The Denver Nuggets have had a busy summer to say the least and after losing Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors, the Nuggets have started to re-build their roster. Over the past couple days, Denver made two new acquisitions in adding forward J.J. Hickson and guard Randy Foye to the team. The Nuggets agreed to sign Hickson to a three year, $15 million deal according to multiple media reports. As for Foye, he was involved in a three team trade with the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz, Foye’s deal with Denver will be reportedly worth $9 million for three years. Denver will also get a a TPE in the three team trade, worth $9.1 million to use within the next year.
With the addition of Hickson, Denver now has plenty of depth in the front-court and plenty of big bodies for Coach Shaw to utilize. Last season with Portland, Hickson averaged 12.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 56% from the field and recording 40 double doubles. The Nuggets now have a ton of options in who they will start in the front-court, as Hickson could start at power forward or even center, which he did last season for Portland. Now with Hickson and Darrell Arthur, the Nuggets have two big’s who can knock down 15-18 foot jumper’s on a consistent basis. This should help improve Denver’s pick and roll offense, helping the team space the floor more next season. Teaming up Hickson with forward Kenneth Faried, could end up being a lethal combination for Denver to utilize. Both are high energy players and could wind up being one of the best rebounding duo’s in the NBA. Hickson had this to say about now being teammates with The Manimal, “He’s a great player. He’s a great power forward, he has a nonstop motor. I was told that it’s going to be a friendly competition about who is going to start, who is going to get minutes. At the end of the day it’s all about wins and losses. I think we can play together.” The last thing Hickson brings to Denver, is added toughness and the ability to score on the block. Everyone knows Denver struggled to score in the half-court last season and got nothing out of their post-up offense. Now with guys like Hickson, Arthur and even Mozgov(if he re-signs), Denver has a couple of guys who score on the block. Which should help take the pressure off Ty Lawson and even Danilo Gallinari(when he returns of course), on the offensive end.
As for Foye, he gives the Nuggets a shooter they desperately needed and another player who can help space the floor. For his career, the seven year veteran has averaged 11.5 points per game and last season with Utah he shot 41% from beyond the arc. When asked about what he thought of the Nuggets current roster, Foye said “I see youth, I see a ton of talent. I watch Ty [Lawson]; I’m a big fan of Ty. Kenneth Faried and I are from the same city, played with JaVale, I know Gallo. I just see a ton of talent and I think I can help in a lot of different ways.” The obvious thing Foye brings is his shooting ability, which should allow other plays on the Nuggets roster to get to the rim easier next season. Team’s are not gonna be able to clog the lane/paint against Denver anymore, Foye will help keep the opposing defense honest and be that three-point specialist Denver needs. However, Foye brings more to this Nuggets team then just his shooting ability and prowess. Foye’s a much better overall scorer than he gets credit for, he can handle the ball pretty well and slash to the rim on occasion. He also is a decent defender and will provide veteran leadership for a young Denver team, on and off the court. Foye’s a great character guy and presence in the locker room, more than likely he will compete with second year guard Evan Fournier for the starting spot at the two.
The Nuggets may be a less talented team today but, I think they improved in areas that they needed to this summer. I understand if Denver fans want to panic because the team lost Iguodala, Koufos and Brewer this summer but, I think Denver is a better TEAM with who they added. The Nuggets are now a less talented team for sure but, they also are a more balanced team now. Denver improved their ability to score in the half-court, shooting, ability to space the floor, rebounding, toughness and pick & roll offense with the additions they made this summer. The Nuggets surely won’t win 57 games next season but, what they sacrifice in regular season wins could lead to more success in the postseason next year. I welcome both Randy Foye and J.J. Hickson to Denver with open arms and can’t wait to see what they do on the court next season, under Coach Shaw’s guidance…don’t sleep on this Nuggets team, Denver.