It took a few days, but it is all starting to make sense.
Sure, we all saw the blog that stated that trading Nene was the Denver Nuggets plan all along. However, that makes little sense for the Nuggets for a couple of reasons:
1) The Nuggets could have got more if they traded Nene last year after the Carmelo Anthony trade. The Houston Rockets were willing to throw the farm Denver’s way, but the Nuggets balked and instead tried to work out an extension with the big man.
2) When Denver did trade Nene, his value was at an all-time low due to his injuries and also with his $67-million contract.
3) The only thing the Nuggets got for trading Nene was JaVale McGee, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year. If he plays well he is expecting a contract around $14 million a year and if he doesn’t play well it may keep the Nuggets from making the playoffs. At the end of the day there really wasn’t a reason to trade for McGee, except to free up money.
The most logical reason the trade was made was the emergence of Kenneth Faried and to free up enough money to re-sign Wilson Chandler, who was one of the players Denver acquired in the Anthony trade. And on Sunday, the Nuggets locked up Chandler for five years at $37 million.
Chandler may be a quality player and would start for most teams, but there really isn’t a need for him in Denver. The Nuggets already have Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez playing on the wings and have talented rookie Jordan Hamilton playing behind them. So why pay a player $37 million to play in a crowded position, especially when minutes are scarce? Is Chandler really that much better than Brewer? Or Fernandez? Or even Hamilton?
But what were the Nuggets to do? Chandler wasn’t going to sign for less and if Denver didn’t get a deal done, Chandler was going to sit out this year and test his value on the free agent market this summer. The Nuggets would then lose one of the piece to the Anthony-trade for nothing. Instead, Denver locked up Chandler, which gives the Nuggets either a player to build around or another trade piece.
Chandler is only 24 (and will turn 25 in May) with a career average of 13.9 points. Combine that with his versatility and defense and no doubt a team would jump at the shot of getting Chandler. He is a solid secondary scorer, good defender and can play at least three positions. He has the potential to be a good role player for a playoff team or a good starter for a lottery team. There is a market out there for a player like Chandler, it just may not be with the Nuggets.
Tags: Arron Afflalo Carmelo Anthony Corey Brewer Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets George Karl Houston Rockets JaVale McGee Jordan Hamilton Kenneth Faried Nene New Jersey Nets New York Knicks Rudy Fernandez Toronto Raptors Wilson Chandler