Grading the WRex Era

In the ESPN/Entertainment Tonight world of Bennifer, Tom-Kat and Brangenlina... I bring you a "fairly" objective grading of the WRex era here in Denver.

The WRex era started on September 7, 2006; from that point I graded each step of relevance.

In short, WRex graded out as a C+... maybe a B-. They did some things well; they lacked in others. Regarding the "Bottom-line Stan" element a couple of thoughts... In every sport there are teams that overspend and don't succeed (Redskins, Knicks, Mets) and teams that are fiscally smart and excel (Patriots, Spurs, A's). Trying to play the "Stan won't let us spend" card is an excuse. How did they work around it is in question.

Disclaimer... the information is relatively accurate (based on online information)... any errors really won't greatly effect the overall score... or so I think.

Year Action Grade Comment
2006 Traded for JR Smith A  Delivering the same as Day 1; hasnt grown up
2006 Acquired Joe Smith B- No impact other than inclusion in AI deal
2006 Trade for S. Hunter & B. Jones D Gave up Reggie Evans for players who played no role
2006 Traded for AI A  Looked better on paper than on the court.
2007 Traded for Steven Blake B Gave up Boykins & Hodge
2007 Signed Anthony Carter A- Good role player
2007 Acquired Von Wafer C No impact
2007 Signed Atkins as FA D Chose not to re-sign Blake
2009 Traded Atkins for Petro/TE D Gave up a 1st rd pick to unload Atkins
2008 Acquired Sonny Weems C No impact
2008 Did not re-sign Najera D Lost good role player
2008 Acquired Juwan Howard C B for signing him, a D for cost cutting him
2008 Traded Camby C- Took back TE that expired
2008 Traded for Billups A All star acquisition
2008 Bought out McDyess D Needed to keep the big more than save money
2008 Signed Dahntay B Good role player
2008 Traded for Balkman C No impact
2008 Re-signed Birdman A Good role player
2009 Acquired Jason Hart C No impact
2009 Traded Cheikh Samb C No impact
2009 Drafted Lawson A- Good acquistion; jury still out just how good
2009 Stephen Hunter Trade F Gave up 2 pieces; took back a TE that will expire
2009 Did not re-sign Kleiza D Lost good role player
2009 Did not re-sign Dahntay D Lost good role player
2009 Traded for James White C No impact, traded off as part of AAA
2009 Traded for AAA A- Good role player acquisition
2009 Trade for Malik Allen D No impact
2009 Signed Joey Graham B- No impact
2010 Signed Butch C No impact
2010 Signed Karl C No impact
2010 Signed Harrington B Good acquistion
2010 Signed Shelden Williams C No discernable upgrade over Petro/Tacos

I admit I did overgrade Laywson & AAA a little bit. They've proven to be valuable contributors but neither have proven they are long term legit NBA starters... so I gave the benefit of the doubt and gave them an A-.

To be frank, giving an A for Iverson is a reach. AI went to 2 all-star games but the team was worse with him than when they had Andre Miller. And they gave up a lot for AI.

The WRex apologists keep saying trading Camby was necessary for getting Billups. This is just flatly wrong and is convenient revisionist history. Bird signed a minimum contract; they could have easily gotten something back for Camby. Not doing so was just being cheap and it ultimately hurt the team's chances for a title in '08/09... think small, deliver small.

Full Disclosure... I graded Kiki's time in Denver as a C to C+. He accomplished more the WRex but he had more to work with. Most of the key Nug players are Kiki's work (Melo, Camby, Nene, KMart)... but Kiki also would've drafted Darko over Melo if he had the chance!

What do you think?

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