As rumors swirl about a new trade scenario involving four teams, including the Denver Nuggets, the implications on all sides could have a massive, immediate impact for both the Nugs themselves and their direct competition in their quest for an NBA title.
It has been theorized that the Lakers could receive the short end of the stick in this arrangement; the asking price for Howard is steep (Bynum and Gasol), but you can't pick up a significant piece—namely the best center in the league—and give up nothing.
Howard on the Lakers would be a matchup nightmare for the rest of the league: a top-five PG, C and SG, to go with some aging, but still efficient role players in Antawn Jamison, Al Harrington, Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill. Rolling out a roster with that much firepower and three legitimate superstars instantly make the Lakers a top three team with the ability to give Nash and Bryant one last run at a championship.
This is a concern for the Nuggets, as any trip to the NBA Finals would conceivably go through Los Angeles.
However, the pluses outweigh the negatives in such a trade.
By acquiring Andre Iguodala (Iggy, as most fans know him) and giving up Arron Afflalo and Harrington, it's a win-win for this team, even if they have to throw in a draft pick.
Afflalo is a nice young player, but he's also a poor man's Iggy. Iguodala is superior on both ends of the floor, especially defense, and can cover the best player on the court for the Nuggets at all times.
Complement him with another solid defensive wing in Wilson Chandler, and the Nuggets have two perimeter lock-down defenders who essentially would contribute to slowing the other team's offense to a crawl. Iggy also is a fantastic finisher and a perfect complement to the run-and-lob, up-tempo offensive basketball Denver is accustomed to playing.
Losing Harrington would hurt a bit, as he is a solid locker room guy and may have been the Nuggets MVP last season. He's a versatile stretch 4 whom Lakers fans will like more than they realize now. But with the emergence of Kenneth Faried and an over abundance of wing players, the Nuggets would be able to give minutes to different players if Harrington leaves.
A lineup of Lawson, Iguodala, Gallo, Faried and McGee—along with a bench of Chandler, Mozgov, Andre Miller, Anthony Randolph and Jordan Hamilton—would provide enough depth and firepower to catapult the Nuggets deep into the playoffs. Iguodala adds star power and dynamic play at both ends of the court to ensure further progress.
This is a move the Nuggets must facilitate, as the end justifies the means.