Andre Iguodala trade improves the Nuggets -- and makes the Lakers even better

Categories: Sports

Andre Iguodala wiki.jpg
Andre Iguodala.
You'd think the fact that a member of America's Olympic men's basketball team was traded amid its latest gold-medal run would be a headline item rather than a footnote. But the Nuggets' acquisition of Andre Iguodala late yesterday is parenthetical in a four-team deal that sends Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. So is this good or bad news for the Nuggets? In my opinion, the former -- but that's not to discount the drawbacks.

Iguodala was rumored to come to the Nuggets once before. As we reported in 2010, the longtime 76ers star was part of a proposed three-team trade involving Carmelo Anthony. As I wrote at the time:

Iguodala's no Melo, but given the other pieces the Nuggets still command, the team would be at least competitive and potentially better than that. New GM Masai Ujiri shouldn't dismiss this idea out of hand -- especially if his alternate strategy involves wishin' and-a hopin' that Anthony learns to love Denver again.

team usa photo by andre iguodala.jpg
A photo of Team USA, including Carmelo Anthony, recently shared by Iguodala.
Clearly, the latter didn't happen -- but when Anthony finally was traded, to the New York Knicks, the Nuggets wound up with several more building blocks, including Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler (plus giant block of wood Timofey Mozgov). Adding Iguodala, a defensive stopper who can score, to a mix featuring these players, as well as emerging point guard Ty Lawson, budding superstar Kenneth Faried and athletic, frequently hilarious JaVale McGee results in a pretty formidable lineup.

Of course, this roster can't compare with the one the Lakers now have. Not only did L.A. managers add Howard, indisputably the premier center in the league, but they were able to do so without having to get rid of Pau Gasol, who may have disappeared in the playoffs last year but remains an ideal complimentary player on a squad that desperately needs one given star Kobe Bryant's allergy to a little thing called passing.

On top of that, the Nugs had to give up two fine members: Big Al Harrington, who has a better-than-decent long-distance stroke and showed loads of gumption late last year, when he essentially outplayed a lot of his teammates on one leg, and Arron Afflalo, a relative youngster with the potential of developing into an Iguodala-like player. Note that he actually had a higher scoring average than did Andre last year -- although Iggy's career stats show that he's put up a lot more points in the past than the twelve or so he put up per game in the most recent campaign.

But what Iguodala brings to the table beyond his skills is leadership, which the Nuggets desperately need. During last year's playoff run, it was obvious the Nugs were a bit amorphous, with lots of talent but nothing to hold it together. Iguodala, who's been the face and the heart of the 76ers ever since the departure of that other AI -- Allen Iverson, whose stint with the Nuggets didn't work out as well as hoped -- can deliver that and more. And he's already done at least one thing to endear himself to Denver fans, tweeting this from the Olympics last week:

Not any official Twitter reaction to the trade from Iguodala, although I think his latest tweet may qualify as an allusion:

We echo those words, even if competing against the Lakers just got that much harder.

More from our Sports archive circa September 2010: "Carmelo Anthony-Andre Iguodala trade in 3-way deal with Nuggets, NJ Nets, Philadelphia 76ers?"


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18 comments
Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

@ Lisa Hill. No one here gives a rat's tail whether YOU give a rat's tail. Dumb test.

Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

I prefer football or baseball, I could give a rats butt about basketball.

blake.kobash
blake.kobash

The best part of this deal is that more than just his killer defense, Iguodala provides the Nuggets with a much-needed capable play-making wing to go along with their shooters. At times, the Nuggets offense was incredibly stagnant, so with another facilitator on the floor besides either Andre Miller or Ty Lawson I can see them improving on both ends of the floor. Losing Afflalo hurts, but the Nuggs have enough capable wing players to fill the gaps. http://thegreatmambino.blogspot.com/2012/08/instant-trade-analysis-dwight-howard-to.html

Brandon Stephens
Brandon Stephens

The Lakers are grasping at straws...none of this matters. Dwight Howard is a overrated clown. He would have gotten punked in the 90's. The NBA doesn't have a single legitimate big time big man, so he wins by default. Nuggets helped themselves. Sorry to see Big Al go.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

HipTip -- Nobody reads Westword for mainstream franchise Sports.

 

Leave that to the Neanderthals over at the Denver Post.

Lou Farris
Lou Farris

Me Like Hockey (actually a song title)

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

From a purely basketbally perspective, this isn't that much of an upgrade for the Lakers. Talent-wise, Bynum's offensive game is better than that of Howard's, who relies on his defensive presence to dominate and couldn't make a free throw even if his life depended upon it. Howard is, by far, the most overrated athlete in the league. Still, at the end of the day, the Lakers are all about big names and big money, not to mention all the douchebag bandwagoners across the country who buy their merchandise for the "prestige," so that is why they made the deal and threw Bynum under the bus.

Dan Erickson
Dan Erickson

Anyone that helps the Lakers get better makes me mad. Don't like the Lakers, and never will as long as KB is part of that team. Go Clippers!!

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

@ Matt ..get real and get off google man, Howard is a premier big, he's only 26, kobe is still a beast..u must not be watching the Olympics

Cody Hill
Cody Hill

Welcome to the squad Iguodala!!!!

Matt Baca
Matt Baca

Dwight Howard is overrated. The Lakers still have to go through OKC, and I don't see that happening by adding a 38 year old 'energy' guard, and a big body with no outside game. These two additions are neutralized by Kobe's crippling phobia of passing the ball, and in reality, only really matters for maybe another season or two. Nash is likely to retire after a year or so, and Kobe has 1587 NBA games, and he's played on 4 Olympic teams. That's a lot of basketball. He's already been to Germany once to have work done on his knees, how many more of those trips does he have in him? And then what's left in LA?

Glenn Castillo
Glenn Castillo

The Lakers were going to get Howard somehow anyway. The Nuggets were smart to get in on the deal and try to get better as well.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay FYI, this was Friday's most viewed post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Donkey.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @michael.roberts Bread and Circus.

 

Race to the bottom of the barrel ... there'll be a prize waiting for you.

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