I know you want more so here is even more analysis on the Billups acquisition.
The Nuggets have been rumored to be working on acquiring Jamaal Tinsley and were also listed as a team who might be interested in Stephon Marbury should he be bought out or waived. Good news. The Nuggets are now out of the Tinsley and/or Marbury business and will not be bringing in either
cancer player. I have to say the removal of the threat of bringing in one of those guys makes this trade even more appealing. In fact I wonder if the Nuggets pushed the latest resurgence of the Tinsley rumors to try to push Dumars over the edge.
Now we know what happened to Linas Kleiza’s contract extension. If Kleiza does not take another step forward the Nuggets may look to trade him after the season. Now that AI is gone and J.R. is most likely starting they need him to give them more than 11 points a game off the bench.
Speaking of J.R. Smith, he should be filled with as much additional confidence as he will be filled with additional playing time. The Nuggets are showing him that they trust him to replace Iverson’s offense. Billups is an offensive upgrade over Anthony Carter, but he will not make up for the loss of all the buckets AI used to sink. Smith is going to have to put up 20 plus points a game from here on out.
I have noted that the one aspect of this deal that gives me pause is Billups age and his contract. The Nuggets actually are in position to remake the team with some significant expiring contracts in the summer of 2011. Billups has a team option that summer that can be utilized like an expiring deal and Kenyon’s massive deal comes off the books at the same time. That is just shy of $30 million coming off the books. Of course, few fans want to hear about the summer of 2011 so let’s just focus on how the Nuggets will be better right now.
There is some concern about whether or not guys like Melo and Kenyon, who were close with AI are going to be very excited about the trade. It may take them some time to get over losing their friend, but I believe playing with Billups will help them get over their sense of loss.
I think too much is being made about how Ai helped Melo get easier shots. Teams still focused their defense on Melo. The only time I remember Iverson being doubled was the game last season against the Lakers where he had 49 after three quarters. I do not believe Melo will see much of a difference from how defenses play against him. In fact with Billups and J.R. on the perimeter the teams might be less excited to double Carmelo, especially on the wing.
More good news, at least in my opinion, is that Chucky Atkins is pretty much done as a Nugget. I am not trying to be mean, but due to injuries and now being buried on the depth chart we do not need to worry about watching a Nuggets team with Atkins as the starting point guard. That was a horrible signing.
Still nothing definitive on whether or not the Nuggets will buy out Antonio McDyess. They did waive Juwan Howard to make room for adding McDyess and Samb. I suspect by the time we wake up tomorrow morning we will know if McDyess will be suiting up for Denver or not. Personally, they will be paying him one way or another so I hope they pay him to be a Nugget.
One last thing. Thanks to all my fellow bloggers who have linked to this site today and to all of you who have taken the time to comment.