I'm no GM, but I wanted to evaluate these trade candidates and judge whether they should be traded or not. We all have different views on who is should be traded and who shouldn't, but opinions are opinions, so here are they:
I am really befuddled why some people are wanting Afflalo, of all people, to be traded. Hasn't anyone understood that he was RUSTY in the first part of the season? That did not stop him from playing hard. As a result, he slowly regained his rhythm and as a result, he had at this point the best month of his career, when he scored almost 20 ppg in April. In that month, he showed to us why he's worth $43M. But he struggled big time in the playoffs, missing numerous open 3s, which I think is the reason why some Nuggets fans wanna trade him. It was very obvious that Triple-A's legs were tired on chasing Kobe Bryant in that series which drastically affected his shot but Triple-A is still learning how to become a two-way threat. When he gets it going offensively, he's (at least) mediocre on defense; When he gets locked-in defensively, he is M.I.A. on offense. With exceptions to superstars, two-way players are hard to come by and that's a fact. When you want to do more on offense, you usually don't have the energy to guard on defense. If you want to have a good defensive night, you might have to sacrifice a lot of energy for your offense. Afflalo did have one good night in the playoffs, which is game 5, where he scored 19 points despite taking 19 shots. But the good thing about Afflalo is he's a tireless worker. Despite a compressed season with little practice time, Afflalo still managed to put up great numbers. Now that next season will be back to normal, expect Afflalo to become the guy not worthy to be traded.
I know the guy is pretty damn good. He can shoot, he can rebound, and he is a warrior - that's what I know great about Big Al. But one thing that really don't like about Al is that he has virtually NO Post-up game. Some opposing forwards can read him shooting 3s or just drive to the rim, which is a good thing for Al since whoever is guarding him may be thinking too much on whether to close out or not but Big Al is not THAT consistent anymore. To be honest, I love his 20-to-30-point nights but he usually does those things against weak competition. Take that 29-point performance versus The Wolves for example where he has to make A LOT of shots (a ridiculous 29 attempts). Al is a great shooter, but I've rarely seen him make those shots people call "Daggers". I'm a bit harsh on Big Al, but that's the sad truth. On the defensive end, his lack of footspeed is just painful to watch. Remember that OKC game when KD feasted us for 51 points? In regulation, we were winning the game, leading by 2 points..... Until Durant JUST blew by Al to dunk it. To many it was a big play by KD, but to me it is a horrible defensive mistake by Al to guard Kevin Durant (Ugh!Why not just put Corey Brewer on him?). I think that is the microcosm of how Al's defense has been in last season. Another knock on Al is that he is George Karl's center in his crunch-time smallball lineup. I know many are irate on that lone tactic of coach Karl, but I think the main reason why that tactic "sucks" is because of Harrington. As I mentioned before, Al can rebound the ball and there will be some nights where he'll notch a double-double, but he has a big body behind him to secure the rebound. But in smallball, he's the biggest guy to get the rock while relying on guys like Lawson, Miller, Afflalo, Gallinari to help him secure the rebound. You know what I'm pointing out? Al Harrington just can't play out of his position - he will never be a center. Guys like DeAndre Jordan, Pau Gasol, Marcin Gortat, etc. will feast on the "tweener" frame of his. I know this is not Al's fault that he's playing center but I can't even shout at Mr. Ujiri to fire Karl since they thought George Karl can win us a title (which I'm half-confident that will happen). But nevertheless, something has to give. With JaVale McGee on the verge of re-signing, he will give Karl the true, perfect, "anti-smallball" center many Karl haters have been wanting to get. Another reason why I thought Al shouldn't be a Nugget anymore is because of the Miller returning. 'Dre just signed a new contract and he SHOULD be the co-leader (with Ty Lawson) and the Locker room guy that Al was being like. Andre got used to his new role and I'm confident that Andre will be reaching our expectations next season.
These two guys remain a mystery to me. Kosta Koufos is a polished center (and athletic) who finally showed us what he should have done when he was in Utah and Minnesota. If given the right (consistent) playing time and trust, he would put up those solid 6-10 or 10-11 nights. Though he's a bit slow, he can keep up with the up-tempo offense. The glaring weakness of K2 was shown in HD in the playoffs against the Lakers. Kosta can defend, that's for sure', but the way he EASILY gets bullied by Bynum is just plain worrisome. Add to the fact that he's foul-prone, and he's a senseful choice to be sent out.
But there's Timofey Mozgov,the guy Ujiri used to plead the Knicks to include in the Melo-trade. Before evaluating Mozgov's Nugget value, let me show Colin Neilson's article about Timo's massive disappointment. At this point, Mozgov is obviously a Stiff and he's a tradable stiff. I've heard (or read) his name numerous times from wannabe GMs who wanted to get Dwight Howard. After that 12-point-13-rebound game perfomance against the Miami Heat, things were starting to sprain for Moz (literally). If it wasn't for that NBA record for the most consecutive games of spraining your ankle (3 straight games. Son of a...), Mozgov wouldn't have been limited to just a "Bynum-stopper and a 1-to-3-rebounds-in 10-plus-mintues guy".
Let's us summarize these two. Koufos is offensively polished but needs more muscle to not be pushed around defensively. Good thing we have Steve Hess to solve that problem. Mozgov, on the other hand, is a great paint defender but just needs to stop being lost and fumble the ball. The question remains, would you rather beef up someone who is polished or develop a beefed up guy who has seriously failed expectations? You'll be the judge.
When healthy and not rusty (after playing from China), Wilson can put up 20 points or sometimes 30. There will also be some nights where he will score 2 on 1-14 shooting, or 3 on 0-7 shooting. I know Wilson's disappearing act is alarming, but he's still has a scorer's potential. When Chandler was signed with the Nuggets last season, he said that he wanted to add some depth to the roster but the sad truth is that you can't reach your potential if you have Gallinari getting the starter's minutes and have Corey Brewer and Jordan Hamilton do your things at a cheaper price. I think the "trade Gallinari" topic is so nonsense; some fans wanted him to be traded just because he can't shoot well anymore despite the fact that he didn't have a healthy season. But Wilson' defense is just top-notch. Many people don't see it, but Wilson's toughness and versatility are the factors why he has such a high trade value. Just ask Josh Smith and the Spurs. To me, Chandler may tend to disappear in games but his defensive contributions remain (consistently) present. If you could remember the 2011 playoffs, Kevin Durant took the toughest shots when Wilson was guarding him, but it was only for short stretches. And since Wilson is a versatile player, I think he can play power forward if he can just change how he plays.
Whether the Birdman is guilty or not about that Internet Child Pornography thing, it was made clear that the Birdman era in Denver is drawing to a close. It's really sad for Chris and for us to see his Nugget career end this way but let's face it - for the first time since I don't know when, Denver is deep on centers, not to mention that they are all seven-footers. Besides, Chris has regressed ever since he got used to the "Birdman" moniker; he seems to block-hunt too much which results to mistimed jumps and silly fouls - which explains why his current contract is labeled "bad". If Ujiri doesn't amnesty Bird, then just send him away for cash or just nothing (trade exception) ,otherwise, this will officially be Ujiri's first blemish in his clean GM record by letting Bird earn cash while being on the tail-end of the bench and being on trial.
My take on who should be traded: Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, and Chris Andersen