2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Bye, bye Andre; Nuggets dodge one

Published: July 5, 2013, 3:23 pm, by Paul Klee

Nuggets fans: Don’t be worried the new regime whiffed on Andre Iguodala.

Be more worried the new regime offered $60 million for a third option.

Thanks, Golden State. You did the Nuggets a favor.

On the plus side, Warriors coach Mark Jackson need to only look around his own locker room for inside information.

Iguodala is a heck of a nice guy. Always has been. But throughout the 2012-13 season, Iguodala struck me as a player who embraced Denver about as much a Cleveland Browns fan in the late 1980s.

“I don’t care if I was playing in Alaska,” Iguodala told Mark Kiszla when he was traded to the Nuggets.

This is more support the Nuggets are viewed as a last frontier on the NBA circuit.

But if the Nuggets had tied their future to a player who often was yanked from late-game situations due to his shoddy free throw shooting, they would have been down a dirty creek for years to come. The Nuggets already have too much cash money tied into an unproven center in Javale McGee, who so far has been more Birdman II than Brook Lopez.

In the short term, the Nuggets will take some heat for missing on Iguodala. How in the basketball world will Denver replace 13 points, five rebounds per game and the defense that, ahem, shut down Golden State in the playoffs?

In the long term, they dodged a big one.

It also shows why our focus should be on the Danny Ainges and Tim Connellys of the NBA world — not the Brad Stevens and Brian Shaws — as the new NBA continues to take shape.

More on this in Saturday’s Gazette.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette