The Nuggets remained active today as they have acquired former New York Knickerbocker Renaldo Balkman and cash in exchange for Taurean Green, Bobby Jones and a 2010 second round pick. This deal is interesting in a couple of ways.
Let me start off by saying this was a very good trade for the Nuggets. Not only did they acquire the best player in the deal, they also receive the ever popular “cash considerations.”
As JLucas4092 pointed out in his FanPost, Balkman is a tremendous “replacement” for Eddie Najera. He does not have the wide posterior that Najera has and is not the shooter that Najera is, but he is the same type of energy player who will get on the floor and scrap with anyone.
He does not have the girth to D up the Tim Duncan’s of the world and is more of a small forward than a power forward, but he brings heart and hustle to a team that is in desperate need of those things. He is a good rebounder, has deceptively good ball handling abilities and moves very well on the court.
The Nuggets seem to be loading up on role players who will play from 10 to 20 minutes a game. Chucky Atkins, Anthony Carter, Sonny Weems, Dahntay Jones, Chris Andersen, Steven Hunter and now Renaldo Balkman are all limited players who you want playing limited minutes. On the other hand what I like about this group is they are all active players who are not in the league because of their offense (other than Atkins). All seven of these guys will come into the game and know they can lay it all on the line because they are only going to be on the court for a few minutes at a time.
Not only are the Nuggets more athletic and more defensive oriented, but they are more flexible. Every player on that list other than the point guards can play more than one position.
The other interesting aspect of this deal is that the Nuggets are the team adding salary. The Knicks pulled the trigger to acquire two non guaranteed contracts. The cheap thing to do if the Nuggets wanted to keep costs down would have been to pick up the measly contracts of Bobby Jones and Taurean Green. In addition to Balkman’s higher salary the Nuggets will have to bring in another player to fill the extra roster spot they just opened up. Of course those cash considerations will probably make the deal a financial wash if not a financial plus for the Nuggets, but the fact remains that they just committed themselves to paying more salary than they had to.
As far as the two players that the Nuggets are shipping out, Taurean Green was pretty disappointing in summer league. He was given every chance to shine and completely failed to do so. I have been on record as an admirer of Bobby Jones as a player who has the potential to become a nice role player. However, Balkman is already a solid role player. And what the heck, when the Knicks waive Jones what is there to keep the Nuggets from bringing him back for a third engagement?
I can understand how people were upset with the Marcus Camby trade, but with this transaction, I fail to see how anyone could find this trade to be a bad deal for the Nuggets.
Make sure you check out the superlative Knicks blog Posting and Toasting for some Knick centric blogging on the trade.