Rapid Reaction: 2013 NBA Draft

The 2013 NBA Draft is officially in the books. After months of disheartening analysis regarding its lack of superstars, the draft took a turn for the wild early on and never reverted back to the uneventful night many had anticipated. The Nuggets were active, trading last year’s starting center Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur. Additionally, Denver traded out of the 27th pick to ultimately possess the 46th and 55th picks instead. Here’s what the Nuggets’ draft puzzle looked like at the end of the night…

Pick No. 46: Erick Green

With the 27th pick in the draft the Nuggets selected Rudy Gobert from France. That pick was then promptly traded to the Utah Jazz for the rights to the 46th pick in the draft and cash, according to Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post. The Nuggets then went on to select Erick Green from Virginia Tech with that pick. Green was profiled a few days ago in my Digging for gold piece where I had this to say about the mercurial shooting guard:

Green is one of the more mysterious prospects in the draft by my estimation, yet the more I learn about him the more I like him. His numbers this past season were insane. He averaged 25 points, four rebounds and four assists per game in route to winning ACC Player of the Year honors. He was incredibly efficient, rarely turned the ball over and got to the line at one of the highest rates in the country. All of those features generally translate well to the next level. That said, Green pretty much came out of nowhere in 2012-13. He never shot above 43 percent from the field before his senior season and wasn’t even slated to get drafted last year. That makes me nervous. But what can’t be ignored is that the dude continuously abused top-notch players in perhaps the toughest conference in college basketball for an entire season. That’s an incredible feat no matter what you did three years before that. If the Nuggets call his name on June 27, I will be a very happy man.

Reaction: There was a general consensus amongst draftniks that this was an excellent pick considering where Green was selected. Like Quincy Miller last year, Green likely should have gone higher than he did. If the Nuggets selected Green at 27, nearly 20 picks prior to when he was actually drafted, people would have applauded; yet Denver traded down, received cash from the Jazz in the process and still landed him. No matter how you slice it, this appears to have been a shrewd move by the Nuggets’ newly structured front office.

Although a rookie, Green should stand a fair chance to earn some playing time at backup point guard next year should Andre Miller be dealt. At 22, he’s two years older than both Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier, who will also be fighting against their fellow teammates for playing time. While he played shooting guard at Virginia Tech, Green has displayed point-guard like vision at times and the ability to handle the rock and distribute at a high level. His long-distance shooting will also allow the Nuggets to stretch the floor. As has already been noted, this is the second year in a row the Nuggets have taken a shooting guard whom they worked out prior to the draft.

Pick No. 55:  Joffrey Lauvergne

As part of the Kosta Koufos deal the Nuggets received the 55th pick in the draft which they used to select French big man Joffry Lauvergne. Unknown to virtually everyone outside of diehard draft fans, Lauvergne is an interesting prospect. According to his DraftExpress profile, Lauvergne is a 21-year-old power forward who’s strengths include athleticism, versatility on offense and a high motor. He’s bounced around in Europe over the last several years but has reportedly concentrated on improving his overall game as of late. Here’s more from his DraftExpress profile, followed by some highlights from YouTube:

With roughly 20% of his 8.1 possessions per-game coming in post-up situations according to Synergy Sports Technology, Lauvergne has noticeably improved his ability to score one-on-one with his back to the basket. Working hard to gain position before the catch and possessing very quick feet, Lauvergne’s footwork appears significantly more polished than it did even a season ago, as he’s become extremely elusive down low, coupling quick spin moves and drop steps with the ability to score with either hand from a variety of angles… Though he’s very assertive when he gets the ball in the post, Lauvergne does the majority of his damage working without the ball. His speed makes him an ideal target in transition, he crashes the boards with reckless abandon (ranking third in the Serbian League in offensive rebound rate), and is an active target around the basket in the half court. Surprisingly springy when he looks to score in close, Lauvergne looks to dunk the ball whenever possible, shooting a terrific 69% at the rim thanks to his aggressiveness… Lauvergne is an intriguing prospect for NBA teams looking to draft and stash a player in the second round, as he’s someone that is almost certain to continue making strides over the next few years being that he’s in a very good situation developmentally with Partizan. He’ll likely get plenty of looks particularly from teams with multiple picks, even if it will likely be at least another year or two before he’s available to come over.


Reaction: It’s hard to tell how prepared Lauvergne will be a few years down the road when the Nuggets will presumably inquire about him coming to the NBA. As of now this looks like a draft-and-stash pick, but it could end up being a very good one. Lauverge is still relatively young and appears to be somewhat polished as an all-around player. If he continues to progress and improve his handle Lauvergne might one day play a significant role of the bench for the Nuggets. This marks the second year in a row Denver’s selected a French international as well as a late second-round draft-and-stash player.

Trade: Kosta Koufos for Darrell Arthur

As was reported by Hochman during the draft, Denver has officially traded Kosta Koufos for Darrell Aurthur. The 55th pick in the draft was included as part of the deal.

Reaction: This trade was taking quite a lot of heat from Nuggets fans on Twitter. With two of Denver’s best defenders already slated to become free agents (Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer), fans have been making the argument that trading away the team’s best defensive big man was not exactly a savvy move. This faction has a fair point; however, when assessing this trade it would also be irresponsible to dismiss Koufos’ ugly postseason performance this past year as well as his general inconsistency while in a Nuggets uniform. While Koufos was undoubtedly the Nuggets best defensive big man, he was also not much more than a backup center at best. Yes, there were times when his defense could be relied upon to be fairly effective, but there were also times when he totally shrunk and couldn’t defend guys four inches smaller than him. For the sake of accurate evaluation, it’s important to acknowledging the other side of the coin.

If the Nuggets are ever to get serious about team defense and developing their younger players, a fixed level of commitment must be allotted to certain guys — primarily JaVale McGee. While Koufos would have played the role of a serviceable backup center, it appears the Nuggets have chosen to go all in on McGee. It’s certainly a gamble, but one the Nuggets had to make at some point in time. Because if anyone can get McGee to be the McGee we all believe McGee can be (say that 10 times fast!), it’s Brian Shaw. And it’s worth noting the Nuggets aren’t getting a total scrub in Darrell Arthur either. He’s played a pivotal role on some good Grizzlies teams and has proven to be a serviceable big man in the NBA just like Koufos. Arthur is known for his ability to stretch the floor, which is an asset the Nuggets have needed for quite some time now; but he’s also a pretty solid pick-and-roll defender. He’s coming off a torn achilles, which is never good, but he’s had a year to recover and will have the summer to take additional precautions if necessary. If Arthur can stay healthy he might very well play a critical role in the Nuggets offense as a stretch big man next season.

On a more personal note, I’m somewhat saddened to see Koufos leave just as he was beginning to reach his stride in a Nuggets uniform. I won’t easily forget the story he told about driving to Denver the day after being traded from the Timberwolves because he was so excited to get a fresh start in a new city. Koufos worked his tail off in Denver and was respected by fans and players alike. I had the chance to meet him several times last year and could not have been more impressed by his welcoming and cordial disposition. It’s unfortunate his career in Denver came to an end before he could reach the apex of his development, but I know I speak on behalf of Nuggets fans everywhere when I say it was a pleasure watching him grow and wish him well in Memphis.

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  • AH

    First..

    By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com

    Green is my biggest sleeper of the draft, and he’s a dream for those into advanced statistics. Synergy Sports Technology shows that Green graded out as “excellent” in just about every area of offense and was one of the nation’s most efficient scorers. As a senior, he shot 47.5 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from 3-point range and 81.6 percent from the free throw line. Most impressive, though, was the 267 free throws attempted, putting him among the nation’s best in that department. Could SA strike gold with another player named Green? At pick No. 28, he just might be the name called.

    Regardless of the value of DA the kk trade was terrible value we traded a center who started last season and did very well for his minutes played for a guy coming off injury and a low level pick… Tim failed here

    Wait their so cheap they traded bad ass 7-2 freak for some cash so we could could come back for draft and stash and never play in the nba.
    First move is winning by getting green
    Next two completely suck.
    Id give this draft a C at best
    We could’ve and should’ve got way more for koufos id be much happier leaving with green and the giant + some
    TOO FUCKING BAD THOUGH!!!!
    Next move gotta lock up iggyy

    • J Steven Opp

      When was the last time a mid market team won a championship? Just Curious….anybody? Bueller? Anybody?

      • AH

        when was the last time a fan was satisfied with mediocrity

      • joefresco

        Isn’t San Antonio considered mid market? OKC got close and they are a small market. They might have won this year but they sacrificed Harden.

        • heykyleinsf

          I’ll raise you Indiana.. who took the Heat to 7.. And gave us our new head coach.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      C’mon. There’s a lot more to basketball than 7’2 freak. He’s a terrible athlete you know. I’m happy with Green.

      The Koufos trade is definitely tough, but he completely disappeared late in the regular season and in the playoffs. I think the trade will make us worse in the regular season but better in the playoffs. Arthur is known for phenomenal pick and roll defense and a little bit of floor spacing. His inability to score at the rim makes him a net below average offensive player, and his rebounding numbers post Achilles injury were especially disappointing. In many ways, he sounds like the exact opposite of Faried (I’m not implying he’s lazy). He’s a good shooter for a 4 (unlike Faried), he’s a pretty bad rebounder (unlike Faried), and he has terrific instincts defending the pick and roll (unlike Faried). I think that’s a good thing since when the Nuggets don’t need offensive boards but are having trouble defensively and are facing a power forward that can’t guard floor spacers, Arthur would be valuable.

    • John Kobbeman

      being tall doesn’t make him good… Hadaddi ring any bells..

  • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

    Pretty successful draft in my opinion.

    Turned the #27 pick & a superfluous big into cap room, a big with a mid range game & a guy with huge potential in Erick Green.

    Not bad for Connelly’s first draft.

    Now, if he can just stick Andre Miller on a palisade high in the air, I’d be on board with him.

    Does anyone know what happened to Chu-Chu Maduabum & Izzet?

    • Tom

      http://basketball.eurobasket.com/player/Izzet_Turkyilmaz/Banvit_Basketbol_Kulubu/135384

      Turks stats, wasn’t getting much time by the looks of it. Not sure what the competition is like…

    • Michael

      Izzet is still playing for his Turkish team, he will (I don’t want to say never) most likely never play in the NBA as he only averages 12.4 mins, 4.6 points and 2.8 boards in the Turkish league. He hasn’t had a double digit rebound game this year, he likes to stick to the outside on offense and shoot 3′s (at around 26%, 18-69) *stats over 41 games.

      I have no idea what Chu-Chu has been doing, besides snippits from when he was drafted the latest on him is from last years summer league. My guess is that we never see him have anything to do with the Nuggets again now that Masai is gone.

      I am reasonably happy with the way the draft turned out. I was very happy we got Green as he was on top of my list for positional need picks (assuming/wishing like most other Nuggs fans that Miller is gone this offseason). I was happy we traded out of the first round as there is no one outside of the top 15 in this draft that is a stand out and worth the pick to Denver, hence so many teams were reaching with their picks or trying to trade down.

      I’m not real happy with the K2 trade, I understand why they did it and it makes sense to me, however I just liked the way he went about his business. He played solid for us during the regular season but disappeared in the playoffs, then again so did Chandler in his first year here. K2 was a hard worker (declined playing for Greece in Eurocup to work on his game in Denver and can been seen in many of the draft workout clips sweating his butt off in the background) which earned him the starting spot last year, he was also the most fundamentally sound out of our bigs.

      The K2 trade wasn’t about ‘making a splash move’ it was about clearing the logjam at C, allowing McGee to start and give Mozzy a chance to show what he’s got. DA may not be a star but his strengths will help fill holes in the Nuggets deficiencies, he is a good pick and roll defender (Faried and McGee have been terrible at this, in fact McGee is one of the worst defensive players I’ve seen (A. Miller is a shocker too), I hate players that stand back to try and make a big rejection instead of getting good position to make the correct basketball play and McGee is the worst for it.) DA can also stretch the floor a bit to open it up for our drivers/slashers which none of our current bigs can do except maybe Randolph who is another unproven.

      I know a lot of my comments are going to be unpopular but they are my opinions.

    • TomRMC

      > “Turned the #27 pick & a superfluous big into cap room”

      Koufos + #27 would make $3,899,000 this season. Darrell Arthur and a minimum contract for Erick Green will cost $3,721,683. In a sport where contracts are measured in the millions and tens of millions, a cap savings of $0.177 million is insignificant.

      The real question is whether Darrell Arthur is going to play like he did in 2010 or like he did in 2012.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      Wasn’t easy, but I found Chu-Chu

      http://basketball.asia-basket.com/player/Chukwudie_Bere/Al_Shamal/278799

      He’s rebounding and blocking shots in Qatar, doing nothing else

  • joefresco

    Should have gotten more for Koufos (or not traded him at all). He was a great value for the price.

  • steve

    Not sure why all thw whining with the trade. I love it for us. Koufos is expendable. Arthur gives us another dimension that we didnt have before which is hittin mid range jumps from a big man. If healthy, he will add alot more to our squad than koufos. Remember what carl landry did to us in playoffs? That is what arthur could do for us.

    Most likely we target a big man in Fa. I wouldnt mind see samuel dalembert come here to back up mcgee.

    • http://Twitter.com/A_Rodriguez8 D3Ntilthe3ND

      Probably just sign Mozzy (hopefully dirt cheap if nobody else offers) to back JaVale up, but I don’t think McGee, Mozzy, & Arthur is a very good depth chart at 5. Dalembert would be nice.

  • Thomas

    Trading Koufos for a Arthur is just a terrible trade.

    Our only big who can play defense, positioning, and we ship him to our competitor?

    Look at KK’s advanced stats – very productive, gave us a significant win boost for a bargain.

    What about Mcgee’s asthma? Do we think he can play 30+ minutes a night.

    Moz is horrible, immobile.

    I’d give new management the benefit of the doubt, but this decision is troubling.I’m still concerned that we don’t get rid of Miller – this has been the most obvious achilles heel for the development of this team.

    • steve

      Totally disagree. How is moz immobile? He is known as being a athletic 7 footer. If anyone is, its koufos. Yes kk is a decent reserve. He can rebound solid and can get put backs. I just think its easy to find a replacement for him with the same game. A stretch 4 that can defend pick and rolls also is not that simple to find.

      Remember, we still have FA. We will get a backup C

      • heykyleinsf

        I agree with Thomas but I am still going to wait and see how McGee rises to it and what we obviously have to do now in FA.. I don’t like creating an unnecessary hole.. Arthur adds a little bit of shallow perimeter scoring, but we lost more defense (even if K2 wasn’t ever going to be on the all-defensive team). I have seen absolutely and positively nothing in Mozgov that makes me hopeful. To me.. ridding ourselves of him was just as big addition by subtraction as getting rid of Miller.

  • Will Neal

    I actually agree with all these move beside our last draft pick….I really believe that AT 27 we shouldve made the move for Crabbe but the NCAA’s leading scorer?? I’ll take that. As for KK…we got just about as much as he’s worth….he’s not much more than a 7 foot shadow….for all this talk about his defense, albeit in a smaller sample size, Moz is a bettr pick n roll defender…despite a few posters he’s on. KK wouldnt have garnered much unless we moved him to a Miami and then who’d you want? Haslem?!? Our second pick — terrible…when you think of our team does anyone realize we let Larod Stephens jus walk by…he’s a poor mans Josh smith….he’d been perfect as a tradeable asset or AT THE WORST an athletic three that can guard four positions and has limited offense but thrives in the open court game….sound like any fit you kno?
    Green was a perfect pick as I had us trying to move KK and a second rounder next year w/ cash for the rights to Granger….and I mentioned Hill as a possible throw in with a Gallo or JHam…BUT i like Green more than Hill and he SHOULD be a similiar type of player in the sense that he’s an off ball PG with scheme flexibility…overall i’d say b-…..B for the Green pick and acquisition of a big that can defend as well as hit a jumper (if Faried learns some nuances from him..this trade has already paid its weight in gold)…the minus which couldve fell to a C…is for the frenchy….at this point to be completely honest, im tired of these silly international pick n stash plaers Denver always drafts…find good impact players in the second round…last year i was terrible irritated that we didnt even try to acquire darius miller rather than Fournier only because they offer similiar games but miller’s defense is further along…overall, nerves i believe weighed down a rather lackluster drat for Den….go get Stephens as an undrafted player…he’ll be ready sooner than Frenchy and his defense could make him be what Kawhi is for SAS

  • Duane Grasmick

    Koufas had reached his ceiling in my opinion. Arthur gives us a Pick and Pop guy at the four where Faried is simply more of an around the basket player right now. I also think trading Koufas gives Anthony Randolph more of a chance to have a significant role on this team.

  • Len Nunes

    i just don’t like the “all in’ with McGee idea, he’s an overpaid, off the bench energy guy. I’m not saying he is not a good-to-great basketball player, I’m just saying he’s not a minute eating, reliable starter.

  • Isoc Von Tronstein

    Hopefully we can re-sign Mozgov for the league minimum. I’m not to sure what he can draw in free-agency since he didn’t really play last season. If he likes the team and sees himself having a larger role because of the Koufos trade, maybe the two can work something out.

    • herpderpnuggets

      I’m hoping that too Connelly said he was giving him a chance and that his situation was unfair. I think timo is better than kk, he just needs to see the floor.

      • dynamo.joe

        Considering Moz was the starter for a good chunk of the previous year and showed absolutely nothing, I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption.

        • herpderpnuggets

          you make a good point. If we don’t get mozzy back though, we can still pursue another free agent

    • LBJ

      League minimum??? We already made a qualifying offer of $3.9m!! We could have $14m tied up in our 2 centers.

      • John Kobbeman

        could be worse… could have 17 tied up in one who goes bowling and blows his knee… or 20 tied up in one recovering from back surgery…

        • LBJ

          I’m not a big fan of Howard – but I would still take him over McGee/Mozzie…

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    I’m torn on the Koufos trade, but the one thing that I do like is that, regardless of what you think of Koufos, Arthur is a really good fit for our team. In my mind, when looking for a backup at any position, it’s good to look for a guy not very similar to your starter because if they are very different players the backup may be able to expose certain weaknesses in the opponent that the starter couldn’t. E.g. if you have a center that struggles to guard the pick and roll and your opponent is a team absolutely destroying him with the pick and roll, then it would be nice to have a center on your bench that really can guard the pick and roll. And, with that in mind, Arthur is the polar opposite of Kenneth Faried. His rebounding numbers post Achilles injury (and they weren’t great to begin with) were embarrasing (unlike Faried), his defensive instincts, especially on the pick and roll are phenomenal (unlike Faried), he can space the floor (unlike Faried), he’s an awful finisher at the rim (unlike Faried, who’s not great, but not awful either), and he’s not a bad free throw shooter (unlike Faried). So, if nothing else, Arthur is a great fit in Denver

  • EWilson

    I respect what Koufos did in his time in Denver (particularly since the Nuggets picked him up cheap), but I think he is, at best, a serviceable back up center. Denver got about what one might expect them to get for him, and Arthur–if healthy–gives them a dimension they didn’t have before. Re-signing Mozgov basically fills the ‘hole’ left by KK.
    Green was an excellent pick where they got him and would have been a solid pick at #27. Denver wasn’t going to get a star at that pick, and given the need to find a back up PG who can play faster than Andre Miller, they did well. I thought Crabbe would have been an OK pick at 27 as well, but he seems to me to be a bit one-dimensional as a catch-and-shoot guy. Sure, Denver needs guys who can shoot, but I wonder if he would be much of an upgrade over Hamilton. Green gives them a bit more versatility.
    As for Lauvergne, I’m kind of amused by people complaining that the Nuggets should have picked someone who could play now. The roster is already stocked with guys, especially wings. If we’re already talking about how to find playing time for Hamilton, let alone Q Miller, how would ANOTHER guy fit in the rotation? I think the draft and stash idea is fine. Maybe Lauvergne doesn’t develop into anything, but maybe he does. At #55, if you find a decent rotation player, you’re doing well. From the draft descriptions, it seems to me he’s unlike a lot of European players in that he has a high motor. Combined with decent athleticism, that alone makes him worth the flyer.

  • Qmill30

    Pretty happy to be honest. Gobert was interesting but at the end of the day I can’t really see him being much despite large potential so trade was OK especially when a guy like Green falls to that pick. Big fan of Green and hopefully he can force his way onto the roster and rotation. Has the potential to a Jet Terry type I think. Not saying he’ll ever be that good but just the fit.

    Like the Koufos trade. He was a serviceable back up but we can fill that void with a more physical Mozgov which I’d rather have the option of using than Koufos when we play large physical front courts. Koufos was a nice player and worked extremely hard but I think he has almost reached his ceiling and he flat out got exposed in successive playoffs. Big fan of Arthur. Fingers crossed he can stay healthy cause he’s an extremely talented player. Great defender, extremely athletic, very good mid range jump shot and adequate size. Really like what we can do with him in the pick and pop, the spot up baseline jumper to create space (or just be there to create space) and defensively in pick and roll situations. Also gives us the flexibility to be the small ball 5 instead of Faried at times because if his superior size. Still only 25 and actually still has some potential.

    Don’t really have an opinion on King Joffrey but at pick 55 with a pretty full young roster, we had to go international stash player and he seems to have nice size and a bit of range on his jumper. Don’t expect anything of him but you never know, worth a shot.

    The quote from Connelly that seemed to imply he had other deals he almost pulled off intrigued me a lot. Should be interesting to see more of his work right up until the feb deadline.

    • herpderpnuggets

      For sure, doesn’t seem like he is shy to pull the trigger on a trade. We can only pray to the basketball gods that he gets rid of miller.

  • heykyleinsf

    I’m with Kalen on the Koufos trade.. at the very least.. K2 is a nice guy and hard worker.. he was a part of our success last year, and I see just a little too much blame on him for our playoffs meltdown. Granted.. he was sub mediocre. But I myself didn’t hand out a lot of shining stars to anyone else. Kind of BS that he took the blame for the team. I think people forget a lot of games he came through for us in the regular.. including a few as high scorer. I understand the confidence in McGee. It seems like pressure now though.. hope he rises to it. I just honestly have to say.. I wish it was Mozzy instead of K2.. but time will tell how we do at the 5. I love getting Erick Green.. this draft is a win just based on that.. On a 17 man roster right now though, we just have McGee and Mozzy at the 5 spot. I wish I could say that I’m confident we’ll be alright with things there as they are right now.

    • heykyleinsf

      Al Jefferson might be available. That would help.

      • googergieger

        You just really seem to hate defense.

        • heykyleinsf

          I’m talking about depth.. not a starter. If I was talking about a starter.. you would have a legit gripe with me.
          But that’s not what I was talking about.
          Look again.. “That would help”

          but honestly? Yeah. Pound for pound yeah.
          Give me offense and players that can score.

          • heykyleinsf

            Still Goog.. come on.. you would rather have Mozzy than Al Jefferson? That’s what I thought.

  • kwelitysoul

    Remember every move is made for the next…big game of pool

  • Chris

    Green stinks, you guys are on crack, size doesn’t change we should have kept the 27th pick, or at least not traded with Utah, but the nuggets haven’t learned, Jared Jack balled them up, and Jameer Nelson does the same thing.

    • heykyleinsf

      wow. Leading scorer in the NCAA stinks. Really? If that’s so.. pass the pipe.

  • ItsHardBeingANuggetsFan

    Just like every single year, drafting more players from overseas…YAWN!

  • dynamo.joe

    I like the pick of Green, good value that late in the draft. But if the decision was to go all in on JaVale, I think they would have been better served to keep Gobert as a backup and then trade Koufos into Green. It would still have been giving up Koufos for too little but at least it would have looked like a coherent strategy.

    At this point the only thing that can salvage last night is if Fours becomes a sure shot 2 guard and Lavaurgne becomes at least a rotation player, so I can start calling the French kids Lavaurgne and Surely. That way I at least get a smattering of comedy out of the deal.

  • Pickles1731

    This hate for the front office is mind blowing.

    1. Javale is an athletic freak who proved against the Lakers in the playoffs a year ago that he has the ability to be great. When Karl FINALLY put Javale in the starters role against the Warriors he thrived. When he plays with good players like Lawson, Iggy, and Chandler, then Javale has a chance to succeed. How can players like Brewer, Randolph, and run-n-gun Andre Miller help him out. Brian Shaw helped turn Roy Hibbert from a forgotten first rounder into a top-5 center. What makes you think he can’t do that with McGee? Karl never gave him consistent minutes. One game he gets 25 and another he gets 10. How will that help his confidence at all? We need to go all-in with a potential top 10 center and not a decent guy like Koufos.

    2. I liked the Koufos deal, maybe not love, but like. This means we are finally committed to giving Javale starters’ minutes and having him grow with our best players, not our bench guys. Arthur is the perfect floor spacing, pick and pop PF that our team desperately needs. Lawson loves to drive, and this gives them a guy who can hit a 15 ft. jumper. We saw against the Warriors that having a PF (Carl Landry) who can hit those jump shots is huge for guys who drive like Jarret Jack or even Curry. The man even won a title at Kansas, so he has the Championship pedigree that Lawson and Shaw have as well. A nice addition that can back up Faried or start for him if needed. A TRUE back up PF.

    • heykyleinsf

      I much prefer leaning towards the optimistic side. I think the front office love what we got.. Brian Shaw backs you up on that… “I love this roster”. I agree with you except when it comes to Mozgov. I don’t think he’s better than nothing, I think he already is nothing. Sorry to be a hater, and not as good of an optimist.. but I’m actually more afraid of Mozzy hurting us with minutes than Andre Miller. I am worried about the 5, not because of lack of faith in JaVale.. because I just don’t see him playing all season averaging much more north of 28 minutes a game. Not only asthma worries about me.. his little habit of picking up three fouls in two minutes. We need a 5. Maybe I’m a hater.. but I don’t see Mozzy as an option..

    • dynamo.joe

      So what you are saying is K2 is obviously better than JaVale so the only way to get the coach to play JaVale is to trade away Kosta?

      Because saying “hey, new coach, we just fired George Karl because he wouldn’t play JaVale, hint, hint” wasn’t an option.

    • sherlock

      Well said in point #1, I’ve said the same thing about JaVale. You also raise a good point in #2. Carl Landry KILLED us with his 15 ft. jumper and that is something that K2, JaVale, Manimal or Mozzy have. It will be nice for Ty to have that option and some confidence in that someone can make a jump shot not named Gallo, Chandler or Iggy.

  • dynamo.joe

    I think this says it all. While we argue back and forth about the Kosta for Darrell Arthur trade, not one person from a grizz blog is anything but happy.

    http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2013/6/28/4473502/kosta-koufos-the-best-grizzlies-draft-pick-since-mike-conley

    The closest you get is “I like DA but this is a great trade for us”.

    • heykyleinsf

      thx for that research dynamo…
      They’re stoked for sure.

      One ray of light here…

      “If the Grizzlies lose anything in this transaction, it’s a bit of matchup flexibility when going against 3 point shooting bigs”

      And one awesome bit of humor here…

      “When they brought in GK to interview, this is what they talked about.”

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      I definitely think the Grizzlies got a good trade, but it wasn’t necessarily bad for the Nuggets. In my mind, Koufos is a superior player, but Arthur is a better fit (ideal backup for Faried) in Denver. In the end, the advantage Arthur has in being good fit for us cancels out the fact that Koufos is a little better than Arthur. The trade will neither make us better or worse as a team. On the other hand, from the Grizzlies perspective, Koufos is a better player than Arthur AND Koufos is a better fit for the Grizzlies than Arthur, so they struck gold

    • Ernie

      Seems to me a lot of their enthusiasm was from Arthur never being healthy. But all the talk about K2 reaching his potential already here is bunk. Centers develop later, and K2 is 24. He’s going to be better in 4 years than he is now because he works hard and still peaking physically.

      I also thought the stat from the article that was most interesting was the Nugs averaged 17 points per 100 possessions less with McGee and the other starters than they did with Koufos and that same group.

      • MacKenzie Pantoja

        McGee tended to play poorly in that particular lineup, but here is more detailed numbers: http://www.82games.com/1213/1213DEN.HTM

        • Ernie

          I’ll admit I have no idea how to read or use any of that. Perhaps you can answer…, did the Nuggets play better with K2 or McGee.

          • MacKenzie Pantoja

            Generally KK (except in the post season, where McGee won by a mile), but of course McGee was playing with a lot of backups. A few trends:

            Bad combinations:

            1. Miller + Lawson + McGee (Horrendous)

            2. Faried + Lawson + McGee

            3. Lawson + McGee

            4. Faried + McGee

            5. Iguodala + McGee unless Brewer is there too

            Good combinations:

            1. Fournier + McGee (Unstoppable, who knew?)

            2. Chandler + McGee

            3. Randolph + McGee

            4. Brewer + Iguodala + McGee

            Other notable combinations:

            Bad combinations:

            1. Miller + Brewer, especially w/o Chandler

            2. Fournier + Miller or Lawson (especially Miller)

            3. Mozgov or Hamilton + anyone

            Good combinations:

            1. Fournier at the point! I don’t know what to make of this, but, apparently, he played 134.4 minutes last year without Miller, Lawson, or Stone on the floor, and we outscored opponents by a combined 63 points in those minutes. Seriously. Based on the numbers, the average 48 minute game with Fournier at the point would result in a margin of victory of 22.5 points. Very well could be a coincidence, but, on the other hand, the data also says that not only did the team play better, but he committed fewer turnovers, shot more efficiently, and didn’t allow his man to score as many points compared to playing the 2. Plus, 134.4 minutes is fairly significant

            2. Miller + Lawson + Faried

            3. Fournier + Chandler

            4. Gallinari + Miller w/o Brewer

            5. Chandler + Gallanari or Iguodala

            • Ernie

              Lots of info there to digest. Thanks for posting.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                Thank you. I think the thing that worried me most with McGee is that he generally played better when he shared the floor with our bench. Makes me wonder if he should be on the bench

            • googergieger

              Fournier at point usually meant Gallo and Iggy were on the floor handling the ball as well right? Those two really help in general, as they can defend most positions and do most everything on offense as well. Accept shoot in Iggy’s case, but still.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                Iguodala yes, but not really Gallo since Fournier didn’t even get playing time until Gallo got injured. Brewer almost always shared the floor when Fournier played the point, along with McGee and a combination of Chandler, Iguodala, and Randolph

              • googergieger

                Didn’t Evan start seeing time when Ty went down for a minute? Makes a bit of sense though. Defensively our worst perimeter guys are Miller because of the no effort, and Ty because of his size. Still I like Evan’s potential, especially his IQ. Ty, Iggy, and Gallo should close of course, but Iggy and Gallo can play the three and four respectively so who do you close with? I’m not a fan of Faried at the five, myself. One of the reasons I say move Chandler, just because he wants starters minutes. Gallo, Iggy, and Chandler, can work alright but I say get a two/three like Jared Dudley who has a high b-ball IQ, uses it to defend well, and can knock down a three.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                All I do know is that Gallanari was not one of the 10 players Fournier spent the most time with. What I thought was most interesting is that the guys with the best on and off court differentials were Chandler, Gallinari, and Iguodala. First of all, that hurt Corey Brewer, since, whenever he came into the game, he was subbing out one of those 3 guys, making him look bad, just by comparison. The numbers say any lineup with Chandler or Gallinari at the 4 really worked last year, so I advocate given Chandler starters minutes off the bench.

              • googergieger

                Well yeah, Chandler is probably our best at defending the four in the post, and Gallo is our best at denying the ball entirely. Not to mention no four can really guard them on the other end. Still, Faried won’t get any better, defense wise if he isn’t given the minutes or responsibility. And I just hate having Faried at the five. Which if you go with Gallo and Chandler at the four, means you have to sit Faried, I reckon. Granted this isn’t any sort of problem at the moment. What with Gallo out for a while, but still.

                Gallo and Iggy having the best on/off court numbers make sense. Two best defenders, and general jack of all trades that help out in every way. Chandler is another guy that has the ability, but he does tend to get into foul trouble rather easy, and isn’t the best decision maker on offense. Probably our most aggressive scorer however. Problem with Brewer was his constant gambling on defense and the fact he just isn’t a better player in any area than those three guys, accept maybe on the break. Though even then Iguodala probably takes it. Do love Brewer’s constant energy though. And the fact he was probably the only guy who showed up every game for us last year with one hundred percent effort. Not always bringing results mind you, but at least the effort was always there.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                Faried commits enough fouls that it would be tough for him to play 30 minutes a night anyway. If Chandler or Gallanari are playing the 4 the remaining 18 minutes, the results should be good.

              • googergieger

                That’s the kind of Karl logic that said you shouldn’t play Faried and McGee together because it doesn’t work. Are we basically saying Faried is good enough as is, and we shouldn’t try to make him a better player? Don’t get me wrong when we go up against OKC or someone, I like Gallo or Chandler at the four, just to get Ibaka out of the paint, and the fact Ibaka has no post game what so ever to make them pay on the other end, but still. I mean fair play if Faried never gets better, but I still don’t think we’ve seen him at his best. I think he has great potential defensively, and just needs a decent midrange on offense to go along with it.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                Don’t get me wrong, I want Faried to develop, But the guy committed the 13th most fouls in the NBA last season. What are we supposed to do when he is in foul trouble? Just play him anyway? He’s always going to be an aggressive player prone to fouls. There are nights when he isn’t in foul trouble, in which case I would love to play him 33 minutes. When he is in foul trouble, put Gallinari or Chandler at the 4. That’s all I’m suggesting.

              • googergieger

                Well again, ideally he gets better in areas like that. I mean really if he ever starts getting the superstar treatment, they’ll just stop calling fouls on him. Granted, this is Denver so unlikely to happen, but never the less, he could learn how to defend without fouling. Much more, we did just get a back up four in Arthur. I don’t know, Chandler is finally going to play and start at his position next year for a good while, so we’ll see, I guess.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                However, it didn’t really matter who was alongside Fournier if he was playing the point. The Nuggets outscored opponents by 5.2 points per 100 possessions during the season as a whole, and 7.3 points/100 with Fournier on the floor. However, the average Fournier/Miller combination resulted in, on average, getting outscored by 4.4 points/100 (11.7 worse than Fournier’s average), and any Lawson/Fournier combination resulted in us outscoring opponents by a mere 3.1 points per 100 possessions (4.2 worse than Fournier’s average). However, lineups with Fournier and neither Miller nor Lawson outscored teams, on average. Given that a majority of Fournier lineups featured Miller or Lawson, using weighted averages, I can estimate that the average Fournier lineup with neither Miller nor Lawson on the floor outscored opponents by a ridiculous 28.2 points per 100 possessions. The data I used isn’t exact (pace is not factored), so there will be error, but it proves that anyone next to Fournier as long as Lawson and Miller were off the floor lead to wild success last season.

      • sherlock

        Yeah that stat line kinda stung a little bit. I don’t know what to think about that to be honest.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

      That’s interesting. Numbers guys have been freaking out about this trade. I think it’s important to take everything into context though. Koufos had the best year of his career last year by far. Who’s to say he’ll repeat that? Also, he played with starters. I think that’s worth something. While I agree that this trade looks questionable numerically, I also know that there were many times last year where Koufos struggled. If Arthur can stay healthy, he’s a better fit for the Nugs. Plus, who’s to say the Nugs won’t sign a defensive minded center in free agency? And what happens if Joffrey turns out to be better than anyone expected? I think we have to wait quite a while before we can really judge who won this trade.

      • MacKenzie Pantoja

        I think what’s most telling is that numerically, it only looks bad in the regular season. It looks brilliant in the playoffs.

    • googergieger

      It is a great trade for them because they have no back up center. We had three centers, a near seven footer in Randolph, and a six foot ten Italian.

    • John Kobbeman

      Of course it is a great trade for them… They didn’t have a back up center. Now they do. Also, 10, yes 10 of the players on their roster were Forwards….

  • MitchellJames

    With the trade, three things are clear. Javale McGee is now the featured big, Arthur will be the backup 4, and Wilson Chandler will play almost exclusively at the 3. Losing an average player in Koufos won’t really hurt the Nuggets, especially when it helps define the roles of more talented players.

    • Pickles1731

      This is the best argument I have heard yet. The Nuggets needed a backup PF and the Grizzlies needed a backup C, plain and simple. This trade was great for both teams in the end.

      • dynamo.joe

        The problem isn’t that we traded a C for a PF. The problem is we traded a very good C for a very bad PF. And a side result of the trade is we also have to pay an additional $1M to retain a C that is about half as capable as the one we traded.

        In some sense, it’s not really even about the players involved. It’s about a front office that made a series of bad decisions on draft night.

  • Michael

    It looks like the Nuggets are intent on getting solid low post defenders and rebounders with the rumour that they have signed NC State forward Richard Howell. He has been likened to Reggie Evans in that he is a bit undersized but is strong in the paint and relentless after the ball, the bonus is that Howell actually has some offensive skills and can hit a mid range jumper and handle the ball a little bit.

    He was a double double machine at NC State and finished with averages of 12.9 ppg (57%), 10.9 rpg, .9 blocks and 1 steal per game.

  • Blue

    Should have kept Rudy Gobert, he was the steal of the first round of the draft. We got completely taken by the Grizz in the KK trade, would have loved if we had at least traded him for the Grizz’s pick at 41 and taken the exact same player they took, Jamaal Franklin. Grizz did really well in this draft. Erick Green is a good pick up where we got him, hope he works out for us.

    • John Kobbeman

      We know Gobert was a steal because how??? Oh yeah, it because of all of the UN-EDITED game footage we’ve watched. Let’s be honest… we all love the measurements… but all we’ve seen are YouTube highlight reels. He could be worse than Chu Chu for all we know.

      • dynamo.joe

        We don’t KNOW he will be good at the NBA level but what we do KNOW is that he played in a league commensurate with the NCAA or maybe even a little higher and put up numbers that make him better than all of the NCAA Centers except Noel and Muscala.

        Better than Len, Zeller, Plumlee, etc. And we had that guy who rated better than multiple lottery picks at 27.

  • Scott

    Didn’t Mozzy have a double double in like 10 minutes one game last year? Just give him a chance, at least he finishes strong at the rim… and he was a starter for a portion of I believe 2 seasons ago.

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    Honestly, I think Mozgov sucks. I have no interest in him returning to the team. With this trade, I’m sort of hoping we go for Jermaine O’Neal in free agency this year. He was relatively healthy and far less offensively crappy this season compared to his last two years in Boston. He may take a slight dip offensively (he inexplicably went from terrible to neutral overnight), but even if he’s below average on offense, he’s a brilliant defender who draws charges and has good instincts. Could teach McGee a few things about defense too.

    • Bryan

      The Nuggets tendered Mozgov an offer, so he’ll be back unless some team wants to overpay for him.

      And at the very least Mozgov won’t get thrown around like a child by centers with a modicum of strength.

  • ny nugs fan

    one thing i remember about arthur from their games in the playoffs was how effective of a scorer he was, and from all over the floor

    with our best scorer gallo out, the nugs may may struggle to find points some nights; arthur can probably get some sure buckets off the bench

    wish we could have kept kk but at the same time the nugs would have been crazy not to keep and finally play mozgov… sorry but 7footers who can run the floor and shoot the midrange like moz dont grow on trees people (lets hope he stays healthy)

    the fact the nugs are in this position to make solid moves not to sabotage a young growing team is a credit to the previous regime; they have the option for mozgov who just about every team with any sense coveted as a free agent (including and esp the Heat)

    add to the mix a young, hungry great teacher in brian shaw and things get interesting really fast in nugs land

    kk is going to a team that won 1 game less than the and went to the wc finals; after watching randolph get pushed around in the paint methinks he could flourish there

    bottom line this trade was a win-win for both teams and both players