By now you may have heard about the 4-team blockbuster trade in which the Denver Nuggets decided to help out Western Conference competitors, the Los Angeles Lakers, acquire Dwight Howard, but in the end Denver moved Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington for Andre Iguodala.
Let me be the first to say Big Al has plenty of room left in the tank, yes he’s injury prone, but he worked his ass off last year and he was Denver’s 6th man for much of the year. When Denver was riddled with injuries, Harrington put his heart on the floor each and every night, he played with a torn meniscus for goodness sake. He became Denver’s scapegoat, a convenient whipping boy by many of Denver’s fans in which he was Denver’s leading scorer many times over last season.
Al Harrington was a locker room guy, a solidified leader and possible heart of the Denver Nuggets during the condensed NBA season, but has went through numerous surgeries and a staph infection during the off-season. Basically, Harrington’s health and the fact he may not be ready for training camp was a decisive factor for Denver. While Al Harrington is one of the sweetest NBA players I have ever had the pleasure to meet, personality and charm doesn’t make Denver better.
Now we come to Arron Afflalo, aside from his mediocre season last year, he improved every year he was in Denver. That’s a fact. However, while Afflalo brought instant offense, his three-ball declined last season. He did average over 15 points per game over the entire season, and showed vast improvement in the later parts of the season. However, Denver is giving up the less than 3 points per game from Afflalo and improving their defense.
Per ESPN Stats and info, Arron Afflalo ranked 113th out of 113 players defending 500+ plays, while Iggy placed 13th. Iguodala is known all around the NBA-verse as arguably, the greatest perimeter defender. He’s THAAATTTT good.
Andre Iguodala, make no mistake about it, is a huge upgrade for Denver, he’s more athletic, defensive-minded, has a well-rounded skill set. Oh, and he’s kinda in the Olympics now.
While many are touting this trade to be average for Denver, they aren’t looking at the whole picture. Besides being an instant upgrade, Masai has created a roster spot more than likely that will be given to Quincy Miller, a player that could be the steal of the 2012 NBA Draft. While it hasn’t shed this incredible amount of money, to be honest it all evens out, but Denver did improve. That’s what I am concentrating on, Denver is IMPROVING!
Those thinking that Denver will lose wins, the fine folks over at Wages For Wins have something to show you:
The graph is self-explanatory, but before this trade Denver would have 41.6 wins, but because Al Harrington has a negative impact on wins produced and Denver unloaded him and in the process gained All-Star Andre Iguodala, Denver sits at over 52 wins produced for the season, which is the clear winner of the trade at a gain of 10.9 wins.
Another important factor is age:
Los Angeles actually became younger, but still sit at 31.6 years old on the average, while Denver actually added a 1.5 in their average age range. Denver just became more situated, athletic, and improved.
Something else I want to discuss…..
Some are still pissing and moaning about Denver being starless — earth to fans, Denver isn’t Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Boston — it’s not happening at the moment. Also, they have a problem with Denver making L.A. better. Here’s my thoughts: I keep up on the ever-changing landscape of the NBA, rumors included in this. By all accounts, Dwight was headed to L.A. in the next few weeks anyways, Denver just got themselves in the action and made themselves better.
What Denver fans need to worry about is the fact OKC — in my eyes — are the better team, not by much, but they are still better than Los Angeles. Worry about OKC before Los Angeles, but this is what your starting five is going to look like Denver fans:
Be prepared for a season full of dunks!
The Denver Dunk-ets