No announcement yet. Without 'Melo, Nuggets Might Move Quickly To Get AI

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  • Without 'Melo, Nuggets Might Move Quickly To Get AI

    The Iverson solution?
    Without 'Melo, Denver might move quickly to get A.I.

    So what's next for the Nuggets and Knicks, now that NBA commissioner David Stern has issued his penalties for last Saturday's brawl?

    For Denver, it's cue up the Allen Iverson trade talks -- and pray that home court brings relief. For New York, it's cue up the "Fire Isiah" chants -- and breathe a sigh of relief.

    The Nuggets obviously were dealt a huge blow with the suspensions of Carmelo Anthony (15 games), J.R. Smith (10) and Nene (one). Denver enters this week sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race, just a few games ahead of contenders such as the Clippers, Kings, Hornets, Warriors and T'Wolves. Without Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, and Smith, the team's starting shooting guard, the Nuggets will be hard-pressed to maintain that position during the next four weeks.

    Keep in mind, Denver already has lost starting power forward Kenyon Martin to a season-ending knee surgery. Nene, the team's other power forward, has been working his way back slowly from his own past knee problems. Now the Nuggets will have to make do for a long stretch without Anthony and Smith, who account for a combined 48.4 points per game, or roughly 45 percent of the team's offense.

    It doesn't help that the Nuggets happen to be woefully thin at shooting guard and small forward. DerMarr Johnson started 21 games at the 2 spot a year ago but had lost his job to Smith and was barely getting off the bench this season. Yakhouba Diawara is a rookie who is averaging 5.1 points on 35.7 percent shooting in his 19 minutes per game. At small forward, Eduardo Najera and Linas Kleiza now will be called on to fill in for Anthony.

    Obviously, Nuggets coach George Karl's biggest concern will be finding a way to replace all that missing offense. One option will be to go small more often, with 5-5 Earl Boykins playing alongside Andre Miller in the backcourt. The drawback, of course, is that it leaves the Nuggets vulnerable on defense.

    The good news for Denver is that 12 of its next 15 games are at the Pepsi Center, including dates against the Celtics, Sonics, Sixers. More than ever, the Nuggets must try to go up-tempo and run foes off the floor in the mile-high altitude. Marcus Camby is going to have to come up big and block a lot of shots, and the Nuggets are going to have to run, run, run.

    Of course, Denver might be able to solve its scoring woes immediately if it can swing a trade for Iverson. The Nuggets reportedly have offered the Sixers a package including Nene, two first-round draft picks in 2007, and the expiring contract of Joe Smith. Philadelphia doesn't want Nene's contract ($60 million through the 2011-12 season), so Denver GM Mark Warkentien is trying to get a third team involved.

    With his team facing the prospect of losing ground in the ultra-competitive West, Warkentien and the Nuggets brass might have to sweeten the pot. Of course, the Nuggets will be dealing from a position of urgency rather than strength, so it won't be easy. But it could be worth it.

    As for the Knicks, they don't figure to be damaged too badly by Stern's ruling. New York will miss Robinson's energy, but it's not like he was leading them to victories. Mardy Collins is a seldom-used reserve, and Jared Jeffries had recently returned from an injury that had kept him out the first month anyway.

    The Knicks should be thankful that Thomas wasn't hit with a lengthy suspension. Given his comments after the game, in which he basically admitted that his team was looking to pay back the Nuggets for embarrassing them on the court, the former Bad Boy could have found himself on Stern's hit list. Apparently, the Commish looked the other way on this one.

    Then again, considering how poorly the Knicks are playing this season, maybe losing Thomas for a few games wouldn't have been so bad. Either way, it's not going to help his standing with Garden fans. Unless the Knicks start winning games soon, the fans are going to continue to boo and Thomas is going to be sent packing at the end of the season.

  • #2
    Yeah, hopefully we don't do anything desperate.

    Desperate is what got us spooked and willing to give Kenyon a near max contract at the expense of 3 1sts.


    • #3
      Of the two deals being rumored, one is a steal for the Nugs (the big rumor from last week), the other one is, IMO, a toss-up. Should be interesting, but it doesn't appear either are the K-Mart category.


      • #4
        Originally posted by rubaiyat View Post
        Desperate is what got us spooked and willing to give Kenyon a near max contract at the expense of 3 1sts.
        Kiki doesn't work here anymore.

        Whatever happens, I just hope it happens soon.


        • #5
          Maybe a blessing in disguise eh?


          • #6
            Miami has dropped out of the running for Iverson.


            "We are out of the Allen Iverson conversation," Riley said Monday before the Heat played the New Orleans Hornets. "This isn't going to move forward. We have discussed every scenario. It never became formal offers.

            "It's time for us to move on."

            "I thought it was in the best interest of the franchise to at least explore it," Riley said. "As of today, we're done with it."


            • #7
              Come on Nuggs, make it happen.


              • #8

                Iverson talks placed on hold
                By Marc J. Spears and Chris Dempsey
                Denver Post Staff Writers
                Article Last Updated: 12/19/2006 12:16:36 AM MST

                With suspensions to deal with, the Nuggets have a pushed the pause button on any Allen Iverson talks, according to an NBA source.

                A Western Conference executive maintained the Nuggets, Minnesota, Boston and the Los Angeles Clippers were the main teams interested in acquiring Iverson, who has asked to be traded. Miami coach Pat Riley said Monday the Heat has pulled out of the race.

                But in the aftermath of suspensions three Nuggets received for fighting Saturday against New York, the NBA source said the Nuggets have been communicating with Philadelphia general manager Billy Knight only via text message.

                If anything serious comes up in regard to Iverson, the Nuggets are expected to receive a call.

                Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien said suspended players Carmelo Anthony (15 games) and J.R. Smith (10) aren't on the trading block.

                "The real players in an Iverson trade are the main ones that have been talked about," the Western Conference executive said. "It's not like the Utah Jazz are going to have 'a come to Jesus' meeting and trade for A.I. Billy already has his serious players. The deals are already 90-95 percent there. At some point he has to pull the trigger.

                "He's been talking to (Indiana CEO and president) Donnie Walsh, who has the world's slowest trigger. And he's been talking to (ex-Sixers coach) Larry Brown, who has the world's fastest trigger."

                Plus for the Jazz

                As the dust settles on the suspensions for the Nuggets and they try to forge on without Anthony and Smith, one of the biggest beneficiaries might be the Jazz.

                Utah started the season strong but dropped to 18-7 after an overtime loss Monday to the depleted New York Knicks. The Nuggets have found themselves in a chase mode, trying to stay in the division race.

                Jazz players, though, aren't discounting the Nuggets just yet.

                "It's early to say we're going to be able to pull away from them and secure our division," guard Derek Fisher said. "They still have some capable players, even with the guys that are out. But hopefully we can take advantage of it and give ourselves an opportunity to get some breathing room in the division."

                After Monday's games, the Jazz leads the second-place Nuggets by three games in the Northwest Division. The teams play Jan. 6 in Denver while Anthony and Smith are out.

                "There's still a lot of games left to play," Utah center Jarron Collins said. "We can't really worry about with the Nuggets are doing. We just have to focus on ourselves.

                "Having said that, the Nuggets losing two of their top scorers in Carmelo Anthony and J.R. does hurt their team."

                Fisher's reaction

                Fisher is also an executive committee member of the NBA Players Association. He said he wasn't surprised at the stiff penalties levied on the players involved in the fight.

                "Everyone assumed that it would be fairly substantial in terms of the fines and suspensions and whatnot," Fisher said. "But as far as me saying anything, I really can't. At this point I don't have enough information about the situation."

                Fisher said he would meet with the association's executive director, Billy Hunter, soon to make certain the league's punishments were solely on the individuals actions and had nothing to do with historical events.

                Chris Dempsey can be reached at 303-954-1279 or [email protected].


                • #9
                  I hope "quickly" is today


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Master___Pain View Post
                    I hope "quickly" is today
                    I have this gut feeling that we are going to either hear later today or first thing tomorrow. I think the Nuggets need to do something to counteract Melo getting suspended.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ApaOps5 View Post
                      I have this gut feeling that we are going to either hear later today or first thing tomorrow. I think the Nuggets need to do something to counteract Melo getting suspended.
                      That would be great! Imagine Iverson's first game as a Nugg being against the Suns? Not much defense tomorrow night either way, but AI could really fill it up.