Part 13 of 14
The Denver Nuggets have the cap room to add a free agent, this offseason but with their assets they may find a better player on the trade market. Of course with the CBA and the pending lockout the trade process may be delayed, but that doesn’t mean Denver doesn’t have enticing pieces that should help them land help.
But it’s funny how success changes a team’s stance on players. For instance at the beginning of the postseason, Jason Terry seemed more accessible than Lamar Odom and Chris Bosh seemed more likely to be traded than Carlos Boozer, but not anymore.
Now, after an early exit and a new coach, and Odom may be the first Laker to be casted off. And Boozer’s slow feet on defense and lack of success on offense has been a big burden on the Bulls this postseason and he is receiving wrath from former Bulls players.
The Nuggets biggest chips are backup point guard Raymond Felton and restricted free agent Wilson Chandler. Both could net a player or two that could help the Nuggets now and in the future.
- Andre Iguodala, 6-6 207, SG/SF, Philadelphia, 27 years old
Iggy is a modern day Scottie Pippen without the jump shot. He is a great defender, ballhandler, passer, rebounder and scorer. He just doesn’t have a consistent jump shot. He also has a pricey contract to boot ($43 million/3 years). For the Nuggets, he doesn’t make much sense since they are pretty well off at swingman, especially if they keep Chandler. However, very few of George Karl’s lineups make sense and Iguodala has the talent and versatility to back it up. To put Iggy in Nuggets perspective imagine Dahntay Jones defense to go along with a better passing Carmelo Anthony, but not as good of a shooter or scorer – however, a lot more intense player on defense. One Phildelphia 76ers fan suggested a Nene for A.I. trade, but if the Nuggets could find a third team they could land Iguodala by just dealing Felton and Al Harrington.
- Odom, 6-10 230, Forward/C, LA Lakers, 32 years old
As has been mentioned here a few times over the last few weeks, but Odom would be a great replacement for Kenyon Martin at power forward. He isn’t as good as a defender, but he still is a good, long and versatile defender. He is a much better scorer, shooter, rebounder and passer. To get Odom’s services, the Nuggets could deal Felton and Harrington, but would have to take back Steve Blake. That all depends on Odom wanting to play in Denver. He loves his celebrity status in Los Angeles and is a prima donna and it would be hard to believe he’d bring his ‘A’ game to Denver.
- Boozer, 6-9 266, PF, Chicago, 30 years old
What was said about Odom could be said about Boozer. History has shown that when his mind is willing he is one of the best big man in the NBA. However, sadly, the only time when his mind is willing is when it benefits him financially. Boozer didn’t have a bad season in Chicago, 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds, but he hasn’t stepped into his role as Derrick Rose’s supporting scorer and has struggled mightily throughout the playoffs partly because of nagging toe injury. While Boozer may not be the answer in Denver, he’d be a big help especially if it meant the Nuggets would at least get something for Nene, who isn’t as skilled as Boozer on offense but is bigger and a better defender. He also is a good pick and roll player on offense and would fit right in at power forward for the Bulls.
Boozer would provide the Nuggets with a legit low-post scorer and rebounder to put next to Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson.
- Paul Millsap, 6-7 254, PF, Utah, 26 years old
Millsap, who was Boozer’s backup last season, just goes out there and does his job, there is nothing sexy about it. He fights for loose boards and has worked hard on improving his offensive arsenal. He has developed a solid outside jumper to go with some good post moves which has helped him score a career-high 17.3 points last season. Millsap is undersized for power forward and is the odd man out between Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors, enough so that the Jazz are talking about moving him to small forward. The Jazz do need a small forward, but would they be willing to do a sign and trade with Millsap for Chandler. While it isn’t likely, but Millsap would be a steal in the trade market. He has a cap friendly contract ($13.9 million/2 years) and will outwork everybody on the floor for the basketball.
- Ben Gordon, 6-3 200, SG, Detroit, 28 years old
If the Nuggets do let J.R. Smith walk (which they probably will), Gordon wouldn’t be a bad replacement. He is a lights out shooter and scorer and and can get hot quickly. He also has good basketball IQ and strong will to win, despite being an undersized shooting guard (6-2). However, due to his size he is a defensive liability. He also is overpaid ($37.2 million/3 years). So this is not likely.
- J.J. Redick, 6-4 190, SG, Orlando, 27 years old
Redick is similar to Gordon with size and being a good shooter, but Redick works better off the ball (unlike Gordon who likes the ball in his hands). He can curl off picks for open jump shots and he never misses from the free throw line. Redick isn’t a great defender due to his athleticism, but his will on that side of the ball has greatly improved. Redick also has a cap friendly salary ($12.5 million/2 years) and misses 23 games so his value isn’t as high as it was last season when teams like Chicago and Boston were battling for his services.
- Rip Hamilton, 6-7 193, SG, Detroit, 33 years old
You might have to go back a few years to find the true Richard Hamilton (if he is still there) because everything about Hamilton says he has a bad attitude, over paid ($25.3/2 years) and past his prime. However, if you remember his game – he was great curling off of picks and one of the toughest guys to defend off the ball. He is deadly from midrange and developed a reliable three-point shot. He struggles defending bigger players and is better against opposing teams point guards. The question I had about his game as it declines (as I wonder with most vets) can he be reliable off the bench? In the 16 games he came off the bench, Rip averaged 13.2 points on .42 percent shooting. For salaries to work the Nuggets would have to trade Felton and Harrington, but Karl would be happy knowing he is replacing Arron Afflalo on the floor with a just as consistent player.
- Channing Frye, 6-11 245, PF/C, 28 years old, Phoenix
Two seasons ago the Nuggets tried to get Frye’s services. But like Grant Hill, Frye decided to return to the Steve Nash and the Suns. Frye is everything that Karl wishes Harrington was. A tall, consistent 3-point shooter who can stretch the field and open driving lanes for swingmen. Like most players that played with Nash, Frye just continues to get better. He played a career-high in minutes (33) and had a career-best in points (12.7). Frye doesn’t bring much more than shoot the ball, he did have a career-high in rebounds (6.7), but he is a weak defender and isn’t very strong in the post. But if you are 6-11 and can shoot the ball there is place on any team.
- Brandon Roy, 6-6 211, SG, 27 years old, Portland
Okay this borderline impossible, the Nuggets aren’t going to trade for Roy with his contract and his knees. But just imagine for one second, how great would Roy look playing between 20-25 minutes a game off the bench. Sure his knees don’t have joints in them and sure he is due to make max money over the next few years, but Roy is about as clutch as they come and is the perfect sixth man in the NBA. Sure, it isn’t going to happen, but it would be fun to dream about.
Tags: Al Harrington Al Jefferson Andre Iguodala Ben Gordon Boston Celtics Brandon Roy Carlos Boozer Carmelo Anthony Channing Frye Chris Bosh Dahntay Jones Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Derrick Favors Derrick Rose George Karl Grant Hill J.J. Redick J.R. Smith Jason Terry JR Smith Kenyon Martin Lamar Odom Los Angeles Lakers Nene Paul Millsap Philadelphia 76ers Raymond Felton Richard Hamilton Rip Hamilton Scottie Pippen Steve Blake Steve Nash Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler