en muchos jugadores que van a la NBA, como Fournier.
    Ami me ha sorprendido mucho su capacidad para penetrar y como ha mejorado su tiro exterior, puede ser en 2 años otra de nuestras estrellas de 2da fila, y titular en el equipo.
    Mañana mas tranquilo y si vuelve a ser titular creo que va a hacer un gran partido y que ganaremos facil.

    • magster

      I am grateful for google translator, because your posts are very thoughtful and accurate.

    • Michael

      Crees que Fournier puede estar la estrella que Denver no ha tenido desde Carmelo. En otros palabras, crees que Fournier puede ser mejor que Gallo y Ty? Son preguntas muy interestantes. Fournier todavia es muy joven!

  • http://espn herpderpnuggets

    Another steal in the NBA draft. Making Masai Ujiri look like a genius again. Hopefully with some playoff experience, this team will be even scarier next year with all of its assets. Big offseason coming up, hopefully the right choices will be made again.

    • David

      We need to make #InMasaiWeTrust a thing

  • SmokinNugs

    I like Fournier’s game a lot. I was originally bummed that JHam wasn’t getting on the floor this season, but GK spends way more time evaluating them than I do and seems to have made the right choice. I think he’s a better 2 than a 1, but the boys on Altitude said he’s been picking Andre Miller’s brain and soaking everything up so maybe we’ll see some improved playmaking from him at the 1. If not, no problem, he’s not a bad passer and we could use more help at the 2 anyway since JHam doesn’t play and we already have Ty, Andre, and Stone at the 1.

    • dynamo.joe

      I agree on more of a 2 than a 1, but a 2 with playmaking abilities. That’s gotta make us more dangerous when 1, 2, and 3 can all create for team-mates.

  • magster

    What a terrific video mashup. As great as the return was on the Melo trade, this draft pick might be Masai’s biggest coup.

    • Joey

      I still think the Felton trade was amazing, too.

  • heykyleinsf

    Outstanding and amazing job Joel!

    This young team is going to knock some
    people on their asses for years to come!

  • magster

    Like to see Kiszla do anything that’s 10% as informative about the Nuggets as this post.

    • Troll

      Kiszla is a moron.

  • toluenehawk

    I liked RUdy Fernandez, but EF fills the role nicely and with less attitude.

    • heykyleinsf

      I liked Rudy a lot to.
      Didn’t know he had an attitude..
      but he sure helped Manimal score
      his very first ever points in the NBA
      with a bang.

      Rudy actually is a tough dude..
      played hurt forever and got
      criminally fouled to cause it in
      the first place.

  • Ban Johnson

    excellent video and analysis. My first thought was, okay, why isn’t Joel listing the negatives too? But the truth is there aren’t many obvious negatives.

    You look at his body and how he walks, he seems to have those wide Andre Miller hips that sort of limit his speed and jumping ability. But on the court, his feet are SO QUICK, that it makes it up for it. Like…Tony Parker quick feet…I don’t think that’s too much of an exaggeration, adjusted for his greater size.

    Sky is the limit with this kid. His game is quieter, smoother, less obviously aggressive — but a Ginobili-level career isn’t totally out of the question. He’d have to grow into that level of toughness and creativity, of course, but he’s still so young.

    I’d love to see him continue to start next year and into the future. He’s a completely competent 2-guard who also provides a little of that 2nd pg on the court that GK craves.
    Plus Iguodala seems to thrive as a playmaking 3; guarded by bigger guys, he’s able to penetrate more, make more stuff happen.

    When Gallinari comes back next year — Gallo can be a super 6th man/stretch 4/Ryan Anderson type. (Units with Gallo and Chandler playing together have awesome +- this season)…

    The Nuggets better manage their contracts well, because Fournier is a keeper. The Gallinari injury was a profound bummer, but Fournier’s emergence has been a major consolation.

    • dynamo.joe

      The knock on Fours is his fouls. Averages 5.5 fouls per 36 minutes. That basically means that he would foul out of half of all games if you tried to play him starters minutes.

      Joel said he is on a steep learning curve and the difference between his play early in the season and the last month or so seems to bear that out, so hopefully he will get that aspect under control.

      Just one more reason not to re-sign Corey. I’d rather see this kid playing at $1.4M than Corey playing at $5-7M, which is the contract offer I think he can probably expect to get from someone.

      • heykyleinsf

        I think at this point you are clearly hating on Brewer regardless
        of money, pros and cons.
        It’s just dislike.

        • dynamo.joe

          Nope, I really like the image Corey presents. Always happy, always works hard, happy for the other guys when they make a play. None of that makes him a better basketball player.

          I think he is appropriately paid right now. But because I like him, I think he should take the extra $20M someone will offer him. I just would rather that the team I root for pay a rook or at least young player who might develop into something special. We know who Corey is.

      • Ban Johnson

        It’s going to depend on how much Iguodala gets.

        If the Nuggets can get Iguodala for 12m per, it opens up a little flexibility. If Iguodala gets 14m or 15m, then Corey Brewer at market value (probably 5m+ as you say) becomes more difficult.

        Faried will not be cheap in 2015/16. And losing him for nothing is clearly not an option.

        It would be great if Brewer would take a 2 year deal — but I’m guessing he’s looking for security after spending most of his career so far being shuttled around the league.

      • nugswin

        “Just one more reason not to re-sign Corey. I’d rather see this kid playing at $1.4M than Corey playing at $5-7M, which is the contract offer I think he can probably expect to get from someone.”

        I’m going to harp on this again because I think it’s really important. This is exactly right. As much as Brewer fits this team nicely he’s still, at his very best in this contract year, a very average NBA player. There are a ton of guys who are just as good or even better that can be had for far, far less that the money Brewer will probably get.

        Signing Brewer to $5 mil a year is a ticket to also-ran status. Contracts like that, good money to average players, are the kind of things that totally hamstring teams when it comes time to sign the guys that can push them over the top. Paying Iggy every penny that might go to Brewer and then signing player X will be more valuable to Denver than giving Brewer what he’ll command just because he plays hard. And player X can be almost anybody, it just doesn’t matter, there are a ton of guys out there who could do the job.

        And just to ward off some of the criticisms I’ll say that I like Brewer and understand how much of a boon he’s been to this year’s squad. But I don’t expect him to be a Nugget next year — whether a sign and trade that brings us some value or just let him walk — it’s just unrealistic that he’ll fit in under the salary cap with us.

    • mike

      wow. Ginobili type career. Either you think fournier has a shot to spend 4-6 seasons as a top 10 player in the league on a per minute basis and unquestionable HOFer or you underestimate Ginobili. He does have a shot to be a very good ballplayer. He does have some moves he has obviously patterned after Ginobili and Parker. He has aggression, good ball skills, can hit shots in traffic and seems to have at least a very good outside shot.

      • Ban Johnson

        1. “not totally out of the question” C’mon man… reading comprehension.

        2. Fournier is 20 years old! (Ginobili came into the NBA when he was 25… and didn’t hit that top-10 level until a few seasons later.)

        Ultimately I think Fournier’s athleticism isn’t as dynamic as Ginobili, and that will PROBABLY limit his ceiling to something a little lower. It’s possible he’ll never be a primary creator for a team like Ginobili has been, for that reason. (although he very well turn out to be a better shooter and more durable)

      • Ban Johnson

        to answer in your terms:

        Yes, I think Fournier has a shot to be a hall-of-famer. His feel for the game is that promising and his athleticism is probably good enough. And he’s 20.

        But I think Jeff Hornacek might be a more reasonable ceiling for him than Ginobili, now that I think about it. Still pretty darn good if he can get there.

  • ryanvdonk

    the kid has talent. like his feel for the game. will be interesting to see if he can put on a little beef this offseason, i think it would help on both ends of the floor.

  • Forret

    This was a pleasure to watch — great work.

  • Paul

    I could see this kid allowing us to trade Gallo and resign brewer actually. You can get a decent return for Gallinari.

    PG TY, Miller, Fourn
    SG Fourn, Ty, Iggy
    SF Iggy, Brewer Chandler
    PF Faried, Chandler, Randolph
    C KK, Mcgee, Faried

    Still 10 deep, still plenty of rotational flexibility. Faried should work on his jump shot over the off season, maybe just a 15 footer. And then we would get a mid first round pick, could trade up and keep the youth movement sustained.

    I think people dont realize we dont have the cap room to resign everyone and continue to give raises. Faried is gonna get his raise soon.

    Gallo – 9 mil
    Brewer – resign at 5-6

    I would personally rather keep brewer, have iggy start at the 3 (he is more than capable) and have chandler win 6th man of the year. Bench is still really strong and starters are more than capable.

    Gallo is great, nothing against him at all, but I think he is expendable and what we could get in return would keep our cap room available and allow for even more flexibility.

    • Ban Johnson

      I think that’s a pretty good plan. Is contingent on Gallinari recovering to at least 90-95% of what he was and then proving it to the league over a decent stretch of games…

      Also, it’s pretty cold.

      • Paul

        Yes, it does depend on Gallo gettin back healthy, that is the only way it would work out. To the person who doesn’t like the idea, eventually you are going to have to get rid of someone, its impossible to have a team full of players in their prime

        You have to have some rookies or veterens that cost less. This allows you to keep faried and brewer by opening up cap space,

        The two first round picks you have could be traded for a higher first round pick to get a solid 4 or a center that will come in and eventually replace KK. Who after his contract is up, will want around 10 mill. Nuggs can’t afford to have two center making 10 mil

    • dynamo.joe

      You really think someone is gonna trade for a guy who may not play next year and may not come back to the player he was when he does come back?

      • Perfnugget

        Ask Philadelphia maybe?

        • dynamo.joe

          Touche’. That was high-larious.

    • Charliemyboy

      Can’t see it. Gallo can be a top 5 small forward if he isn’t already. He and Chandler are formidable on the floor at the same; add Ty, Iggy, and a mature JaVale and we’re set with starters. Plus Faried, Fornier, Miller, Randolf, and Brewer? Do not try to fix what is getting better.

  • googergieger

    Thank god, Masai actually has an eye for talent and a brain to use it with.

  • googergieger

    OT, but watching the Clips/Memphis game. My respect for Karl went up. Karl and Pop know how to handle Paul led teams. Pop and Karl shut down Paul and force other guys to beat them, and that is why they have great success against him. Oh and Clips and Memphis is going to be the worse officiated game of the first round. Horrible on both ends. Sometimes they let them play, other times they call every Clippers flop. Just turrible.

  • Tom2

    Trade Gallo to keep Brewer? Gallo is the most complete player on the team! I would rather play Gallo at PF or C and trade McGee. Even if McGee does take the next step, he’s never going to play more than 25 minutes per game, and I highly doubt he’ll ever be as good as Gallo.

    Fournier HoF potential? I was one of the few who liked that pick, but come on fellas, let’s not be complete homers here. How about we let the kid play a couple seasons before we make any grand pronouncements. Reminds me of all the crazy hyperbole regarding Faried last year.They’re nice players, quality picks, might even make an all-star game someday, but there are no Kyrie Irvings on this team. Sorry.The Nuggets would be thrilled if Fournier turned into a Richard Hamilton in his prime type. Ginobili would be a great ceiling, but I need to see a lot more before I’m willing to go there.

    • dynamo.joe

      Faried is WAAAAAAY better than Kyrie Irving.

      • Paul

        Not specifically to keep brewer, but to open up more flexibility to resign iggy, brewer and then get a decent draft pick.

      • nugswin

        Faried better than Irving? You’ve got to be kidding. If it weren’t for Chris Paul and Westbrook, Irving would already be the best PG in the league. He’s 20.

        Even if Faried were the next coming of Rodman (he’s not) he’d still be hard pressed to be better than Irving. If that kid can stay healthy he’ll win an MVP or two eventually.

        • googergieger

          I think Faried has more potential on the defensive end. Irving defenitely is the better offensive player and has the potential to be one of the best offensive players in the league, but people seriously need to stop putting so much stock on one dimensional players. Heck that isn’t even the worse of it. If someone is amazing at defense and only good on offense, for some reason people still say people that are innefficient on offense and poor defenders, are better than the guy that is amazing at defense and good on offense.

          • nugswin

            I think Faried has more potential on defense only in the sense that interior defenders get more credit for being good defenders (c.f. see Iggy no real shot for defensive player of the year). The best guards beat whoever is guarding them off the dribble — see CP3 vs. Tony Allen last night.

            Irving could be a much better defender, yes. And he’s got the athleticism to do it. To think that he wont add that to his game is unrealistic — he doesn’t seem the Derrick Coleman type who is just riding his skill to a paycheck.

  • zorba

    Great work! After watching Fournier play like a veteran at the age of 20 I can only say Masai is a genious!
    The best is yet to come…
    Go nugs!

  • Frank

    The homerism on this board is strong today. I love it. So on our team we have a top 5 pg, the best defender in the league, the next manu, the next rodman, the sixth man of the year, etc. Here’s to a string of championships!

    I’m being facetious except when I say I love it. Very refreshing relative to espn boards where every homer commenter gets crucified.

    As far as the team goes, I can’t help but think those who would trade gallo so fournier and brewer can flourish are suffering from recency bias. Gallo is one of the centerpieces of this team. A core player. He Iggy Lawson and Faried is the core that will help us contend for championships. Gallo is the difference between losing in the WCF to the Thunder (which is my prediction for this year), and playing game 6/7 in the finals.

    To win a championship in the next decade, a team is going to need to beat either Durant or LeBron, or both. We need a lengthy SF who can D them up and make them work when we have the ball. Oh, wait, we have two of those players! Chandler by himself cannot stay on the floor with the KD/LBJs of the world due to ticky tack fouls (I love that he doesn’t flop btw). We need Gallo.

    Fournier excites me because he is young and you can see the maturity and the cold-bloodedness. The guy has the game of someone who will be in this league until his 30s.

    Brewer is the man. He has such a will to win and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he was a key cog in back to back NCAA championships. He is a winner.

    I hope we can keep all of them. I hope brewer will take like $3m per year to stay. I hope Iggy will take $10m per year to stay.

    Let’s keep them all this year then when we win the title in 2 years Faried will unfortunately take the Max somewhere and I will be sad to see him go but happy that the man is getting deservedly paid.

    I guess this is the downside of having an awesome GM who acquires the perfect complement of players. Other teams take notice and the price goes up. You can’t keep a stable of studs for cheap indefinitely. The key is finding the next best value guys and keeping the good times rolling!

    • Paul

      I like what you’re saying and I agree with it completely. The only difference is that to be able to get the next best value, you have to be proactive. Trading guys at their peak value is much more beneficial than letting them walk.
      This is clearly shown with Melo. We got a lot back for one guy.

      Wasnt afflalo supposed to be apart of the core players moving forward? He was. But masai took initiative, while afflalo’s value was up, and traded him away to make the team better. It was right after he got a contract too!

      I only say trade gallo, if he comes back healthy, because he would get us the best value. Teams would love a stretch 4 or a 3 who can shoot and handle the ball. Im not saying hes a top tier guy, but he would improve many teams.

      Sadly, brewer probably wont return for 3 mill. I wouldnt want to if I were him, and Im a nuggets fan. Iggy will probably take 14 for 4.

      And faried, god bless the kid, will probably be traded away eventually as well. Im okay with this, as long as the team gets better because of it.

      • Frank

        Respectfully disagree, Afflalo was not a core player. Afflalo was like Brewer, but imo a worse Brewer. I remember maybe one game where Afflalo put the team on his back (and it was against the Suns I think) the way that Brewer does it seems 1x per week.

        Afflalo is a guy who became overvalued, Nene was a guy who became overvalued. So what does Masai do? Gives them the market value contract (which he knows is too much money), then trades them to improve the team.

        Gallo is in no way shape or form overvalued at his current contract. He is an asset that you keep on the team for as long as you can reap the benefits of that value.

        Of course teams would love a stretch 3/4 who can shoot and handle the ball! We do too! I mean, how many players in the league have Gallo’s skill set? Ryan Andersen? Ersan Ilyasova? Jeff Green? Chandler Parsons? Each one of those players is missing one of the size-shooting-ball handling characteristics, and are generally all worse.

        Gallo is not going anywhere. He has 3-4 years left on his deal and he will not be traded until the final season, and only then if he is too expensive to keep. Masai is a smart guy, he understands that players like Gallo don’t grow on trees. You can find Afflalo-type players (shoot the corner 3, plays good team defense) all over, and for cheap. Gallo-caliber will never be cheap, and we have him on a bargain deal (imo) for several more years. Only way Gallo gets traded is if he makes it clear he’s looking for more money than we can offer in the last year of his deal.

        Now, I think if Chandler plays out of his mind in these playoffs, he could be moved before next trade deadline (once Gallo is healthy) for a couple reasons. One, he is too talented to come off the bench, and like any competitor he wants to start, and is justified in thinking he should start. Two, while his contract is not expensive relative to his talent, it is expensive relative to his roster slot (first guy off the bench). Trading him for a cheaper deal and a first rd pick could benefit both his career and the team financials. I love chandler and would hate to see him go but that’s what my business thinking tells me.

        This is just my opinion of course, but I think that the only player less likely to be traded than Gallo is Lawson.

        • googergieger

          Yup. There are maybe three or four guys that are better players than Gallo, and very few that are as good as defenders as him. Just because we are winning without him, and even then, struggled in game one, struggled against the Bucks, Struggled against Portland, and lost against Dallas, doesn’t mean we don’t miss Gallo and what he brings to the table. We don’t need to make many changes right now. Third seed with the worst schedule in twenty years? Our guys just need to come back next year and get better. They are young. They will get better. Especially if Iggy comes back. If a huge upgrade is available, then no one is untradeable, but that seems very unlikely, so keep the team intact if you can.

          • googergieger

            Adding to this, our HORRIBLE first half tonight, should stop all this trade Gallo talk. At least he shows up ready to play every game. Even on his bad games, he tries on defense, and at least boxes out for his team mates. How on earth does not one player on Denver box out for an entire half?

            • googergieger

              AND you won’t see Gallo keep tossing up midrange jumpers despite how ineffective they are.

        • Tom2

          Yup, Gallo is pretty great, and he hasn’t even played a full healthy and consistent season yet. The only reason to think about trading him is because of his injury history. If you know you’ll never be able to count on him for a full season, then it might be worth considering what you can get for him.

          Chandler’s not going anywhere at least for another year or so because Gallo won’t be fully healthy until over a year from now. If the Nuggets want to trim payroll / save money, the obvious place to do that is with McGee’s contract. Also, if Iguodala decides to go somewhere else, then the Nuggets immediately have enough money to keep guys like Brewer and Mozgov. Anyway, I like Brewer, but I don’t think it’s a big deal if he leaves.

  • nugswin

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is how strong he is. He looks skinny but has that ability to absorb contact and finish in the lane. It takes a good combination of body control and strength to be able to finish after/while being bumped and most guards in the hyper athletic NBA can’t do it very well. Evan has already shown that he can deal with the contact, he’s deceivingly physical.