I don't like to take credit for things I have nothing to do with, but it can't JUST be coincidence that upon my return home from Las Vegas that the Nuggets start a veritable bevy of trades and signings. Each more delightful than the last.

I'm not one to pat myself on the back often, but I just have to this time.

As I was preparing to leave for my annual trip of dancing and drinking in Vegas; news came across that the proposed Chris Paul to the Lakers trade was nixed by the NBA executives. As someone who expects action to happen while he’s not around, I just assumed that the Nuggets would sign everyone while I was gone. So I sent a text to my boy Neezy on Friday and asked him if Nene was signed yet. He said no. Huh. So on Sunday I asked, have the Nuggets signed Nene and any news on Arron Afflalo. Again he said no.

This was perplexing to me. I was wondering if the Nuggets knew that the season started in a little under two weeks. No matter, I went back to dancing at Krave in Vegas and drinking waaaaay too much (a long and very detailed story which, as they say, will stay in Vegas.)

So, after arriving home on a late flight Monday night, I went to bed wondering what I would write about today. Will it be a pensive column about the lack of Nuggets movement? Will it be a column about staying patient much like Dave Krieger? Who knew?

My problems, as it were, were solved by the sudden news that Denver had magically traded a future second round draft pick to the Dallas Mavericks for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer. “Whoa,” Jeff said. How did the Nuggets get two solid backups for just a second round pick? The Carmelo Anthony trade exception came in handy here, allowing the Nuggets to take on more salary than they were giving up. Truth be told I’m not sure Corey Brewer will have much impact on this team. He’s a marginal NBA guy right now with some upside for defense. As for Rudy – the jury is out on him. The feeling among many is Fernandez’s attitude the last year in Portland was terrible, and he didn’t get off to a good start with the Mavericks by demanding that he have a “defined role.” The clock was ticking it seemed. Hopefully being traded twice in one off-season will help Rudy out with some perspective.

Then, late, came news that Nene Hilario was signed to a 5-year and $67 million contract with – OUR Denver Nuggets. Count me as one of the pessimists. I’d heard from various sources that Nene was determined to leave the team and it had more to do with hurt feelings than anything else. It turns out that those hurt feelings can be solved by a soft market and everyone’s desire to get Dwight Howard. Also, the fifth year on this contract that Nene received is one season longer than what the Nuggets originally offered in June.

Regardless, in one day the Nuggets reached some clarity they had been lacking since the NBA returned from its lockout two weeks ago. Looks like this team will NOT be rebuilding. Is that good or bad? Tough to tell. It will depend on how things shake out during this shortened season. It will, probably more importantly, depend on Arron Afflalo re-signing with the team.

If it takes going back to Vegas and then returning to make this happen, I'm willing to make that sacrifice. I only ask that you wait until my liver heals.

On with the links!

Nene, Nuggets agree to terms – David Aldridge, NBA.com
David Aldridge breaks down the Nuggets new deal with their (now) future power forward if George Karl is to be believed.

Nuggets trade for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer – Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
Ben Hochman (Hooch) breaks down the Nuggets trade for Rudy and Brewer.

Nene re-signs with Nuggets, a five-year deal worth as much as $67 million – Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
Hooch talks about the new deal bringing Nene back to the Nuggets for five more years.

Billups’ lump of coal: Clippers put in a claim – Denver Post
Poor Chauncey. You have to feel sorry for him regardless of how much money he has earned. He’s been treated like trade meat for his entire career and most likely deserves a good ending. Lets see if he reports to Clippers camp.

Have a great morning everyone!

Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78

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