"I felt as though this free agency, everybody was searching for the best shooters." said Denver Nuggets guard Randy Foye via a phone interview. "You can see how they came after J.J. [Redick], how they came after Kyle [Korver], and now I'm signing in Denver."
Foye is a 29 year-old combo guard that will be entering his eighth NBA season when the 2013-14 campaign begins. Foye will be joining his fifth franchise since entering the league in 2006 as the 7th overall pick of the Boston Celtics (his rights were traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and he was traded again on draft night by the Blazers to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 6th pick: Brandon Roy). Foye is looking forward to finding an NBA home in Denver.
"Great opportunity. Unbelievable team already, playoff team already." said Foye. "I'm looking to bringing shooting, bringing defense, and just trying to go out there and win as many games as possible."
Foye knows he'll be asked to turn up his defensive game even more for the Nuggets and is looking forward to the challenge.
"The past couple years, I've gone against all the two guards." said Foye. "I think I'm one of the better defenders on the team. You can ask people in Utah, you can ask people with the Clippers. When we made runs I was a big part of locking down key players on other teams."
With the Clippers and Jazz, Foye was not on teams known for their defense. The Clippers were anchored with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, two athletic players that have had their share of difficulties on the defensive side of the ball. The Jazz were hampered on the interior with Al Jefferson. With the Nuggets, Foye will again be paired with some young big men that will need to drastically improve on the defensive end as well.
In the NBA, teams are gearing towards more-and-more unconventional styles as teams look to run-and-gun and create lineup mismatches. Foye recognizes this trend in the NBA and sees himself rolling with those changes.
"I am that size, I'm right at 6'4", the way the league - they play so small now it really doesn't matter where I guard." said Foye. "I could guard anyone, I guarded [small forwards] when I was with the Clippers and last year I guarded [small forwards] when I was with Utah. So, that's not really a problem. The effort is always going to be there. The way I'm built, my body is so strong. I look at myself as a two, especially the way I shoot the ball."
And shooting the ball is what Foye is becoming very well-known for. During the 2009-10 season Foye attempted an average of 2.6 three-pointers per game, since that season his attempts have increased to 3.4, 5.1, and 5.3 attempts over the past three seasons. Along with the increased attempts, his percentages have risen each of the past three seasons, as well. From 32.7-percent in 2010-11, to 38.6-percent in 2011-12, to 41-percent last year in Utah.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Chris Paul." said Foye. "I could shoot the three, but I was more like off the dribble, pull-ups, more of a guy that would come off pick-and-rolls and pull up or take a couple dribbles. When I was with Chris, Chris used to draw so much attention coming off the pick-and-roll, he'd just hit me and I'd let it fly."
Foye sees a similarity between Paul's game and Ty Lawson's game that could create a lot of open looks for him with Denver.
"It was really intriguing because Ty Lawson is a fast guy, comes off pick-and-rolls, and makes a lot of things happen. That's something that I know sets the tone." said Foye. "He'll break down defenses and when they have to collapse, [he'll pass it out to Foye] after that, let it fly."
The Nuggets desperately needed to add some shooting to the team and Foye will fill that role. He's happy to have landed with the Nuggets after a rushed free agent period.
"It has been crazy because everyone in free agency is knocking on the door hard, they need that shooter." said Foye. "Three point shooting has really changed the game. If you look at Miami, they have a guy like Chris Bosh that can shoot, they have D-Wade [Dwyane Wade], they have LeBron [James] that is attacking, and then they have Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier. You look at Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and all those guys up there. You look at the Spurs, look at every good team that went deep [in the playoffs], they have two good players that draw a double-team and then they have shooters everywhere."
Foye said he is on his way to Denver, where he knows a few of his teammates for different reasons.
"Kenneth Faried and I are both from the same city in north New Jersey, he's young though." said Foye. "I know Ty Lawson, just from seeing him on the court and saying what's up, just showing love. I know Andre Miller, same way, saying what's up and just showing a lot of love and talking after the games. I know JaVale [McGee], we played one year in Washington. And Gallo and I, we've just been cool from talking on the court."
Foye won't be the only new face with the Nuggets, who have also added Erick Green on draft night, J.J. Hickson in free agency, and Darrell Arthur via trade. He'll also be playing for new coach Brian Shaw.
"I got a chance to speak with him [Shaw]." said Foye. "He's been a great player in the league and I know that he has been an unbelievable assistant. I'm looking forward to helping him do some special things out there."
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