George Karl was never a fan of JR Smith and so you could hear a collective sigh coming from the Pepsi Center when the Denver Nuggets acquired Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer from the Dallas Mavericks.
Karl weighed in on the trade Wednesday afternoon when he talked to Mike and Scott on 104.3 The Fan.
He compared Fernandez to Smith, but also added a slight dig by adding, ‘Rudy Fernandez, we think is going to be a JR Smith with more sanity.’
Karl also talked highly of Brewer and said that the Nuggets coaching staff thought that Brewer (when he was with Minnesota) was the fastest player running the court in the NBA.
The Nuggets coach was adamant that a team doesn’t need a superstar to win a championship. He stated that the Nuggets aren’t that far behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, who as Karl put it are ‘the darlings of the NBA.’
“Everybody is in love with Oklahoma City, no one is in love with the Denver Nuggets and I guarantee you that if you don’t put a scoreboard on the video you wouldn’t be able to pick who won the game (referring to last season’s playoffs),” Karl said.
The two players that Karl felt the Nuggets are not going to be able to replace were Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler. Karl said the Nuggets are going to miss ‘Martin’s grit and toughness’, but he also believed the Nuggets could get Chandler back later this season.
Mike Evans did put George Karl on the spot about Arron Afflalo, and Karl didn’t sound sure if the fourth-year player would return or even comfortable answering the question.
“My heart is to have Arron Afflalo on my team,” Karl said. “I was amazed over the last two years of what Arron has meant to this team. How he has grown, and how he is becoming a leader for this team. As much as I think Nene is our most talented and skilled player…Arron has become somewhat our leader on the court.
“I think it is important (to bring him back).”
Al Harrington In Shape
Reports out of the Nuggets training camp is Al Harrington is in much better shape than he was last season. Harrington seemed like a player on the outs going into the Nuggets training camp, but with a better attitude and shape Harrington could help the Nuggets. He averaged 10.5 points last season, but really fell out of the rotation after the Carmelo Anthony-trade and in the playoffs. The only playoff game he was at least productive in was Game 2 when he scored 15 points in 25 minutes.
“I think Al is healthier, and I think he really toned his body,” Karl said. “We need a shooting 4. Al, I thought, did a really good job for us last year.”
Nuggets Talked to Earl Clark
It seems Denver is still trying to add more depth. According to numerous sources, the Nuggets had a pretty serious talk with Clark on Tuesday, but he resigned with the Orlando Magic on Wedensday.
Smith Tweeting Rant
Smith was pretty Twitter happy Wednesday night, talking about wanting to play with the Los Angeles Clippers, who just acquired his good friend Chris Paul. He also tweeted that he even thought about playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He responded to one fan, who tweeted him to play in New York for $2.5 million, ‘Made more in china this year.’
But here is the tweet that started the rant,
On some real I don’t care where I end up I just want to play for an organization that wants me an that’s happy i can help the team!
Needless to say, he probably was talking about the Nuggets.
Topics: Al Harrington, Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer, Denver Nuggets, Earl Clark, George Karl, J.R. Smith, JR Smith, Kenyon Martin, Los Angeles Clippers, Nene, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rudy Fernandez, Timofey Mozgov, Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler