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Trade aftermath thoughts


February 23rd, 2002 by aswitzer

Thanks to everyone who’s sent feedback on the trade, including Papabobb who sent info on the new Nuggets from Dallas. To Raef, Avery, Tariq, and Nick – good luck in Dallas. Raef, and Avery – you will be missed! Nick – thanks for giving up on us. Don’t you remember we were 40-42 last year, and getting better?

Most people I’ve talked with think the trade sucks. It does, but I guess Kiki had to do something drastic to get us out of the whole that Issel put us in.

I’d like to not blame everything on Issel, because I like the man and I don’t think you can argue with the fact that he wanted the best for the Nuggets. He did make more than one poor choice though. Signing Cory Alexander, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, and Nick Van Exel to large, long term contracts did not help the growth of the Nuggets in any of the three trades. Nick was his best decision for awhile, but eventually that science experiment went awry in the worst kind of way, indirectly causing us to lose Raef LaFrentz.

I’ve been poring over the comments on the trade, from ESPN, to the local Denver writers, to other fan sites out there. People are going so far to say that the Nuggets have not had a winning season in 10 years – not true – we took Utah to a 7th game in in 1994 and lost in the first round the following year to San Antonio. Yes, that was still a long time ago, but we did have a few good years that have kept fans like me hanging on. People are also saying that Antonio can’t stay healthy. Before this year, he had actually been very healthy, but a cracked kneecap late in the season last year turned out to be worse than expected. Let’s give him a chance to come back health in March and see what he can do then. The greater concern is how to keep our one remaining franchise player happy so that he doesn’t opt out of his contract at the end of next year, or worse yet, demand a trade mid-season next year like Nick did.

I am looking forward to March 3rd, as a homecoming of sorts. It’s a Nuggets home game against Dallas, and I’ll be there to welcome back our recently traded players. I miss Raef and Avery, and I think we will really miss them the rest of this season when it comes to winning any games.

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9 Responses to “Trade aftermath thoughts”

  1. Wavatar Joe Manzanares Says:

    I am not upset at all about the trade. If you think there is anyway we can salvage a season, it has to be to disgard the garbage and start fresh. Antonio is coming back and will have the rest of the season to get his legs back for next year. The players we received in the trade with Dallas are not necessarily the players who will be here when the Nuggets are back in the playoffs. This is a way for the Nuggets to get out from under the huge road block Dan Issle put in front of us by giving away all the long term contracts to basketball stiffs.We stii were in the middle of healing from the mortal wounds Bernie Bickerstaff put on us during his tenure.

    We at least have a chance to fix what has been broken for the last eight years. If anyone thinks it was going to get better with what we had, you are just letting your fan emotions get the best of you. We needed a change and I for one am glad Kiki had the guts to do the job he was hired for.

    I say this after being a fan since my first basketball game watching Julies Key, Ralph Simpson and Byron Beck and the boys playing in front of 2,400 fans in the Denver Coliseum. If you have to ask when was that, you don’t really know Nuggets basketball.

  2. Wavatar aswitzer Says:

    Joe, thanks for your great comments. I don’t totally agree though. I keep thinking what if, and I don’t think we were as far off as some people think. Yes, we had some huge contracts left over from the Issel era – especially Tariq’s, but if Antonio hadn’t missed most of the season due to injury, and Nick hadn’t lost his patience, where would we be? We finished 40-42 last season, and I would argue that both Raef and James Posey are better players than last year. I think we still needed a new coach, but I think we could have easily had a 6-8 game improvement this year instead of a 12 game slide compared to last year. That would have put us in the hunt for the 8th playoff spot. A lot of what ifs, but possible.

    So, while I still agree it was a necessary move – things still could have turned out a lot differently this year, with the current team – including those guys now in Dallas.

  3. Wavatar Ben carr Says:

    I think the trade kiki made will help in the long run for the nuggets because they can land some free agents to help the team. I think the nuggets will be better next year then they were this year because the’ll have a healthy Mcdyess.

  4. Wavatar Allen Says:

    It didn`t take long for me to change my mind about the trade. I see now that it was for the best. Now if we don`t lose sight of the goal (the NBA championship)and start handing out large, long-term contracts to average (or below avg) players we might prosper. I still think Kiki should go after Rider again, at least he wanted to play more, not less!

  5. Wavatar Jeremy May Says:

    Hey Alan! Small world!! I’m one of Amy’s friends and I check your Vanuatu website for their news updates. Anyway, I just stumbled across this page while surfing Yahoo for some old Nuggets stats.

    We have quite the debate going on this trade, and I take the position that Kiki is having to deal with mistakes not only made by Issel, but by Bernie Bickerstaff as well. I think Bernie is the man who really sent this franchise into a spiral back in the mid 90’s, and then Issel threw as much $$ at the problem in an effort to find a quick solution (ie. Cory Alexander, Nick Van Exit, and Tariq, as you have mentioned). Just unloading Nick and Tariq Wahad has to be a step in the right direction. I never liked Nick…I just didn’t buy his act from day one and I kept telling my friends he would turn into a major headache. And Tariq? I wasn’t too thrilled by his "I just play for the money" comment and the fact he was one handsomely paid bench player. But losing Raef and Avery probably won’t help anything either.

    I’m sure some of the logic was that the Nugs weren’t going to sign Raef anyway, and looking back in the Nugs history with Mutombo and Dice, that pessimistic approach seems consistent with bad roster moves of the past.

    Then there’s the talk that the Nugs hope they can use Dice as bait to lure Kidd to Denver in 2003. I’d have to say its more likely that Kidd lures Dice to the Nets. It seems that the Nuggets are slowly taking the "NBA Black Hole" tag from the Clippers and unless they make some significant moves to keep Dice happy. Players don’t want to come here, and Kiki needs to do something to change that image.

    I don’t think its as far off as some people think though. It seems that people in Denver really want to embrace this franchise again, but there just isn’t the incentive right now. This is the same town that still ranks near the top of MLB attendance after all of the Rockies moves the last half decade. Kiki has a window of opportunity, but if he makes some mistakes, the Nugs might permanently replace the Clippers as far as negative image.

  6. Wavatar Joe Manzanares Says:

    I would agree with you on the point, that the Nuggets were not that far from being an eighth spot team. Eighth is not what I, or the rest of the loyal Nuggets fans are looking for. We want to build a team that can win it all, and if the vision of that is not what is coming from the top down in the Nuggets organization, then we have a real problem. I do think they are looking at the big picture. Please make the moves, take the time, just do as Al Davis once said. "Just win baby!"

  7. Wavatar NimaBB Germany Says:

    Kiki cant attract Allstars to come to Denver. Who wants to play in a lottery team? They had to get Wang ZHI ZHI involved in this trade. Who is now going to play Center. Williams?! Nuggets management are always known for making bad deals for the franchise Bernie B was even the worst. Howard will make big impact but isnt he the same player type as Dice? It seems that it takes less 2 more years to see our nugs back in the Playoffs!
    P.S: I would love to see L.Ellis back in our Denver jersey.

  8. Wavatar aswitzer Says:

    Thanks to all for the great comments on the big trade with Dallas.

    Jeremy – it is a small world. You are right on with your comments, and I’m sorry you had to be right about Nick also. If Kiki can manage to keep McDyess happy, he may have a shot at turning this thing around. McDyess does have a legit shot at enticing Kidd, if he still believes in the Nuggets. Who would choose living in NJ over Colorado? Hey, I’ve lived in both states and that’s an easy one! Kiki did some subtle things right with the trade by discussing it with Antonio both before and after, something Issel did not do with trades like Keon Clark. That kind of approach helps Antonio realize what he truly means to the future of this franchise. But, if Antonio doesn’t want to stay with the Nuggets, we definitely are looking at replacing the Clippers as bottom dwellers for the next few years, as another fan commented. The only bright side is that the Clippers have finally shown that you can rise out of that rut with new young talent thru LOTS of draft picks.

    To Joe, I would mention that 8th place in the West is still a pretty darn good team these days, and I would also mention that the 8th seed did land us one game away from the Conference finals, but I think I need to let that 8 year old memory go and focus on the here and now. Let’s hope Kiki burns the midnight oil and scours some talent out of this summers draft. A little luck with the ping-pong balls might help us land Jason Williams too, my #1 pick for our dire point guard needs.

  9. Wavatar Jeremy May Says:

    Concerning the Nugs and draft picks, their recent history with their picks makes me a bit wary. They’ve traded away a good chunk of them or turned them into Tony Battie, Mamadou N’diaye, or Ousmanne Cisse. Raef was a decent pick, but they could have done better (maybe Nowitski, Pierce, Jamison, or most notably…Vince Carter)and, well, Raef doesn’t play here anymore. Bottom line is the Nugs need to move on from all the past mistakes and making good use of their own picks is a great place to start. Another bonus going for them…the Nugs finally have a deep-pocketed owner willing to spend some cash. Their may be a light ahead.

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