The trade deadline was pretty quiet league-wide this year and most of the deals that were made were of the small, fairly inconsequential variety. However, sometimes small trades can have big impacts down the road. In this week's Denver Stiffs Roundtable, we look at the Nuggets decision to trade Randy Foye and what impact (if any) that may have on the team's success down the road. Let's roundtable!
What grade do you give the Nuggets for the trade which sent Randy Foye to the Oklahoma City Thunder for DJ Augustin, Steve Novak, two 2nd round picks, and cash?
Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares): An A. Even though it didn't bring in a marquee name, I thought it was a very good trade for Denver. Foye's contract was up at the end of the season and the Nuggets didn't want or need to re-sign him. So Swapping him for D.J. Augustin is, at worst, a lateral move but gaining two 2nd round draft picks is a huge win. Nikola Jokic was a 2nd round pick and he has become one of the team's best building blocks. I wouldn't be shocked if General Manager Tim Connelley finds another gem deep in the 2nd round of the draft this summer.
Daniel Lewis (@minutemandan): An A+. Consider the position Tim Connelly was in: Randy Foye, a 32-year-old guard, is on an expiring contract, is a shooting specialist who is shooting under 30 percent, and Connelly was able to move him for players and picks. There's reason to be concerned about Jameer Nelson's health the remainder of the season, and D.J. Augustin should be able to replicate Nelson's on-court production to finish out the year. The Nuggets are likely going to buy out Novak and J.J. Hickson, leaving them with two vacant roster spots. It'd be nice to see them bring back Sean Kilpatrick and then take a flier on a D-League wing like C.J. Fair or Raphiael Putney.
Zach Mikash (@ZachMikash): A. I was completely content with a single second round pick for Foye, Connelly went way above and beyond that. I come just short of an A+ because it would have been nicer to get Cameron Payne out of the deal but it's still an excellent trade. With the news that Nelson may need surgery on his wrist the Nuggets couldn't rely on playing Foye as the backup point guard for the remainder of the season and Augustin gives them a more traditional look there while also shooting around 40% from three. Throw in two second round picks to continue to stock the Nuggets European development pipeline and you really can ask for anything else...except Payne.
Do you think the Nuggets should have been MORE active at the trade deadline?
Mares: The Nuggets are in a spot right now where holding on to and adding assets is more important than finding a super star. So in that light, the Nuggets did a great job of staying patient. I expect the Nuggets will be much more active over the summer and even into the season next year, but for right now, they made the small moves that were needed to set them up for bigger moves down the road.
Lewis: I do not. The Nuggets already have the pieces to finish their rebuild, and the forward-thinkers were able to win the deadline. There were rumors surrounding Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried, but I'm in favor of keeping those players, at least for another season or two, as the team continues to improve. It was a fantasy to think that Hickson was going to get moved, and the Nuggets didn't lose any picks for an 18-month rental. They were just the right amount of active.
Mikash: I'm sure they made and took calls on a variety of players and situations but I'm glad they made just the one move. Faried and Gallinari were the two big bargaining chips but I don't think there is an overbearing need to move one right now. As far as trades and free agency moving forward goes I am perfectly happy with Denver completely standing pat. They may have to be active on draft night consolidating their boon of picks but this front office has built a very solid, very young core and the best thing to do right now is probably to leave that untouched and let it develop.
What are you most looking forward to in the 2nd half of the Nuggets season?
Mares: I'm looking forward to seeing if Jusuf Nurkic can make a leap now that he is healthy and back in the rotation. Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic, and Emmanuel Mudiay have all shown incredible growth throughout the year as they've gotten more and more playing time and experience. Nurkic was robbed of a productive summer and training camp due to injury but with two months of the season left, he has a chance to really show that he has a steep learning curve as well.
Lewis: The way the Western Conference playoff seeding works out. I like watching the Nuggets young players develop and succeed, and wins are nice too. However, the 2016 draft is a big draft for Denver. If the season ended today, Philadelphia (1,21,27), Boston (3,19,23), Phoenix (4,12,27) and Denver (8,15,16) would control 40 percent of the draft. The Nuggets could end up with four draft picks if Memphis misses the playoffs, while Houston and Portland earn a spot. If the Nuggets are going to win a championship in the next seven years, these are the assets that are going to help the Nuggets get there. These players could be with the Nuggets longer than any of the presidential candidates could be in office. Four players! It's a big deal for me. I'm also looking forward to attending my first Nuggets game of the season, next Friday in Dallas. Don't let me down, guys!
Mikash: Hopefully enough wins to remain relevant to the playoff picture. Maybe the Nuggets don't make it in but it'd be nice if they still have a shot going into April. This team really started gelling over the eight game homestand in January and they've played very well since then. Chemistry and mental toughness, something the Nuggets were completely lacking last season but have developed nicely this year, are paramount in the final stretch of the season. Denver gets a seven game home stand in the beginning of March that they should go no worse than 5-2. That stretch of games will be fun to watch as it likely will determine if the Nuggets have any shot at the playoffs.