What? A front office shakeup at this time you say? You're out of your bleedin' mind jpage! Bollocks to you and your optimism you quack! Be gone with your music and your ravishing good looks and your quick wit.....where was I going with this?
Right. I understand that people may think that a front office change of management at this critical juncture may be a fools errand. Yet after much thought today, saying goodbye to the troika management team (Chapman, Warkentein, and Stan's right hand man Bearup) can only benefit the Nuggets.
Lets start off with some music...I hopped in the "Way back" machine for this one
Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party (full original video) (via BlueJeanMad)
This management team has been marked by one BRILLIANT trade, a couple of salary dumps, several shaky moves, and the gimmick trade of December 2006. Moreover, while Mark Warkentien won the Executive of the Year for the Chauncey trade in '08....his trades and deal making in Denver has been rather spotty. Lets look at each man and analyze their respective production through what we know.
Our erstwhile Executive of the year. Architect of the Jailblazers. While he MUST be commended for essentially waiting out a desperate Joe Dumars in 2008 for Chauncey (considering Dumars really wanted Melo and not Iverson) we also must take a look at some rather sketchy deals he was a mover and shaker on. He acquired JR Smith from the Bulls in 2006 for essentially nothing. Depending on your point of view this has either been a good move or a regrettable one. 2008 dumping Camby to the Clippers for a pile of dirt and some lawn clippings. Yes, it freed up a trade exception, but it left a gaping hole at center....and while Camby's value has been overstated, it must be said that losing a defensive center in the starting lineup has hurt the Nuggets very much.
The same year he allowed Karl to veto a trade with the Knicks that would have sent David Lee to us for what amounted to Linas Kleiza. While we understand George Karls value to this team, it cannot be understated that this was an enormous blunder considering what has happened since (LK in Europe, Lee coming in to his own in NY) He also orchestrated most of the deals in the 09 offseason including bringing AAA in (yay) and shipping off Stephen Hunter then acquiring Malik "tacos" Allen (boo!)
EDIT: I forgot to mention the Lawson draft. It was a thing of beauty....until you realize it left us without a pick for this years draft. So while picking up Lawson was great, it again left us out of the draft.
Former basketball player. Focuses on character with one HUGE exception. In 2006 Carmelo Anthony was suspended for 15 games. Something that would be death to the team for that season, and a desperate Nuggets front office pulled a trigger on a trade that changed the course of the Nuggets for the forseeable future. While I enjoyed watching AI play, it must be said that his "influence" on the younger players (Melo and JR) was unfortunate. A deal that the desperate front office needed to put fanny's in the seats turned into a confusing nightmare with egos and uninspired play. Why do I include Chapman in this? He was the main "mover and shaker" behind this deal, it's biggest advocate, and it's most public supporter. For some reason Rex has skated on this. He also was a primary cog in the wheel when it came to signing Birdman last offseason. While I agree that signing Bird was essential, we must admit that the Nuggets FO bid against themselves and overpaid slightly for his services. Considering his age, a much more sensible contract would have been more prudent. It was essential to sign Bird, and I'm hoping he turns things around this next season. Lets be real though Bird is the same exact age as me (older than me by a week) and I feel old without having played basketball seriously for 13 years...I can't imagine how Bird must feel. Also, Chapman was the primary voice behind the "lets stand pat" issue the Nuggets had last offseason. Convinced that Nene would get better, no real effort was made to sign any other big man. Chapmans recent statement declaring "if we would have known that there would be injuries we would have made a more concerted effort in finding a big man (last off season)" this one quote shows me, and many other people how out of touch Chapman is.
Stan's right hand man. He's there if for no other reason than to make sure Stan's wishes are carried out. Primarily, the tightening of the reigns on spending that occurred at the end of 08 when Kroenke decided he didn't want to pay over the luxury tax line anymore for an underachieving team. I met the man briefly at a charity event last year. Seemed like a decent fellow. To what extent Stan wishes to "save money" is not known. When Josh Kroenke takes over we shall see how free he is with the money. I believe that regardless, Bearup will still be in the Nuggets organization.
What does this all mean? Earlier this week, Sandy Clough was speaking about the confusion in the Nuggets front office. About how paralyzed the FO is and the Draft this last week was a laughable and pitiable event where the Nuggets supposedly tried and failed to enter the second round and couldn't. This doesn't bode well for the troika. My feeling is that both Chapman and Warkentein will be out the door very soon, and ONE general manager will be hired to take their place. Why is this a good thing? Too many voices in one room is good on one hand, bad on the other. Good in that you get all opinions, bad in that you have TOO many opinions. Right now, with the Nuggets seemingly paralyzed and inactive, the time is right for ONE vision. I'm looking forward to whomever it is. Wark and Chap have worn out their welcome....time for a new voice.
And yes....I'm optimistic about this.