2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

The newest Nuggets… and where they fit in

Published: July 11, 2013, 5:58 pm, by Paul Klee



Few quick thoughts on the day two of the three newest Nuggets were introduced at Pepsi Center. Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson were there, while Darrell Arthur is vacationing in Barcelona. Why aren’t we vacationing in Barcelona? Anyway…

The acquisition of Foye, a three-point specialist who made 41 percent of his threes last season, is a no-brainer. Outside the J.R. Smith experiment/era, it feels like the Nuggets have needed a designated gunner since Chris Jackson. Foye makes sense.

So does Hickson, me thinks. While he might seem to be a Kenneth Faried clone, with his high energy, Hickson’s offensive game is more refined. His back-to-the-basket scoring improves the Nuggets in the halfcourt, where they sometimes struggled.

One of George Karl’s hesitancies was playing Faried and Javale McGee together. Their defensive rating was sub-par (more on that in an upcoming column), and Karl leaned on Kosta Koufos in the starting lineup.

That’s one thing I’m interested in seeing: How will the frontcourt minutes shake out? The frontcourt looks a whole lot different now. GM Tim Connelly told me today he sees a five-man frontcourt (McGee, Hickson, Faried, Arthur, Timofey Mozgov)  that is more versatile and athletic and will defend and execute the pick-and-roll (this is a pick-and-roll league, after all) more efficiently.

Hickson played center for the Blazers but was recruited to the Nuggets with promises of playing power forward.

The key in this whole operation is McGee.

“I’ve told him: We’re counting on you to make the next step,” Connelly said.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette