Ever since Carmelo Anthony was drafted in 2003 and Kiki Vandeweghe was fired after the loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (ugh) in 2006, the Nuggets have routinely found themselves involved in trades which shift the NBA landscape mightily. Better to be Atlas and have some power over how that landscape shifts than to be Epimetheus and look back and wonder what might have been. Sure, there have been periods of quietude in the front office, but frequently the Nuggets' managerial fingers have been in trade pies around the league. Although there were some big trades that took place prior to VP GM Masai Ujiri's (re)hiring - notably, acquiring Allen Iverson from the Philadelphia 76ers, and later Chauncey Billups from the Detroit Pistons - those pale in comparison to the trades that have occurred in just a few short years of Masai's tenure.
In 2004, the Denver Nuggets hired on a young Masai Ujiri to become their paid international scout (ironically, away from an unpaid scouting position with the Orlando Magic he'd had in 2003). An excellent article on Masai's background by Woody Paige of the Denver Post shows that Masai has always been an advocate of the "long view" in basketball, even when it came to recognizing his own strengths and weaknesses:
"After two weeks I joined Derby (in the British Basketball League). I wasn't good enough yet. But I played over there for six years (in Belgium and for BBL teams in Watford and Solent).
"I made some money, learned a lot about basketball and introduced myself to everyone" — including scouts and team officials from the NBA. His goal was to become a scout, a coach, an executive. "When my playing career ended, I got out my black book and starting making calls."
Compare what Denver received in the trade of their superstar to this one: