Denver solves their two guard quandary by trading for Aaron Afflalo

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Denver has traded Evan Fournier and the 56th pick to Orlando for Aaron Afflalo.

First things first, this is a great deal for Denver. There has been a gaping hole at shooting guard this offseason and in Afflalo the Nuggets essentially get a bigger, better Randy Foye. He can go up against bigger twos and he has the type of frame to make switches onto ball-handling wings late in games, something Foye had had his struggles with all season. It also means that Denver is going to have to say farewell to Evan Fournier, a polarizing player who was always a lot more interesting to think about than actually watch on a consistent basis. I liked Fournier, but it’s hard to see where his potential might take him after a past year spent playing idly in the background despite the team desperately requiring a new spark somewhere. The 56th pick is, while certainly not worthless, so hard to project a distinct value on that you can’t really knock Denver any points for giving it up.

Denver will use their trade exemption (which, ironically they got by trading away Iguodala who they got by trading away Afflalo) to make the deal work and Afflalo makes a reasonable $7.5 million this year. He has a player option for next year that he’ll likely opt out of in favor of securing a long-term deal which would probably remain along the same lines as this one. This essentially makes him an expiring going into this year, which gives Denver another asset they can either choose to pocket for now, re-sign when the time comes or pounce when the time is right.

All in all, a brilliant opening to Denver’s offseason and an encouraging sign from second-year GM Tim Connelly.

  • steve

    i still think they are planning something bigger…doesnt seem like Love will be it but no clue.

    • mike gomez

      then whats bigger than love

      • Bryan

        It’s phase one in Connelly’s plan to lure LeBron.

        Almost wrote that whole sentence without laughing.

    • Cullen

      Most reports have included a clip saying that the organization has said they aren’t going to flip him in a trade and intend on keeping him.

  • Zenbu

    This is a fantastic deal. I thought for sure if we were to trade for Afflalo we would give up #11. Welcome back AAA!

  • James Duff

    Yay. But now I’m really worried they are going after saric

    • Scott

      I thought the exact same thing. But if we get Dinwiddie I’ll be happy.

  • Kevin Flinn

    Welcome back Afflalo!

  • chris

    I have an irrational like for Fournier so I’m sad to see him go. Objectively a great trade though.

    • Trevor

      I’m the same way man. Fours seemed to have great potential but AAA is undoubtedly an upgrade.

  • Chris

    I love the idea of having Afflalo back starting at the 2, I hope this is not just positioning for Love. I like the idea of Love coming here but not for Afflalo, Faried, Chandler, and our 11th pick. The only way I like a Love deal is if it comes with some guarantee that he’s here for more than a year.

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    I give the Denver front office an AAA for this trade.

    • Paul Griggs

      það er rétt

  • Nugman

    The Nuggets can now go after the BPA at 11 rather than have to focus on SG. This really opens their draft options in addition to improving the team. A post up big might be best if available at 11. Or work a deal for Zebo.

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    ORL fans are basically fuming over this deal. If you want to see serial creative use of expletives, head over to any Orlando blog now.

    • TomRMC

      That’s the sort of trade you pull when you’ve got an ineffective, injured player and you need to clear cap space (see Harrington, Al.) Not the sort of thing you do with a decent two-way player on a very slightly overinflated contract.

      Except for one thing: the Magic now have 10 rookie-deal contracts (several with team options this year), a partially-guaranteed Jameer Nelson, and nobody else. They have some young players who could attract a max Free Agent, and if they get one they have enough cap space to get a second.

      • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

        But no free agent who’s looking for a winning situation (read: a free agent who will actually get you somewhere) will go to Orlando as it looks now. I’m waiting for another shoe to drop, either on the Denver side (can they flip a package of players for a superstar now that they added a 18ppg player for a backup player and a surplus draft pick?) or the Orlando one (to signal a continuing rebuild/demolition job)?

  • JonnyB

    Awesome deal.

    My wife’s favorite player was Founier (good looks mostly) so she is sad. But the value of this trade is heavy in DEN favor.

    AAA has gotten better since leaving us, being forced to be the #1 scoring option has honed his offensive skill set, to compliment an already exceptional defensive skill set.

    The Rookie we all want DEN to select (Harris) is an AAA type. Now that we have AAA, we can go BPA at 11 (even risk selecting Saric for long-term security), or package a trade for Love; either way we will be better going into next season.

    Keep him, select BPA; keep him, select Saric; trade him for Love.

    Either option makes us better than we were 24 hours ago.

    • Ckwizard

      lol my wife informed me of this news because she is stoked her favorite player is coming back!!! Awesome that Nuggets get to keep their pick and added AAA

  • Cullen

    I really like the pick up. I think we could keep AAA if we do so desire and if he ends up being as big of an asset as I think he could be.

    He really is a bigger and better Foye, but I also think this helps out Foye quite a bit, too. I like Foye much more than most people on this website, but I definitely think he is more of a bench asset than a starter.

    I like Fournier but I don’t see nearly as high of a ceiling for him as other people do. I think he could turn into a good professional, but he doesn’t play a lick of defense and AAA plays better defense and will contribute better minutes than Fournier ever could.

    As far as the draft goes, I don’t think this should REALLY change the strategy too much, honestly. I think it makes Nurkic more likely, but again, we would have a massive log jam at the 5 which I don’t think could be easily remedied considering McGee’s contract. I honestly think still drafting Harris would be a fine move, but it could free up the possibility of adding a more “project” type player. LaVine, Young, etc. Those players all look more attractive having the pressure eased off of the SG position. Even draft a PG seems less arguable now since we have the SG a little more solidified.

    • Cullen

      Also, most reports conclude that he is not going to be flipped in another deal, too. At least not in the offseason.

  • Josh Chin

    Thrilled to hear this news. But we still need to clear our roster. Randolph and another big needs to go

    • Curtis

      I think it makes Chandler a good trading chip. Although him coming off behind galo and foye behind AAA is some pretty good depth.

      • Cullen

        Exactly, and Chandler has played much better coming off of the bench than he has starting.

  • Curtis

    Keep him and kiss his butt to stay. Was so stupid to trade him in the first place. Such a great asset to have around.

    • Josh Chin

      I agree. He gives us size, depth, defense, and range. And doesn’t need to play ball dominant

  • heykyleinsf

    welcome back AAA!!!
    I’ll miss Fours though.. but this is an awesome deal
    Foye to the bench and Harris to get ready.

    • Kevin Flinn

      Lol we definitely won’t be drafting Harris now.

      • heykyleinsf

        we still lost a 2 if you guys didn’t catch that part.

        • Heisenberg

          Harris would barely play.

          • heykyleinsf

            I think you have to understand..
            we’re not going to be getting the same AAA
            we had two seasons ago..
            his metrics are down and his age is up
            don’t get me wrong.. I’m happy he’s here
            but he’s also going to need help
            I’m not sure Foye won’t be traded as well..
            but with AAA and Foye…
            who else do we have at the 2?

            And also .. you might have noticed a few injuries last year?

            we have all of two SGs right now

            We have 3 PGs
            We have 10 bigs.

            Again..

            WE HAVE TWO SGs

            so thanks for that LOL Kevin.

            • Heisenberg

              They have 2 PG’s….Brooks is a FA, and seems unlikely to re-sign.

              I think they take a combo guard, like LaVine (or Saric, if they don’t want someone on the roster now). Hell, they might look into trading up if Smart falls to 8th.

              • heykyleinsf

                I like Brooks.
                I think we should keep him and get another 2.
                Brooks was awesome for us.
                It’s anyone’s guess..
                but I don’t see how Harris is so laughably out of the question. We got AAA.. lost Fours..
                we upgraded.. but how realistic is is to count on
                any rookie at the 11th spot to come in and start?
                I’m not sure AAA coming back drastically changes
                any strategy when we still lost a player who averaged
                almost 20 minutes a game and started a few.

              • Heisenberg

                Nobody will start, but the player they draft should get some minutes.

              • heykyleinsf

                why wouldn’t you think Harris would play?
                As opposed to whomever else?

              • Heisenberg

                Because he’d be 3rd behind AAA and Foye. He really can’t play anywhere other than SG.

              • heykyleinsf

                IDK.. I remember AAA kind of being hurt a lot.
                And still.. what rookie would play more minutes in comparison. Foye was great having played in all 82 games if nothing else.. but is that realistic to expect again?
                Foye is 30, Aflalo is 28..
                Don’t we need a little youth as well?
                Erick Green reports from Italy were not good.. at all.

                We need another SG.
                I’ll be really surprised and probably a little
                worried if we don’t draft one.

        • Paul Griggs

          A second round pick rarely garners a star

          • heykyleinsf

            Paul I meant 2 as in SG
            not as in 2nd round

      • heykyleinsf

        How’s it going LOL?

    • Heisenberg

      0% chance they take Harris. We’re either trading back or taking LaVine/Saric.

      • heykyleinsf

        how’s it going 0% chance?

        • Cullen

          He was both right and wrong. Traded back and took Harris.

  • mike gomez

    i wonder who do we take in the draft now? maybe this allow is us to gamble now and grab somone with potential like lavine.

    • Furious_Stylez

      Yes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they started looking at SF. Gallo hasn’t healed very well and with Chandler being linked to every trade scenario, there’s a need for SF. Same with PF. Hickson might not be ready in Oct. and Arthur is useless on offense. Maybe McDermott or Stauskas? Maybe one of the Euro PF/C?

      This is the best draft in a long time due to all the uncertainty. Should be fun to watch.

  • Kevin Flinn

    Trade Faried, Foye & Chandler for K-Love.

  • COfoEVA

    AAA is back!!!

  • Native Nugget

    Love this. First time in years of posting my choices that the management listened to me, they won’t be sorry (just kidding). They actually did better than I could have hoped for by giving up two big question marks for one solid two-way starter.
    Obvious win in this trade – may it be a sign of things to come.

  • slugdugg

    What was the rule about trading a newly acquired player? Do we have to wait until some future date or something if we were going to repackage AAA?

    • COfoEVA

      Nope, we could use him to trade for Love immediately

    • Cullen

      Multiple reports say we are keeping him and he will start the season on the roster.

  • Nugman

    Trade Hickson and the 11 pick for Zach Randolph if he’s available. We then have playoff team that can do some damage

  • MrBeefy

    Wow Magic fans are pissed lol. We absolutely stole Afflalo from them, such a great move by us and we didn’t need to give up the 11th pick. Fournier was going no where here. He showed us nothing special this passed season with extended minutes. Great Trade.

    • Heisenberg

      Orlando got cap space, which was important for them. So we have to see what they do before giving the trade a final evaluation, at least from their end.

  • Heisenberg

    Good trade. They should use AAA in a trade for Love, though.

    • Tyler

      So that Love can leave the year after? Not to mention we’d probably be giving up our first rounder this year and Faried & possibly Wilson Chandler. Yeah, no..

      • Heisenberg

        AAA’s going to opt out of his deal after next season. So him, Faried, Chandler, and a future pick. Seems fair.

        • Tyler

          Love is going to opt out too if we make this trade. Giving up a future pick is a horrible idea because that will set us back for another year in case we perform poorly again which sounds like we would if Love left.

          • Heisenberg

            Trading for Love gives the Nuggets a decent shot at getting out of the first round. If Love and the Nugs made the second round, there’s a solid chance he’d agree to an extension.

  • Paul Griggs

    I hope they don’t trade for Love. He’s a good scorer and rebounder but what’s the use of scoring 25 points and giving up 26? He would not fit Shaw’s system either and I don’t see Shaw changing his system. I think AA fits Shaw’s system perfectly and, for once, we’ll have a defensive minded player on the team. AA is a poor man’s Iggy, just without all the hate associated with Iggy. If Gallinari comes back strong, this team starts making more sense. Does this mean the Nuggets won’t go SG in the draft?

    • Heisenberg

      The Minnesota T-Wolves had a worse point differential than Milwaukee when Love wasn’t on the floor. He’s a STAR, something Denver is lacking. You just don’t win in this league without stars.

      • Paul Griggs

        Did you fail to watch the NBA Finals this year?! The San Antonio Spurs have no real stars. They won as a team. Duncan and Ginobelli are past their prime. Parker’s about the same as Lawson.

        • mike gomez

          they still had their hallgame pf playing at high level, tony parker and rising player in kawhi leonard.

          • Heisenberg

            This. Leonard is better than anyone on Denver’s roster and Duncan at 38 is better than Faried. Not to mention they have the greatest coach of all time.

    • heykyleinsf

      I’m with you 100%
      but I don’t think we need to worry about Love..
      I think the TWolves and Dubs are just dancing around now.
      The Twolves aren’t getting a better offer.

      What I wonder about is Chicago and the two picks..
      I’m hoping we do that actually.

  • etlord1

    I love the trade; however, since the salary cap takes a little bit of a hit with this trade, it’s probably wise to draft Saric.

  • Richard Pesicka

    I personally like Aaron but I would not have paid that much for him. Knowing he’s a free agent in the near future. I know they have to trim this team down and go shopping, but they need to be dollar smart.

  • J Platt

    I love that AAA is back. his lead by example approach to the game is definitely what this team needs. they need to find a way to dump mcgee, chandler and/or hickson to free up some space tho to be able to resign AAA after the season. he is the type of player that will excell well into his 30′s because he doesn’t rely on athleticism. fournier didn’t show any improvement in year 2 so even if AAA does leave by trade or FA it doesn’t hurt too bad. a healthy gallo and faried’s improved offensive game could mean nugs will be back in the mix for a 3 or 4 seed.

    no thanks on love he would he would just bounce after 1 year and we would have to give up way to many assets for a 1 yr rental. love may be a star, but he will never be “the” star on a contender.

  • heykyleinsf

    looks like we’re hanging on to 11… unless it’s announced at the last minute

  • heykyleinsf

    mcbuckets it is

    • Tyler

      McTraded*

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    One really frightening potential consequence of this trade; Evan Fournier is French. You know who else is French? Joffrey Lauvergne, our second round pick in 2013 who led the Euroleague in rebounds last season and was named first team all Adriatic League last season. Do you think he’s going to be happy about the fact that we traded Fournier, who is literally described as one of Lauvergne’s “best friends?” I’m going to say no. Prior to the traded, he signed a two year deal with Russian team Khimki that included an NBA buyout after the first season. The fact that he made sure that buyout was included shows he has at least some interest in playing in Denver. Trading one of his best friends will hurt our cause.

    There is one reason for optimism. He played in Serbia last season, and, after leaving for Khimki, he wrote his teammates a passionate goodbye letter… in Serbian. If it wasn’t written with the help of a translator, we can assume he speaks Serbian. Our second round pick, Nikola Jokic, is a Serbia native. Jusuf Nurkic, from Bosnia Herzegovina, may speak any one of the three official languages of the country, Bosnian, Croatian, or Serbian. Luckily, according to Google, there is less difference between these three languages than the Australian, British, and American dialects of English. It still doesn’t help that we traded Fournier, but hopefully one of our draft picks might convince him to come to Denver

  • Sergio Balderas

    This offseason has been more than great so far.