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Nuggets Trade-Deadline Deal


February 24th, 2006 by aswitzer

Sorry, no blockbuster deal this year Nuggets fans.

The 2005-2006 trade deadline is now behind us, and the Nuggets replaced 3 minor pieces with what they hope are upgrades. You’ll remember that the Nuggets traded on the deadline day last year for Eduardo Najera and Luis Flores, sending Rodney White and Nikoloz Tskitishvili to Golden State. A year later, Najera is a steady contributor on the court as a high-energy, defensive forward who’s become a fan favorite. A minor trade, but one that upgraded the line-up without giving up much. This year’s deal is much like that one, and if it sparks anything half as good as the historic run we had after last year’s All-Star break (going 25-4) it will have been a good trading day.

Here’s the scoop:

Leaving:

Earl WatsonEarl Watson

His stay with the Nuggets may be remembered as “Mr. Trade Rumour”, as it followed him from the day he arrived here as the third guard, with a larger than expected contract for that position on the roster. He was touted as a more defensive minded guard, but never lived up to that billing at all. His three point shooting over the past 2 months was a nice surprise, and I would definitely say he was a key factor in a few wins, but he appears to have cooled off again as of late. He returns to Seattle, the team that drafted him in 2001.

Voshon LenardVoshon Lenard

Had not played a minute since December when he publicly asked for a trade. To his credit, he never once complained again that I know of, and had talked several times in recent months of trying to find him a trade so he could play again after working so hard to rehab from his achilles injury last season. It was frustrating to see Voshon on the bench this season because you knew he was the best outside shooter on the team, but he didn’t fit into the running game, and his lack of perimeter defense prevented him from seeing any real playing time.

Bryon RussellBryon Russell

Enjoyed having him here in Denver the past season and a half. A classy vet that had some decent games last year, but a pre-season knee injury prevented him from playing more than a few minutes this season. Wasn’t going to see much playing time here, so I hope he’s okay with being shipped off to Portland. Watching him this season, he was quite active in team huddles, so don’t be too surprised to see him try for an assistant coaching position somewhere in the next few years when he retires from the NBA.

Arriving:

Ruben PattersonRuben Patterson

Coach Karls’ self-described new “attack dog” on defense. At 30, he’s still a very capable perimeter defender. Can provide some scoring punch off the bench, especially when Melo’s taking a breather. Not the outside threat that some were hoping for. Is outspoken at times, but as a positive – could help shake up the lockerroom for a team that can’t seem to find consistent effort level this season.

Reggie EvansReggie Evans

A tenacious rebounder that should help us in one of our weak spots. Led the NBA in rebounds per minute last year, but wasn’t playing much in Seattle this year as they went with younger guys at the forward spots. Will be interesting to see how Karl uses him. Might not see a ton of minutes when the guys in front of him are healthy and playing well, but is a nice insurance policy.

Reggie EvansCharles Smith

Not sure if Mr. Smith will see much playing time at all. Might have just been in the deal to make the numbers right? I’d rather see DJ get minutes before a newcomer does anyway.

 

 

The aftermath

So, both Nene and Kenyon Martin remain Nuggets. Kenyon has already expressed today how happy he is to remain a Nugget, but know that he and Nene’s names will again pop up this offseason. I do hope that it helps Kenyon re-focus on playing well these next few months. He really had some flashes of greatness in January, and if we’ll need to see more of that come April/May to have any chance of making some noise in the playoffs.

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