The Denver Nuggets have officially used the amnesty clause on Chris Andersen, their longest tenured player, on Tuesday.
The Nuggets also reportedly signed free agent Anthony Randolph to a three-year deal worth $6 million on Tuesday.
Andersen, who just turned 34 years old, was the final player left from Denver’s squad that advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. He was also a fan favorite due to his energy on and off the floor. However, Andersen’s talent dropped off over the past few years and he was relegated to the bench down the stretch, partly due to his struggles and also to the Nuggets depth. Andersen is also the subject of a child-exploitation investigation.
The Nuggets will be stuck paying the final two years of Andersen’s contract which is worth around $9.3 million, but it also frees up a spot for Randolph.
The 23-year-old forward has greatly underachieved in the NBA. He is going into his fifth season in the NBA and has played for three different teams. He is an extremely talented athlete who has amazing skills for a 6-foot-11 player. But he is a bit of tweener, lacking the strength to play power forward and the range to play small forward. There are also questions about his drive.
Defensively, he is great at crashing the glass and blocking shots. But he is a mediocre defender overall.
Randolph spent last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who declined to offer Randolph a qualifying offer. He averaged 7.4 points in 36 games with the Timberwolves.
Ironically he was also part of the Carmelo Anthony trade. The New York Knicks dealt Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota Timberwolves and got Corey Brewer back in return. Both Brewer and Randolph now play for the Nuggets.
In New York, Randolph was also teammates with Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and Wilson Chandler.
Randolph will give the Nuggets some depth at power forward and small forward, especially with Al Harrington and Chandler dealing with injuries.