With free agents Arron Afflalo and Nene in limbo, the Denver Nuggets made a minor trade to upgrade their squad.
The Nuggets will send a future second round draft choice to the Dallas Mavericks for shooting guard Rudy Fernandez and shooting guard/small forward Corey Brewer.
For the Nuggets it was a low-risk/high-reward trade, and for the Mavericks a chance to free up cap space so they can be a player in the 2012 free agency and make a move to land Deron Williams.
There is talk that Fernandez will seek a buyout to return to Spain, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Despite adding Fernandez and Brewer there is still a strong possibility that the Nuggets will resign Afflal0. According to the Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman the Nuggets and Afflalo are still trying to work out a deal. Afflalo is too important to the Nuggets to let him walk. He brings great intangibles, which starts with his leadership and work ethic.
Denver gave up little to add two young players and adds some much needed depth. What’s ironic about the deal is that the Nuggets were involved in trades with both Fernandez and Brewer last season.
Brewer was an asset in the Carmelo Anthony trade and was rumored to go to Denver before being sent to the New York and then being waived by the Knicks.
Fernandez was dealt to Dallas in a three-way trade where the Nuggets got Jordan Hamilton and Andre Miller from Portland. Miller and Fernandez, who played together in Portland last season, will be two of Denver’s top reserves.
WHAT THEY BRING
Fernandez, if he stays in Denver, will be penciled in as the Nuggets backup shooting guard. There isn’t a guarantee how many minutes he will get and there is a good possibility that he will play small forward while Miller and Ty Lawson are on the floor together.
The 26-year-old out of Spain has made a living during his first three seasons as the Portland Trailblazers sixth man. He provides spark off the bench and gives Denver a sharpshooter they can turn too, much like the Nuggets did with JR Smith. Fernandez isn’t as electric as Smith, but is a better defender and ballhandler. Like Smith, he does have some baggage and tends to whine and there are reports that he isn’t a great teammate. He plays little more under control but still jacks up shots often.
With a rather slimier frame, Fernandez (6-foot-6, 185 pounds) is better on the defense side of the ball where he can defend point guards. He will probably see more time on the floor with Miller, who has the bulk to defend shooting guards.
Fernandez is in his final year of his rookie contract, which could motivate him to play better – if he wants to stay in the NBA instead of going back to Spain.
Brewer was a valuable member of the Florida Gators team that won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and due to that he was selected with the seventh pick in 2007 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Due to Minnesota’s revolving door at head coach, Brewer never found a role. He played for three coaches in four years in Minnesota.
At 6-foot-9, 188 pounds the 25-year-old shooting guard has incredible length, which makes him so valuable on defense. His best year was the 2009-10 season when he played all 82 games and averaged a career-best 13 points.
Brewer’s best shot of seeing the floor is backing up Danilo Gallinari at small forward, but if Afflalo does leave Brewer would likely get the start for the ever-changing Nuggets.
Brewer’s length and quick hands makes him a tremendous force on defense, but on offense he is much better in transition where he can take advantage of his athleticism and size. He struggles in the halfcourt offense, he isn’t a good enough shooter and doesn’t offer anything close to a refined game to help his teammates.
There are reports that he is a strong locker-room guy, who is full of energy and tries to bring a positive attitude to the team. He is due to make a little more than $3 million this season is under contract for next season for nearly $3.5 million.
One player that loses out with this trade is the Nuggets rookie Hamilton, who can play both shooting guard and small forward. It wasn’t likely that he would see time on the floor due to George Karl’s hatred for playing rookies. But hopefully the added competition will motivate Hamilton to work harder in practice and bring a positive energy to the Nuggets.
Topics: Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer, Dallas Mavericks, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets, Deron Williams, George Karl, J.R. Smith, Jordan Hamilton, JR Smith, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nene, New York Knicks, Portland Trailblazers, Raymond Felton, Rudy Fernandez, Ty Lawson