Monday, November 3, 2008
RTS to Denver Nuggets: You're idiots
From my Eastern Conference preview a week ago, about the Detroit Pistons:
"So the Pistons lose in the Eastern Finals (again) and Joe Dumars promises big changes. And he does nothing, even though teams would line up for Rasheed Wallace's expiring contract...
...He could easily flip Wallace for a few decent players, add them to the Billups-Hamilton-Prince trio while working in promising youngsters like Rodney Stuckey, Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell. The Pistons would still have a competitive team, while managing to build for the future at the same time. Instead, he's sticking with the same lineup, one that won't beat Boston, and may not beat Cleveland.
As a Pistons fan, it must be so frustrating. Yeah, you got the one title, but you were a few smart moves away from being a dynasty. Now the team is treading water with the status quo while other teams in the conference catch up fast. It's all going to fall apart soon there."
Hey Joe, uh, my bad.
I always thought Joe Dumars got a little too much credit. He completely blew the 2003 draft, and never did enough to turn his team in a potential dynasty.
But trading for Iverson today is an outstanding move. It works on two fronts: it shakes up a core that was in desperate need of a shakeup. Best case scenario is Iverson is the change they needed to make another title run. Worst case is it flops, the Pistons build around Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and around $36 million when Iverson and Rasheed Wallace's contracts come off the books at the end of the season.
But what really needs to be mentioned here is Denver. If I was a Nuggets season ticket holder, I'd be sending my kid's dirty diapers to their front office.
First they give away Camby in the offseason to save on the luxury tax, a move I could understand. I figured the thinking went like this: the Camby, Carmelo and Iverson core had taken that team as far as it had gone, which was first round playoff exits. So you give away Camby to avoid the tax, let Iverson's contract run out, and start again around Carmelo, or trade him for prospects. It was painful, but I could see a point.
But how does any of this make sense? Iverson was all set to come off the books at the end of the season, and they take on Antonio McDyess, who will be owed almost $7 million next season, and Chauncey Billups, who has three years and almost $40 million left on his deal. Congrats, Denver, you'll have a 35 year-old point guard making $14 million in three years. Ask Dallas how that's working out with Jason Kidd.
Even in the short term, how does this make Denver better? They weren't even close to the Lakers, New Orleans, Utah, Houston or any of the other Western contenders before the trade, and Billups and McDyess sure as hell don't change that.
So they blew whatever financial flexibility they had with the Camby trade on Chauncey Billups. It's mind-bogglingly dumb. Not only do they have less of a future than Francis Bean Cobain, but their short-term is still worse. Frankly, I'd rather take one more run with Camby, Carmelo and Iverson than Carmelo, Billups and McDyess.
The Nuggets managed the rare feat of making themselves worse in both the long and short term. No easy feat.