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Nuggets trade Atkins for front-line help

January 8th, 2009 by aswitzer

The Nuggets finally pulled off a deal to shore up their main weakness this season – size on the front line. 

The help comes thanks to a trade a oft-injured and little used Chucky Atkins, for Oklahoma City’s Johan Petro. Petro stands 7 feet and weighs in at 255 pounds. We had to give up our first round pick next year, but get a second round pick back.

ESPN’s player profile for Johan Petro

With both Coach Karl and primary big-man Nene clamoring for help on the front-line, despite the Nuggets franchise best start after 37 games (25-12) the front office finally found a match after shopping Atkins for the better part of the last month. With Steven Hunter not likely to return any time soon, Nene was the lone true big man on the Nuggets roster at 6’11. Rail-thin Chris Andersen block shots in the paint at an athletic 6’10, but he also gets easily pushed around by most other centers in the NBA. Kenyon Martin is strong and as tough as they come, but at 6’9 he simply gave up too many inches to guard other team’s centers.

Enter the economical, but proven 4 year player Johan Petro, who will spell Nene from time to time and provide Coach Karl other options than “small ball” when Nene gets into foul trouble or simply needs rest.

Cheikh Samb, who came from Detroit at the beginning of the season from the Allen Iverson trade was too young, too inexperienced, and too raw to be the answer anytime soon. He was traded to the Clippers this past Monday to help finally put Denver under the luxury tax level. Not bad for a team that was nearly 20 million over the salary cap at the beginning of the season. All the more impressive that they shed the salary and improved the roster at the same time!

Very happy with this trade. Your thoughts?

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